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Sick6Six
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:01 pm
Posts: 931
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 5:23 pm 
 

I noticed that review of Individual Thought Patterns and was a bit surprised so I read some of it. I think it's a good (not the greatest) album, but I can understand why someone wouldn't like it. I'm also pretty sure nobody reading that review is going to suddenly decide they hate that album either.

On a similar note I'm going to mention that I just read that new 60% review of the new Horna album. Personally I would probably give it somewhere around an 80, but what struck me as funny in that review is where it says something like "Behexen's Nightside Emanations really upped the ante in the Finnish black metal scene." Almost made me laugh since I was rather disappointed by that album and miss their old stuff, especially From the Devil's Chalice. I pretty much agree with Ilwhyan's review of the new Behexen album, It has some great parts, but too many chanty, weird, not black metal parts. Just goes to show you how much personal opinion can factor into reviews.
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TheLiberation
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:56 pm
Posts: 615
Location: Poland
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 5:31 pm 
 

Zodijackyl wrote:
Thanks! I think that's one of my best reviews, mostly because I have gotten nothing but positive feedback about it, despite much of that coming from people who liked the album. Interesting, considering that I completely trashed an album with a ~90% average and 9/10 reviews 87% or higher, but it was well received as a 0% review. I guess this broken clock was right that day :lol:

It's definitely better than most 0% reviews I've read (though I'm used to 0% reviews being worth exactly that rating), though personally for me it's a little classic problem of talking about Meshuggah with way too much technicality - which is indeed important in their case but then I enjoyed their music when I knew literally zero about music theory.

But at least you talked about the music, which is the main advantage over most 0% reviews.
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Tengan
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 6:09 am
Posts: 67
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 5:41 pm 
 

Sick6Six wrote:
I noticed that review of Individual Thought Patterns and was a bit surprised so I read some of it. I think it's a good (not the greatest) album, but I can understand why someone wouldn't like it. I'm also pretty sure nobody reading that review is going to suddenly decide they hate that album either.

On a similar note I'm going to mention that I just read that new 60% review of the new Horna album. Personally I would probably give it somewhere around an 80, but what struck me as funny in that review is where it says something like "Behexen's Nightside Emanations really upped the ante in the Finnish black metal scene." Almost made me laugh since I was rather disappointed by that album and miss their old stuff, especially From the Devil's Chalice. I pretty much agree with Ilwhyan's review of the new Behexen album, It has some great parts, but too many chanty, weird, not black metal parts. Just goes to show you how much personal opinion can factor into reviews.


Funny one of my reviews should be mentioned, feels good someone actually reads them :) What I meant by that part was that Nightside Emanations was a rather different take on the Finnish sound (at least to my experience) evolving from Behexen's earlier work which is also excellent by the way. Nightside Emanations however use small means to capture an incredibly dark mood which I think is a welcome step in an, of later years, rather stale scene. Horna's latest output follows the old path instead and didn't impress me. But I expect you will be more fond of it then since you didn't enjoy the new route of Behexen the same way I did.

Regarding the personal opinion part, isn't that what a review is all about really? An overall description intertwined with the reviewers personal opinion on the album?

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Metantoine
The XVI, dominar to over 258714 subjects

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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 8:41 pm 
 

Hey guys, who do you think is the most underrated reviewer on MA? My choice is Ilwhyan, his writing is exceptional and he's the best non-native reviewer on MA (Napero and Androdion being tied for 2nd place). He's not a pretty regular reviewer but he's the best example of quality > quantity.

His recent review for Flagellant made me check the album and while I disagree with his review for Vitsaus (I like them but not as much), it's perhaps the best review I ever approved. http://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/V ... 44/Ilwhyan
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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 10:31 pm 
 

Ilwhyan is one of the best in terms of detail and simply describing music perfectly - that Vitsaus review says more than I could think after a few listens to the album, his analysis and description are stellar. Not simply one of the most unmentioned, but one of the best reviewers on the site.

Twisted_Psychology is also a very good reviewer who is rarely mentioned, his reviews are very easy to read and they give a good, brief view of an album.

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iamntbatman
Chaos Breed

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 10:58 pm 
 

Two of my favorites are CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8 and BringMeMyScissors, though for very different reasons.

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8 isn't always the best writer in the world but he has very good taste in music and always manages to describe things in a way that makes them immediately familiar to me, which I think is a really exceptional quality for a reviewer to have. I think autothrall manages to do a good job of this in his better reviews, too, but he's less consistent about it than CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8 was.

