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EpicSceptic
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 7:53 am 
 

I see the previous attempt at listing bad reviews and/or reviewers got completely sidetracked because of ad hominem attacks and general finger pointing. This is, for obvious reasons, completely the wrong way to approach this thread, or any thread started with constructive criticism as the necessary impetus.

First of all, when debating reviews/reviewers of MA, lets stick to MA. Lets leave other sites out of it unless it can contribute to setting a standard.
Secondly, don't attack a reviewer for the bands/albums he likes and/or doesn't. The criticism is on the review, and a reviewer's decency should only be called into question once a trend is apparent in his/her reviews.

I found MA when looking for bands similar to those I already knew, and I found a rich environment fulfilling my needs and offering me even more. The album reviews really helped my search. At first I used the overall rating as an indication of an album's quality as well, but later I realised that the subjective nature thereof denied it of all meaning.

I feel it is utterly ridiculous to give an album 0%. Most of the time, the rating given to an album boils down to pure taste, and I think that is something that needs to change. You can't give an album 0% because, for example, you think "it's boring but the production is clear and the sound is heavy". I mean, production, sound, technicality, originality, song writing, all of these and more contribute to an album. Just because you think the vocalist sounds like an emo getting his nuts waxed doesn't mean you're entitled to give the album zero.

If you review an album you are responsible to meet certain standard and take certain factors into account. And, for the sake of the quality and usefulness of MA, I beseech thee to help me come up with a standardised rating format for reviews.

If you're still not in agreement that such a step is necessary, I'll show you what I mean.
http://www.metal-archives.com/review.php?id=6383#6129 Here is a review about an album I love, Meshuggah's Nothing. Now I know they are a controversial band, especially on MA, but my point stands. There is no way you can give a zero for that album.

Still think I'm on crack, check your favourite albums' reviews, I'm 100% sure you will find a similar review there.

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Forbinator
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:23 am 
 

Ratings reflect personal taste. That's just the way it is. I do agree, however, that the reviewer is obligated to "report" any positive elements of the music that are there even if it's a negative review. That way, someone with conflicting tastes may still give the album a go if they like the sound of that positive element.

And holy balls that Meshuggah stuff is horrible (listening on youtube to a song now). My level of motivation to listen to it ever again, considering that Burzum exists, is zero, and I think that is Kruel's thinking in that review. However if I were to write a review I would still try to report on some positives.
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joncheetham88
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:30 am 
 

I personally skip over 0% reviews and 100% reviews unless they're by a reviewer I know and respect for other stuff, in which case they just might have written something worthwhile. The massive, massive majority of reviews with such ratings are pretty dire though and just clog this place up.

I vehemently dislike every single odious facet of Meshuggah's music and the general concept of them, not to mention this socially conditioned idea that their music is genius for some reason. However in my own writing I usually pick out a few positives like if there's a nice production, a flashy solo, some tight drumming at one point, this or that, which in a really well written negative review (although i am not saying mine are too special in terms of construction since they are pretty much flow of thought) would actually reinforce the ultimate reprehensibility of the item in question.

Which is what I would try to do if I ever write an assault on Meshuggah, though I think I just might have.
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EpicSceptic
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:39 am 
 

Forbinator wrote:
Ratings reflect personal taste. That's just the way it is. I do agree, however, that the reviewer is obligated to "report" any positive elements of the music that are there even if it's a negative review. That way, someone with conflicting tastes may still give the album a go if they like the sound of that positive element.


This is exactly the attitude I'm trying to enforce. We can agree to disagree on taste, and it is good that the sum total of reviews aren't biased either for or against the album, but the main point is that positives and negatives must be highlighted so as to increase the usefulness of the review for the person reading it.

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EpicSceptic
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:51 am 
 

joncheetham88 wrote:
I personally skip over 0% reviews and 100% reviews unless they're by a reviewer I know and respect for other stuff, in which case they just might have written something worthwhile. The massive, massive majority of reviews with such ratings are pretty dire though and just clog this place up.


This is what I have been doing as well, but as you say it clogs things up and it should not strictly be necessary.

joncheetham88 wrote:
I vehemently dislike every single odious facet of Meshuggah's music and the general concept of them, not to mention this socially conditioned idea that their music is genius for some reason. However in my own writing I usually pick out a few positives like if there's a nice production, a flashy solo, some tight drumming at one point, this or that, which in a really well written negative review (although i am not saying mine are too special in terms of construction since they are pretty much flow of thought) would actually reinforce the ultimate reprehensibility of the item in question.


Once again we agree to disagree on taste but try and pick out both pros and cons about the album. By this I'm not saying you give an album 50% because the production is good but the song-writing is stupifying. Some elements are bound to weigh more, and this will also be bound to taste in a manner. For instance guitarists will hold the quality of the riffs in higher regard than the vocals.

What I'm aiming for is a nice set of dissecting tools which will give a metal album a rich and fair rating.

