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Tea_and_Crumpets
"Fail" is a sentence fragment.

Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:00 pm
Posts: 277
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:17 pm 
 

Ok, I'm not much of a reviewer, must have done in the region of about 20 reviews over 4 years or so, but anyway I was looking back over the reviews I've done and I found them all to be long and tedious without really getting down to what people really need to know about the album.

However, having a look around I haven't found many reviews which are very concise, most tend to be pretty long and some are practically essays. That's fine, but I just wondered if people object to short reviews - are they frowned upon? I think it takes quite a lot of time to be able to condense what a person needs to know about an album into a few paragraphs or even sentences.

Anyway, I've resolved to put out more reviews, but try to keep them as short and to the point as possible. Aka - what does the person who hasn't heard or bought this album need to know about it. First review I've submitted in this short style is for Dark Tranquillity's 'The Gallery'. You can read it below, let me know what you think.


"A thick guitar tone and sugar coated riffs instantly mark out the Gallery as a classic Gothenburg album. Quite different from Dark Tranquillity’s modern work, there are no keyboards to be found here; instead we are treated to old school metal melodies, rounded off with Stanne’s trademark raspy growls to complete a defining Gothenburg album.

Smatterings of acoustic guitars and female vocals go to mix things up, and songs such as the albums finale ‘Of Melancholy Burning’ show the band can do epic as well as beautiful. This album’s not out to crush you with its riffs, but they’ll certainly captivate you all the same.

There’s nothing here to please those who don’t like this style of music, but for those who do this proves to be a landmark album, largely due to its memorable tunes and melodic melodies. Songs like ‘Punish My Heaven’ and ‘Edenspring’ are still staples of the bands live set, proving this album has the staying power needed to really cement it.

Prepare to be whisked away on the back of dream like flowing riffs. This album is a must for any Gothenburg fans collection and it still holds up brilliantly in the 15 years from its first release."

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OzzyApu
Metal freak

Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:11 am
Posts: 9586
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:22 pm 
 

While this is more suited for the feedback thread, I will say that I don't mind short reviews as long as they're very specific. What you wrote is a little general and is something I'd see on Amazon.com - it helps us know what appears on the album, but not the exact way it sounds. There are tons of albums that fit that description, and the review is a little too short for my standards, but if you just add a little more specifics and at least give a mark to every instrument, then it's fine.
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Tea_and_Crumpets
"Fail" is a sentence fragment.

Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:00 pm
Posts: 277
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:47 pm 
 

OzzyApu wrote:
While this is more suited for the feedback thread, I will say that I don't mind short reviews as long as they're very specific. What you wrote is a little general and is something I'd see on Amazon.com - it helps us know what appears on the album, but not the exact way it sounds. There are tons of albums that fit that description, and the review is a little too short for my standards, but if you just add a little more specifics and at least give a mark to every instrument, then it's fine.


Not keen on scoring instruments. What sort of specifics would you suggest though? Its quite hard to get the balance between the in depth detail of an album and a general description.

How would you say an archives review should differ from an amazon review?

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Five_Nails
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:34 pm
Posts: 278
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:01 pm 
 

If I were reading MA reviews, I'd expect to read something better informed about technique, style, and genre-specific composition within the review that shows the reviewer to be more in tune to the underground and what these people are looking for in an album. On Amazon, where a review can be written by anyone, and on a website where underground merchandise can be bought along with more mainstream things, I'd expect to see more general reviews with a couple of hater reviews mixed in, not always from within the genre, but the usual "death metal sucks" or "it's just screaming" that you get here and there.

Since MA is supposed to be a heavy metal encyclopedia, I guess it's implied to me at least to be more concise, clear, sometimes verbose, informative, and accurate within my reviews. That's something I was hoping for when I found MA and was happy to realize from a few of the better and more active reviewers among a lot of short "this band is awesome, their counterpart sucks" reviewers that tend to get published on the site as well.
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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 4637
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:59 pm 
 

Five_Nails wrote:
Since MA is supposed to be a heavy metal encyclopedia, I guess it's implied to me at least to be more concise... verbose...


:-P

Tea_and_Crumpets, agreed with the others that your review there is a bit indistinct and doesn't do much in the way of differenciating the thing you are reviewing from just about anything else out there. Short, punchy reviews are fine, but go too short and you lose the punch. Expressing complex thoughts and ideas usually requires complex sentences, vocabulary, and a bit of wordsmithing, and those things necesarilly take up a few extra lines.

Now that's not to say your review has no value, it is concise and gives a quick overview of your general feelings towards the album in question, and if you were a trusted reviewer, the reader would be able to both infer a good deal more into your expressions and be able to trust that you know what you are talking about, however, for the normal reader who doesn't know you or your taste, it won't do very much in terms of giving them a working understanding of what effect the music actually had on you emotionally, how the music is constructed, or what it really sounds like. On a normal site that hosted reviews, it along with others would be fine for getting a quick, off the cuff idea of how well the listening populace is responding to that release, but I think we can all agree that MA is special and deserves a bit more. :)
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failsafeman
Digital Dictator

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:45 am
Posts: 9506
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:37 pm 
 

A couple of things. First, as others have said, the description could fit a lot of albums; an easy way to rectify this is to describe why The Gallery is a classic Gothenburg album, as opposed to another also-ran. It might be a good idea to describe how it's different from albums from other classic Gothenburg bands, like In Flames or whatever.

Second, you missed a number of apostrophes. Please proofread for those.

Third, and this is just convention, it's customary to use double quotes for "Song Titles" and italics for <i>Album Titles</i>. Helps set them off from the normal text. You would use HTML tags like above for italics in a review, rather than BBCode tags like in the forum.

Fourth, you've picked an album that already has nine reviews, which means you have a lot of competition. Short, punchy reviews can be good, but they necessarily have to pack in more content per word than longer ones (hence "punchy").

I have rejected your review but would be likely to accept it once you've made the changes that have been discussed.
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