BringMeMyScissors is, I think, a reincarnation of an earlier reviewer whose work I'm not exactly familiar with. This guy only reviewed a handful of Om releases and all of his reviews are sort of like demented, drug-addled, Hunter S. Thompson-ish takes on the BastardHead style of lengthy, comedic reviewing. Normally these kinds of reviews irk the shit out of me (just get to the fuckin' music already!) but this guy's writing is so compelling it's hard not to enjoy.
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MutantClannfear
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 12:12 am
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 11:03 pm 
 

While he's only ever submitted 21 reviews to the site, I've always really, really liked Immune_to_Poison's work. His tastes align with mine pretty much perfectly, and his writing is simultaneously vibrant, descriptive, and yet comfortably down-to-earth and conversational. His work relies pretty heavily on metaphors, but he's astonishing with them, like this gem from his Enmity review:
Immune_to_Poison wrote:
The first slam of the album comes exactly five seconds into the song. Yeah, five seconds. An opener like this is analogous to breaking a fay virgin in by ramming it into her asshole with no warning... or lube.

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Grave_Wyrm
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
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Location: At the bottom of the lake
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 11:15 pm 
 

Zodijackyl wrote:
Ilwhyan is one of the best in terms of detail and simply describing music perfectly -

He's patient with his wording; exacting without being overwrought. Definitely an example of a non-native speaker showing English speakers how to use their own language. Napero's also very good with the language, and uses it in a somewhat blunter style, but neither reads as "formal" language, just fluent. I can't say I remember Ilwhyan making me laugh, which Napero does no matter how hard I try to fight against it, but Ilwhyan's attention to detail and removed point of view aren't exactly an environment cruel to humor, it's just not one of the major features of the landscape. Both have well rounded vocabularies that native speakers should learn from. It isn't often that either of them use a word off target (generally the case with attentive non-native speakers who have made an effort to learn words' correct definitions and not fall into colloquial or maliprop hell), and yet it never seems like either is struggling in the least. I really enjoy reading both of them .. (as well as failsafeman). I learn a lot from all those guys.
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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 11:36 pm 
 

Well said, Grave_Wyrm. Napero is one of my favorite reviewers, but he gets an immense amount of credit so I wouldn't call him underrated.

To continue the praise for Ilwhyan, he is so incredibly insightful and detailed, with his writing being an attraction of its own, but it so focused on the music that it doesn't distract from the music - trying to add humor to that style would detract from his dead-on focus on the music, and he knows it well. To use the word again, he is incredibly focused and specific that it amazes me.

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Sick6Six
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:01 pm
Posts: 931
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 11:57 pm 
 

Tengan wrote:

Funny one of my reviews should be mentioned, feels good someone actually reads them :) What I meant by that part was that Nightside Emanations was a rather different take on the Finnish sound (at least to my experience) evolving from Behexen's earlier work which is also excellent by the way. Nightside Emanations however use small means to capture an incredibly dark mood which I think is a welcome step in an, of later years, rather stale scene. Horna's latest output follows the old path instead and didn't impress me. But I expect you will be more fond of it then since you didn't enjoy the new route of Behexen the same way I did.

Regarding the personal opinion part, isn't that what a review is all about really? An overall description intertwined with the reviewers personal opinion on the album?

hehe, well I did like the new Behexen more after a few listens, but I still wish it sounded more like their early stuff. I like the new Horna, but after the first week of owning it I think I've only listened to it once. You can always expect that same ugly, dirty sound from Horna and they will probably never change much which is kind of a strength and maybe a weakness at the same time. So I kind of agree with you that it's nothing that impressive or new.

Zodijackyl wrote:
Ilwhyan is one of the best in terms of detail and simply describing music perfectly - that Vitsaus review says more than I could think after a few listens to the album, his analysis and description are stellar. Not simply one of the most unmentioned, but one of the best reviewers on the site.

Twisted_Psychology is also a very good reviewer who is rarely mentioned, his reviews are very easy to read and they give a good, brief view of an album.


Ilwhyan has excellent taste in black metal that seems to pretty much match my own. I've read a couple of his reviews of albums I already know and love and I could definitely never describe them so well. Trying to write about how music sounds is not easy... I still want to write more, but I feel like I'm repeating myself too much or don't know enough proper musical terminology or something.