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Forbinator
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:01 am 
 

EpicSceptic wrote:
Forbinator wrote:
Ratings reflect personal taste. That's just the way it is. I do agree, however, that the reviewer is obligated to "report" any positive elements of the music that are there even if it's a negative review. That way, someone with conflicting tastes may still give the album a go if they like the sound of that positive element.


This is exactly the attitude I'm trying to enforce. We can agree to disagree on taste, and it is good that the sum total of reviews aren't biased either for or against the album, but the main point is that positives and negatives must be highlighted so as to increase the usefulness of the review for the person reading it.
That's good. And I think the conclusion we come to is that the rating isn't really an important part of that. As long as the readers take the time to actually read the reviews, they should understand why the score was given as it was.
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ForNaught
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:04 am 
 

You're implying that anyone who gives something 0% is a bad reviewer. Nice. No mention of 100% being a problem of course but I suppose I'm not surprised.

This whole thing of singling out poor review(er)s feels very mean-spirited to me. Besides, the Oven Fodder thread exists for a reason. Purging weak reviews (as opposed to ones we disagree with) is one thing, singling out the reviewer themselves and branding them "bad" is another entirely, and I suspect may even result in causing reviewers to shy away from trying. There's already a constructive feedback thread for those who solicit it, by the by. The unsolicited destructive type is not going to lead to an improvement in the community.
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EpicSceptic
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:27 am 
 

ForNaught wrote:
You're implying that anyone who gives something 0% is a bad reviewer. Nice. No mention of 100% being a problem of course but I suppose I'm not surprised.

I'll take the sarcasm with a pinch of salt because you are actually accusing me of exactly what I said is not the way to go about this. My emphasis, as mentioned, is on the bad 'REVIEW' and not the 'REVIEWER'. No doubt though, dishing out 100% ratings is just as retarded, I just didn't mention that border explicitly. Very, and I mean very few albums deserve that score, if any.

ForNaught wrote:
This whole thing of singling out poor review(er)s feels very mean-spirited to me. Besides, the Oven Fodder thread exists for a reason. Purging weak reviews (as opposed to ones we disagree with) is one thing, singling out the reviewer themselves and branding them "bad" is another entirely, and I suspect may even result in causing reviewers to shy away from trying. There's already a constructive feedback thread for those who solicit it, by the by. The unsolicited destructive type is not going to lead to an improvement in the community.

You obviously don't get what I'm saying at all. I couldn't give a time-travelling fuck how bad the reviewer is, and I don't want to single out anybody anywhere. I'm trying to distinguish factors that any metal album can be dissected by. This will automatically decrease the amount of 0% and 100% ratings. So whether the review itself is negative or positive the rating will still give a balanced view on the album. It will also help new reviewers see what is essential to scrutinize before commencement of the review, making all reviews more coherent.

An example would be:
Production/Sound (this doesn't mean clear and crisp is better, tell me Ulver-Nattans Madrigal would sound better if it was done with crystal clear production. It's more about ambiance)
Song writing
Individual roles (of the band members, so: drums, guitars, etc)
Originality (novelty doesn't mean better either)

Just four rather obvious choices. So I'm just looking for some constructive feedback on that.

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EpicSceptic
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:31 am 
 

ForNaught wrote:
That's good. And I think the conclusion we come to is that the rating isn't really an important part of that. As long as the readers take the time to actually read the reviews, they should understand why the score was given as it was.

That's exactly the point, the reviews are crappy because people don't know how to rate an album. Rate the album, then elaborate on the ratings you gave the respective factors. From there you can add/insert comic relief and any extras you want, but lets just get the basics out of the way first.

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lord_ghengis
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:52 am 
 

EpicSceptic wrote:

An example would be:
Production/Sound (this doesn't mean clear and crisp is better, tell me Ulver-Nattans Madrigal would sound better if it was done with crystal clear production. It's more about ambiance)
Song writing
Individual roles (of the band members, so: drums, guitars, etc)
Originality (novelty doesn't mean better either)

Just four rather obvious choices. So I'm just looking for some constructive feedback on that.


But you're saying it's impossible for a band to get all of these things wrong. If a band ruins all these critera in the reviewers mind a 0% score is more than fair. I'm with ForNaught that this thread is mean spirited when singling out reviewers. Even on quality of composition rather than taste (If someone composed a well written, convincing, 0% review of Nothing, they would still be a good reviewer, so you kind of go against your own point there) picking out individuals is just kind of bullying. And if you want to single out individual reviews, yeah, the Oven Fodder exists.

Also, a score can be subjective, I've never done a 0%, but I have done a 100%. WIth None So Vile, I can admit that there are riffs that are better than others during various songs, this objectively means I could not give it a perfect mark, but for me, the good riffs are so good I am willing to ignore these slightly lesser riffs. By this same set up, I could say that a band who I think is worthy of a 0% score has a production job worthy of a 2/10, and still say the whole product as a whole is utterly unbearable because the more negative aspects of the whole package are so overwhelming I can look past the minor elements.

I used to (prior to writing here) review in a more regimented scoring system which broke up these elements, because it gives a perception of increased accuracy, but it really doesn't, it distracts you from the big picture. I think I ended up giving a Good Charlotte album a 1.5 out of 10 because there were elements of sound which were not complete failures, however in the greater scale of things that sort of score is needlessly high. By all means mention all those elements, but whether something has a redeeming feature when isolated shouldn't need to stand for anything when presented in the context of the whole.

Also, Natten's Madrigal would sound a millions times better with a clean production, it's just as melodic and as pretty as the debut, it's just acting tough by sounding like shit.
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Forbinator
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:24 am 
 

EpicSceptic wrote:
Forbinator wrote:
That's good. And I think the conclusion we come to is that the rating isn't really an important part of that. As long as the readers take the time to actually read the reviews, they should understand why the score was given as it was.

That's exactly the point, the reviews are crappy because people don't know how to rate an album. Rate the album, then elaborate on the ratings you gave the respective factors. From there you can add/insert comic relief and any extras you want, but lets just get the basics out of the way first.
No I said that the rating isn't important, and I don't think it's completely necessary to get hung up on it. The reason reviews are crappy is people don't adequately describe the elements of the music and then connect it to the big picture. Strange or non-objective ratings don't result in crappy reviews: see the recent review of Graveland's Fire Chariot of Destruction for an example. I posted a comment on this in the review discussion thread (not the oven fodder thread!) because to me the rating seemed strange (along with some other elements) given the review content. It's just a kind of anomaly that doesn't detract from the review's quality though.
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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:29 am 
 

EpicSceptic wrote:
You can't give an album 0% because, for example, you think "it's boring but the production is clear and the sound is heavy". I mean, production, sound, technicality, originality, song writing, all of these and more contribute to an album. Just because you think the vocalist sounds like an emo getting his nuts waxed doesn't mean you're entitled to give the album zero.


Why not?
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John_Sunlight
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:32 am 
 

EpicSceptic wrote:
http://www.metal-archives.com/review.php?id=6383#6129 Here is a review about an album I love, Meshuggah's Nothing. Now I know they are a controversial band, especially on MA, but my point stands. There is no way you can give a zero for that album.


You didn't look very hard.

I will say this one last and final time and promise not to derail this thread even though it has the same problems I pointed out in the first one: everyone complaining about scores one way or the other is inordinately concerned with scores. Just let it go.
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EpicSceptic
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:38 am 
 

lord_ghengis wrote:
But you're saying it's impossible for a band to get all of these things wrong. If a band ruins all these critera in the reviewers mind a 0% score is more than fair.

If a band gets 0/5 or whatever for each, then yes, the album gets 0%. But can you think of a band worthy of being on MA that has brought out an album worthy of naughts all round?

lord_ghengis wrote:
I'm with ForNaught that this thread is mean spirited when singling out reviewers. Even on quality of composition rather than taste (If someone composed a well written, convincing, 0% review of Nothing, they would still be a good reviewer, so you kind of go against your own point there) picking out individuals is just kind of bullying.

I don't know how many times I need to say this but it's not aimed at insulting or demeaning the individual, rather an attempt to give the community a standard system by which to rate albums.
lord_ghengis wrote:
But you're saying it's impossible for a band to get all of these things wrong. If a band ruins all these critera in the reviewers mind a 0% score is more than fair.

If a band gets 0/5 or whatever for each, then yes, the album gets 0%. But can you think of a band worthy of being on MA that has brought out an album worthy of naughts all round?
lord_ghengis wrote:
And if you want to single out individual reviews, yeah, the Oven Fodder exists.

So, as I indicated above, the point is not to single out previous reviews, which provisions are made for, but rather to create a system for future reviews.
lord_ghengis wrote:
Also, a score can be subjective, I've never done a 0%, but I have done a 100%. WIth None So Vile, I can admit that there are riffs that are better than others during various songs, this objectively means I could not give it a perfect mark, but for me, the good riffs are so good I am willing to ignore these slightly lesser riffs.

This doesn't even make sense... I think it's fairly obvious some riffs will be better than others on the same album. If you give an album close to a hundred it will be because you truly enjoy every second of every song on the album, not because every riff is just as good as every other riff. If there are however some crappy riffs you won't give it a hundred, because you don't enjoy those riffs. But this is specific to your taste for riffs, and not the quality of the riffs. If the riffs are good and to your taste, you'll give guitars 9/10 or whatever, if they are technical and we'll written but you don't really feel yourself inclined to listen to it give it 7/10.
lord_ghengis wrote:
By this same set up, I could say that a band who I think is worthy of a 0% score has a production job worthy of a 2/10, and still say the whole product as a whole is utterly unbearable because the more negative aspects of the whole package are so overwhelming I can look past the minor elements.

Agreed, that's why it's important to distinguish between the weight of different factors. Production can't weigh the same as song-writing, if you disagree we can get into a debate about it but in my mind a band with little resources but musical talent deserve more praise than a shitty band with lots of granddad's green bills filling their pockets. Which brings me to my next point that I completely disagree with:
lord_ghengis wrote:
Also, Natten's Madrigal would sound a millions times better with a clean production, it's just as melodic and as pretty as the debut, it's just acting tough by sounding like shit.

That album is perfect and as was intended. They had the resources to make production better, I mean listen to their other stuff, especially the non-metal material. It's not acting tough, it's creating an ambiance and an atmosphere that leaves a lingering flavour in your ears. A clean sound would dim that flavour out and make it bland.
lord_ghengis wrote:
I used to (prior to writing here) review in a more regimented scoring system which broke up these elements, because it gives a perception of increased accuracy, but it really doesn't, it distracts you from the big picture. I think I ended up giving a Good Charlotte album a 1.5 out of 10 because there were elements of sound which were not complete failures, however in the greater scale of things that sort of score is needlessly high. By all means mention all those elements, but whether something has a redeeming feature when isolated shouldn't need to stand for anything when presented in the context of the whole.

To you the big picture is getting your opinion across, to the reader it is whether or not they will enjoy this album. By first rating and then describing these elements carefully you tell the reader what you liked/disliked about the album and whether or not he/she would agree/disagree with you, instead of just telling them whether you like it or not.

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EpicSceptic
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:39 am 
 

lord_ghengis wrote:
But you're saying it's impossible for a band to get all of these things wrong. If a band ruins all these critera in the reviewers mind a 0% score is more than fair.

If a band gets 0/5 or whatever for each, then yes, the album gets 0%. But can you think of a band worthy of being on MA that has brought out an album worthy of naughts all round?

lord_ghengis wrote:
I'm with ForNaught that this thread is mean spirited when singling out reviewers. Even on quality of composition rather than taste (If someone composed a well written, convincing, 0% review of Nothing, they would still be a good reviewer, so you kind of go against your own point there) picking out individuals is just kind of bullying.

I don't know how many times I need to say this but it's not aimed at insulting or demeaning the individual, rather an attempt to give the community a standard system by which to rate albums.
lord_ghengis wrote:
But you're saying it's impossible for a band to get all of these things wrong. If a band ruins all these critera in the reviewers mind a 0% score is more than fair.

If a band gets 0/5 or whatever for each, then yes, the album gets 0%. But can you think of a band worthy of being on MA that has brought out an album worthy of naughts all round?
lord_ghengis wrote:
And if you want to single out individual reviews, yeah, the Oven Fodder exists.

So, as I indicated above, the point is not to single out previous reviews, which provisions are made for, but rather to create a system for future reviews.
lord_ghengis wrote:
Also, a score can be subjective, I've never done a 0%, but I have done a 100%. WIth None So Vile, I can admit that there are riffs that are better than others during various songs, this objectively means I could not give it a perfect mark, but for me, the good riffs are so good I am willing to ignore these slightly lesser riffs.

This doesn't even make sense... I think it's fairly obvious some riffs will be better than others on the same album. If you give an album close to a hundred it will be because you truly enjoy every second of every song on the album, not because every riff is just as good as every other riff. If there are however some crappy riffs you won't give it a hundred, because you don't enjoy those riffs. But this is specific to your taste for riffs, and not the quality of the riffs. If the riffs are good and to your taste, you'll give guitars 9/10 or whatever, if they are technical and we'll written but you don't really feel yourself inclined to listen to it give it 7/10.
lord_ghengis wrote:
By this same set up, I could say that a band who I think is worthy of a 0% score has a production job worthy of a 2/10, and still say the whole product as a whole is utterly unbearable because the more negative aspects of the whole package are so overwhelming I can look past the minor elements.

Agreed, that's why it's important to distinguish between the weight of different factors. Production can't weigh the same as song-writing, if you disagree we can get into a debate about it but in my mind a band with little resources but musical talent deserve more praise than a shitty band with lots of granddad's green bills filling their pockets. Which brings me to my next point that I completely disagree with:
lord_ghengis wrote:
Also, Natten's Madrigal would sound a millions times better with a clean production, it's just as melodic and as pretty as the debut, it's just acting tough by sounding like shit.

That album is perfect and as was intended. They had the resources to make production better, I mean listen to their other stuff, especially the non-metal material. It's not acting tough, it's creating an ambiance and an atmosphere that leaves a lingering flavour in your ears. A clean sound would dim that flavour out and make it bland.
lord_ghengis wrote:
I used to (prior to writing here) review in a more regimented scoring system which broke up these elements, because it gives a perception of increased accuracy, but it really doesn't, it distracts you from the big picture. I think I ended up giving a Good Charlotte album a 1.5 out of 10 because there were elements of sound which were not complete failures, however in the greater scale of things that sort of score is needlessly high. By all means mention all those elements, but whether something has a redeeming feature when isolated shouldn't need to stand for anything when presented in the context of the whole.

To you the big picture is getting your opinion across, to the reader it is whether or not they will enjoy this album. By first rating and then describing these elements carefully you tell the reader what you liked/disliked about the album and whether or not he/she would agree/disagree with you, instead of just telling them whether you like it or not.

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EpicSceptic
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:49 am 
 

John_Sunlight wrote:

Excuse me, what the fuck is this supposed to mean?

John_Sunlight wrote:
I will say this one last and final time and promise not to derail this thread even though it has the same problems I pointed out in the first one: everyone complaining about scores one way or the other is inordinately concerned with scores. Just let it go.

I think I'm about to quote Empyreal's favourite quote. I don't care about the scores as such, but rather think that they can be used as a tool to up the ante on the reviews frontier. A rating is also a review, only in numbers, otherwise, what is the point of them in the first place?

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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:51 am 
 

You seem to suffer from a similar pretension that many people do when they want to do nothing else but impose their own opinions and standards on other people and their reviews. Not everyone has the same standards of quality that you do, and not everyone rates things the same way or even thinks the same things are worth talking about. Your post about the Ulver album just proves my point - maybe to some people it really does sound like crap. Get over it.

Me, I can think of several albums that literally have nothing about them that is enjoyable, and any slight redeeming factor isn't worth giving points to. I have given several 0% scores and all of them were worthy - it proves a point about the album and adds to the statement the text of the review makes.

Furthermore, I agree with John Sunlight up there. You place too much reliance on scores. I have seen so many people come in here and claim that no album deserves a 0 or 100, and I cannot disagree more on that. They're just numbers meant to gauge one's appreciation of the album. The real focus should be on the review itself. There is no ulterior motive behind giving an album a 0 or 100.
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joncheetham88
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:54 am 
 

I remember an old thread like this which evolved into lengthy analogies debating the use of 0% and 100% scores and there was a HUGE argument haha!

Quote:
EpicSceptic: I'm not saying you give an album 50% because the production is good but the song-writing is stupifying. Some elements are bound to weigh more, and this will also be bound to taste in a manner. For instance guitarists will hold the quality of the riffs in higher regard than the vocals.


Well no dude that would be silly. I mean your 50% example thing. What I meant was, as you say, there's always (usually always) something to pull out of there so you can give the band the benefit of the doubt, but there are going to be cases of a small amount of quality staining a huge white expanse of vapidity which will in the hands of a reviewer worth his stripes produce something in the range of 1-19% or something. It's never so simplistic as good this, bad that, otherwise I'd probably have an album out. And I'm talentless.

Edit: Sorry, buggered the formatting on the quotes.

Another edit: Also, though I do think about how I score albums, I wholeheartedly agree with Empyreal that the content should be the focus, and also he's one of the reviewers whose 100% and 0% reviews I'll happily read without noticing the number. So, there it is really.
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EpicSceptic
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:09 am 
 

Empyreal wrote:
Why not?

I shouldn't even dignify this with an answer. But seeing as you at least elaborated on that later here goes...I'm thinking of an ideal situation where reviews can do more than just state the reviewers opinion, so that it contributes more to the community. I suffer from no pretensions nor do I wish to impose my opinions on anyone else. I thought of doing this for the sake of less knowledgeable persons who wish to know from a review whether they would like the album or not, instead of you running your mouth about why it's a shit album in your opinion. I completely understand the differences people have in taste, but the way you are going on about it is basically saying that no-one can relate their tastes in any way what so ever. It's really sad that such aversion is present all over this place, and the only thing it and you are proving is that this isn't a metal community but rather a place where people contend about who likes the better bands.

So...draw the curtains on this one...Doesn't seem that the point ever really came across.
If a reviewer is good and thorough, this isn't necessary, but most aren't, and this system would just help the overall quality of reviews.

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joncheetham88
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:17 am 
 

EpicSceptic wrote:
I thought of doing this for the sake of less knowledgeable persons who wish to know from a review whether they would like the album or not, instead of you running your mouth about why it's a shit album in your opinion.


Surely a rather small logical leap would take one to the conclusion that there must be a reason the reviewer in question felt so strongly, or perhaps not so strongly, one way or the other? Further mental acrobatics might even knit together a consensus from the spread of different reviews on the page.

Sarcasm aside, you won't find many reviews accepted here (these days) that don't contain decent descriptive passages, so it's moot, and an opinion-less review is a colourless one. In my opinion.
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EpicSceptic
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:26 am
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:25 am 
 

joncheetham88 wrote:
Surely a rather small logical leap would take one to the conclusion that there must be a reason the reviewer in question felt so strongly, or perhaps not so strongly, one way or the other? Further mental acrobatics might even knit together a consensus from the spread of different reviews on the page.

Sarcasm aside, you won't find many reviews accepted here (these days) that don't contain decent descriptive passages, so it's moot, and an opinion-less review is a colourless one. In my opinion.


Haha...couldn't help but laugh. I see there is a revamp going on on the site, maybe that will clear things up a bit, so that most of the clutter is eliminated. I guess it's time I just start reviewing some albums on MA and see how it pans out.

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lord_ghengis
Metal freak

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:31 pm
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Location: Australia
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:31 am 
 

EpicSceptic wrote:
If a band gets 0/5 or whatever for each, then yes, the album gets 0%. But can you think of a band worthy of being on MA that has brought out an album worthy of naughts all round?


Well, I can't think of any I've heard that are on MA that worthy of a total 0% without me doing it to really make a stand, but there are certainly albums which aren't here (666Satanic Army666 demos anyone?) which are more than worthy of a total failure in every way. So even by your standards a 0% score is perfectly possible, but even then my main point of the whole post (Rather than the couple of sentences you directly addressed in this manner) was that there is no reason why your 'sum of all parts' system should have any more validity than a 'I've listened to this and I hate/love/think indifferently towards it' system. In fact, you also seem to be suggesting at a couple of points that technicality deserves points on it's own merits (so this isn't just a matter of bedroom BM being worthy of 0's here) which is fine as your opinion holds it as a virtue, but at the same time it could be of no importance to another reviewer, and as long as the reviewer makes this viewpoint clear (in either direction) there is no grounds to create a universal rule.

EpicSceptic wrote:
I don't know how many times I need to say this but it's not aimed at insulting or demeaning the individual, rather an attempt to give the community a standard system by which to rate albums.


The thread is titled Bad reviews/bad reviewers thread. Bad reviews already have a thread called the Oven Fodder where they are delt with discreetly. As my previous paragraph pointed out, a standard system makes no sense, as every reviewers priorities are different. I am not trying to stop you from claiming the complexity behind Meshuggahs music makes it worthwhile, but you seem to be against allowing other reviewers from saying that they hate the sound despite any complexity that goes into it.

EpicSceptic wrote:
This doesn't even make sense... I think it's fairly obvious some riffs will be better than others on the same album. If you give an album close to a hundred it will be because you truly enjoy every second of every song on the album, not because every riff is just as good as every other riff. If there are however some crappy riffs you won't give it a hundred, because you don't enjoy those riffs. But this is specific to your taste for riffs, and not the quality of the riffs. If the riffs are good and to your taste, you'll give guitars 9/10 or whatever, if they are technical and we'll written but you don't really feel yourself inclined to listen to it give it 7/10.


I wasn't getting at 'every riff is as good as every other riff' I was more or less saying 'If there is a best riff on the album, therefore there are lesser riffs, therefore it is imperfect'. This is the same logic as your guitars worth 9/10 and the production worth 7/10 just on a much more focussed level. What you are saying is 'if the guitars are a 10/10, and the vocals are a 10/10, but the drumming is an 8/10, therefore the album cannot be perfect', where a freer set up allows the review to judge whether objectively imperfect drumming actually holds back the final product at all.

EpicSceptic wrote:
Agreed, that's why it's important to distinguish between the weight of different factors. Production can't weigh the same as song-writing, if you disagree we can get into a debate about it but in my mind a band with little resources but musical talent deserve more praise than a shitty band with lots of granddad's green bills filling their pockets. Which brings me to my next point that I completely disagree with:


But once you start weighing your individual scores, the whole purpose of scoring each element in an indivual manner is completely useless, and it's back down to the same "I think this element is this important" situation which the non standard review system already runs off.

EpicSceptic wrote:
That album is perfect and as was intended. They had the resources to make production better, I mean listen to their other stuff, especially the non-metal material. It's not acting tough, it's creating an ambiance and an atmosphere that leaves a lingering flavour in your ears. A clean sound would dim that flavour out and make it bland.


Opinions. Admittedly, mine was just an opinion too (And was more or less tacked on as a tongue in check after thought), but we both explained our points and why we believe them, neither would form any less valid of a review.

EpicSceptic wrote:
To you the big picture is getting your opinion across, to the reader it is whether or not they will enjoy this album. By first rating and then describing these elements carefully you tell the reader what you liked/disliked about the album and whether or not he/she would agree/disagree with you, instead of just telling them whether you like it or not.


My point was mainly focussed around the scoring aspect there, my reivew was still descriptive in what the album presents, and how those elements work (Well it wasn't because I was young and talentless-er, besides the point), my point was more or less that these rigid scoring systems don't work in context to a full review. Besides, a review IS you saying what your opinion of an album is, and describing it enough detail for readers to determine whether they are likely to agree with you.
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joncheetham88
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:44 am 
 

EpicSceptic wrote:
I guess it's time I just start reviewing some albums on MA and see how it pans out.


That would be an idea. These sort of threads can earn you enough scorn as an established reviewer, let alone a 1 pointer.
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failsafeman
Digital Dictator

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:33 pm 
 

The confusion with the scoring system I think stems from people's misconceptions of what art is and how it works. The point of art, at its core, is to evoke a certain sort of emotional response in its audience. All analysis of art is working backward from that result. You don't listen to an album and then analyze it to find out how you feel about it; you listen to it, feel something about it, and analyze it to find out why you feel that way. This means that scoring individual parts of an album (like guitars, production, vocals, etc.) and using that to determine its overall score is like scoring individual parts of a shotgun (action, barrel, gauge, etc.) to find out how well you killed that guy you already shot.

The point is that all the different parts of a band work together in very complicated and often unexpected ways; simply because one riff (or other part) on its own isn't that great doesn't mean that the entire album might not feel "100%" to someone, and just because one riff (or other part) on its own isn't that bad doesn't mean that the entire album might not feel "0%" to someone.

In short, who the fuck are you to tell anyone that they can't feel an album deserves a 0% or a 100%? All reviews are going to be based on opinion, because they aren't just sheer analysis; ideally they would be educated and informed opinions, but they're still going to be opinions based on subjective feelings, and there's no getting around that.
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Five_Nails
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:34 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:32 pm 
 

As annoying as it is to hear about how the aesthetics of death metal are shit from a newcomer who can't fall into the technique of it, it's really agitating to hear reviewers talk so much about the number given to a review when the part that the reviewer works most on, the meat of the review, is being disregarded. I've given 0's and 100's to albums before. Sure, some may not have deserved such a low score and others may not have deserved such a high score, but its the qualification given to that numerical aesthetic with the technical writing in the review that matters most to me. I've concentrated harder on reviews where I've given lower scores than higher scores, but isn't that the opposite of what I've gleaned from the effort put forth by the band?

It's not the number that should determine the quality of a person's work, it's the effort of the writer, the syntax, the style, and the description that are better determinants of a writer's ability.

*Post Edited for Failsafe's sake*
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Last edited by Five_Nails on Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:21 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:44 pm 
 

Five_Nails wrote:
So, after that useless intermission, let the berating resume.

Don't do that. You made a valid point about scores being a relatively unimportant part of a review, but saying that while cowering inside a pillow fort makes it hard to take you seriously.
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Five_Nails
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:13 pm 
 

This warrants a new post.

The only way this thread can be a genuine forum dedicated to actually helping writers rather than a flame board/troll hit list is to offer constructive criticism to the critics on this site rather than to list the names and reviews of bad writers on MA. Since we already have the "Review Feedback Workshop" where one can put out a review and have it edited, this topic is unnecessary.
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ForNaught
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 5:37 pm
Posts: 1193
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:36 pm 
 

EpicSceptic wrote:
I suffer from no pretensions nor do I wish to impose my opinions on anyone else.


I'll gently point out that you've spent literally every post in this thread trying to do just that!

In any case, your argument in response to my post (in summary, "I said nothing about reviewers! You don't get it! Here's what I meant: ...") conveniently pretends that you didn't say this:

Quote:
Secondly, don't attack a reviewer for the bands/albums he likes and/or doesn't. The criticism is on the review, and a reviewer's decency should only be called into question once a trend is apparent in his/her reviews. (emphasis mine)


Furthermore you then went on to pretend that your only goal is to construct a sort of review template with no real emphasis on individual reviewers at all. This is intellectual dishonesty. If you want to retract this and distance yourself from it then that's fine, but don't pretend I "don't get it" if I choose to comment on a point that you have explicitly made in your opening post.

To actually address what you were saying, I think it's fine to use such a template yourself but to try to impose it on anyone else (or "recommend" it to new reviewers, which isn't necessarily much different for the more impressionable) would be to stifle the integral variety and creativity that the reviews archive presents. Sure, there's some absolute tripe still out there but we're still working on weeding that out. At the end of the day, albums tend to end up with a rich selection of reviewing styles, presenting the reader with some choice if they don't want to read all of them, and I suspect that such a template would make things rather boring. By all means, use it yourself-- it's not so bad-- but don't try to get people to apply across the board!

By the way, Nattens Madrigal would be great if the production wasn't so retarded-- I think a raw but clear type like Transilvanian Hunger would have worked way better. And turn down the mids, jeeze. Never assume that anything you consider self-evident is obvious to anyone else-- this community is almost ridiculously diverse. ;)
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yentass
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:54 am 
 

EpicSceptic, I REALLY implore you to punch in "Slagathjoor" in the forum search, read through "the overuse of 0 and 100" thread and watch how it ended.

Nattens Madrigal would sound myriad times better with better production.
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marktheviktor
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 5:07 am 
 

I'm not a big fan of Master of Puppets but I still refuse to read UltraBoris' review of that album based on his score(0%-"The album that killed heavy metal"). That's just ridiculous. I admit I don't bother to read too many 100's or 0's unless they are done by a marquee reviewer but I make an exception in that case. I just don't have time for that kind of unreason and grandstanding. Same with Kruel's review of Dopethrone. I didn't like that album either but it's certainly no zero.

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ForNaught
Metalhead

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:44 am 
 

I like your Dopethrone review, actually, Mark-- I'm a pretty big fan of the album myself but your criticisms are fair!
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RapeTheDead
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:48 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 2:08 am 
 

marktheviktor wrote:
I'm not a big fan of Master of Puppets but I still refuse to read UltraBoris' review of that album based on his score(0%-"The album that killed heavy metal"). That's just ridiculous. I admit I don't bother to read too many 100's or 0's unless they are done by a marquee reviewer but I make an exception in that case. I just don't have time for that kind of unreason and grandstanding. Same with Kruel's review of Dopethrone. I didn't like that album either but it's certainly no zero.


It's rather humorous that you think this way, because in literally the first paragraph he says this:
UltraBoris, in his MoP review wrote:
Now, on a strictly musical level, I would give this album a 62 or so. It's not bad. It really isn't.

He even agrees with you and says that "it takes some DAMN GOOD reasoning to provide such a low score", and he provides said damn good reasoning.

It's not considered a classic review around these parts for nothing, you know.

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MacMoney
Man of the Cloth

Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2002 10:17 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 4:55 am 
 

RapeTheDead wrote:
He even agrees with you and says that "it takes some DAMN GOOD reasoning to provide such a low score", and he provides said damn good reasoning.

It's not considered a classic review around these parts for nothing, you know.


It's considered a classic? By whom?

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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 5:06 am 
 

People who joined after it was posted.
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hells_unicorn
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:38 pm 
 

RapeTheDead wrote:
marktheviktor wrote:
I'm not a big fan of Master of Puppets but I still refuse to read UltraBoris' review of that album based on his score(0%-"The album that killed heavy metal"). That's just ridiculous. I admit I don't bother to read too many 100's or 0's unless they are done by a marquee reviewer but I make an exception in that case. I just don't have time for that kind of unreason and grandstanding. Same with Kruel's review of Dopethrone. I didn't like that album either but it's certainly no zero.


It's rather humorous that you think this way, because in literally the first paragraph he says this:
UltraBoris, in his MoP review wrote:
Now, on a strictly musical level, I would give this album a 62 or so. It's not bad. It really isn't.

He even agrees with you and says that "it takes some DAMN GOOD reasoning to provide such a low score", and he provides said damn good reasoning.

It's not considered a classic review around these parts for nothing, you know.


His review did have a strong level of influence on mine, and I actually elected to score it based on its musical merits rather than my own ideological problems with the direction that it paved the way for. Songs like the title track, "Battery", "Disposable Heroes" and "Damage Inc." are actually quite good (mius overdoing it on the introductory material in a few instances), and I disagree with Boris on "Orion". However, giving an album with crap like "Sanitarium" and "The Thing That Should Not Be" on it a high score is equally as bewildering as someone giving it an out and out 0 score.
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DevilsWhorehouse
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 8:14 am
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:02 am 
 

marktheviktor wrote:
I'm not a big fan of Master of Puppets but I still refuse to read UltraBoris' review of that album based on his score(0%-"The album that killed heavy metal"). That's just ridiculous. I admit I don't bother to read too many 100's or 0's unless they are done by a marquee reviewer but I make an exception in that case. I just don't have time for that kind of unreason and grandstanding. Same with Kruel's review of Dopethrone. I didn't like that album either but it's certainly no zero.


Reminds of me fundamentalist Christians who picket movies like The Last Temptation of Christ, before admitting they haven't actually seen it.
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:36 am 
 

ForNaught wrote:
I like your Dopethrone review, actually, Mark-- I'm a pretty big fan of the album myself but your criticisms are fair!


Eh, I dunno. I think the criticisms are "fair" but sort of poorly explained. I totally understand not liking the vocals, but they're not really Ozzy-ish whining at all. If anything, I think the distortion effect used on the vocals would be the most obvious sticking point (along with the more intense screaming on on the album, which is some of the harshest in the EW discography). Also, I think the review miscategorizes the slower, more repetitive parts by calling them drone. Slow, repetitive psychedelic stoner riffs aren't really that similar to drone doom. I understand not liking that riffing style, yeah, but it could stand to be described a little better.
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Oblarg
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:21 pm 
 

You know, ANationalAcrobat is one of my favorite reviewers around here, but his recent review of Pharaoh's Be Gone, well, sucks.

And the thing is, I somewhat agree that people are gushing over that album when it's really not as good as it's made out to be (though I'd probably give it an 80 or so, not a 55). But there's really not enough valid criticism in that review to warrant the score he gave it. He even takes the beginning of the review to praise the album. He repeatedly cites the album's popularity, but come on, that's not a reason to dislike it, or something that should even count against it. In fact, most of the criticism essentially boils down to "The parts are there, but it's missing something," without ever really pinning down what that "something" is. The only real solid criticism is that of the production, which is warranted (and even mentioned in earlier, more reasonable reviews).

Then again, there's the chance that I'm reading it more critically than what was really intended, as he's already shown that he can give an album that he admits is fairly good a crap score (see: No Exit), but this time he doesn't have the comparison to two preceding masterpieces to excuse it.
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