Edit: Haha, the title of autothrall's review of the new Burzum album is hilarious :thumbsup:
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Ilwhyan
Metel fraek

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:41 pm
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Location: Finland
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 11:26 am 
 

Thanks guys, I'm pretty humbled by all this praise. I'm highly critical of my own writing, and when I read my submissions a while after submitting them, I often feel like taking them down entirely. Good to know that people find them enjoyable. :)

As far as using English goes, I find some things to be easier to express than in Finnish. Of course I'm aware that my English can be a little clumsy, but writing reviews is a good way to improve it, I think.
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BastardHead
Magic Mike

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
Posts: 5402
Location: Oswego, Illinois
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 11:54 am 
 

Ilwhyan wrote:
Of course I'm aware that my English can be a little clumsy, but writing reviews is a good way to improve it, I think.


This, entirely. The difference between Metantoine's early reviews and his newer ones is monumental, and he sits along with dystopia4 and RapeTheDead as a reviewer who I'd probably never read if I wasn't friends with them outside of MA since all three of them seem to exclusively review albums I've never heard or just couldn't give less of a shit about if I tried, but they're all fantastic writers who can keep their work compelling despite that. They're like Top Gear, where I don't give a shit about cars, but the hosts are so bloody entertaining that it's hard not to watch the show anyway.

iamntbatman wrote:
BringMeMyScissors is, I think, a reincarnation of an earlier reviewer whose work I'm not exactly familiar with. This guy only reviewed a handful of Om releases and all of his reviews are sort of like demented, drug-addled, Hunter S. Thompson-ish takes on the BastardHead style of lengthy, comedic reviewing. Normally these kinds of reviews irk the shit out of me (just get to the fuckin' music already!) but this guy's writing is so compelling it's hard not to enjoy.


Navy_Blue_Vicar? Man that guy was gone before my time (and his reviews deleted, if I remember correctly), but there were some passages quoted in the old Good, Bad, WTC? thread, and yeah, he was something else.
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iamntbatman
Chaos Breed

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
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Location: Innsmouth
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 12:12 pm 
 

Yes, that's the one! Also, I didn't mean to lump you in with that category despite using your reviews to define it, hah. Your reviews are sort of hit-or-miss with me, but a lot of reviewers try to use that style and just come across as obnoxious.

Ah, he still has some reviews up: http://www.metal-archives.com/users/the_navy_blue_vicar
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BastardHead
Magic Mike

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
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Location: Oswego, Illinois
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 12:26 pm 
 

I knew what you meant :p

But for real, this guy's reviews should be in a museum, I absolutely love everything about them. His entire Dopesmoker review is the greatest thing ever.

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Sick6Six
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:01 pm
Posts: 931
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 12:48 pm 
 

Ilwhyan wrote:
Thanks guys, I'm pretty humbled by all this praise. I'm highly critical of my own writing, and when I read my submissions a while after submitting them, I often feel like taking them down entirely. Good to know that people find them enjoyable. :)

As far as using English goes, I find some things to be easier to express than in Finnish. Of course I'm aware that my English can be a little clumsy, but writing reviews is a good way to improve it, I think.

Yeah, I deleted my Pagan Hellfire review when I read it a week or so later because I felt like it was a bit over embellishing, but now I wish I would have left it since it was probably my most creative and well thought out review. Also my Finnish is terrible :boo: but I'm learning some Thai from my wife :???:
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xThe__Wizard
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:59 pm
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 1:59 pm 
 

So is it looked down upon giving albums that you are asked to review overtly negative scores? I'm doing reviews for a website and so far nothing has offended me (musically that is) but I don't want to be a jerk and make a band seem bad or am I just too much of a nice guy? I can find the positives in most things and see why some people would like/dislike something but I don't want to give out too much to bands. What do you guys think?
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BastardHead
Magic Mike

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
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Location: Oswego, Illinois
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 2:11 pm 
 

Part of releasing music is dealing with criticism. Some people don't want to trash a band that specifically asked for a review, and I understand that, but it's something the band should be ready to deal with. Not everybody is going to like your stuff. If you're doing stuff for a website, you really shouldn't be too concerned, since that's a bit different than a band coming to you directly. I've given some terrible reviews when I wrote for Metal Crypt, it's just part of the business, really.
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zeingard
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 7:49 pm
Posts: 545
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 2:12 pm 
 

iamntbatman wrote:
Yes, that's the one! Also, I didn't mean to lump you in with that category despite using your reviews to define it, hah. Your reviews are sort of hit-or-miss with me, but a lot of reviewers try to use that style and just come across as obnoxious.

Ah, he still has some reviews up: http://www.metal-archives.com/users/the_navy_blue_vicar


His Khanate review is easily the most entertaining but well detailed pieces I've read on the site. He also had an 'Obscura' review that I liked but it was deleted some time ago.

BastardHead wrote:
Aw man, Zein usually has my back :(. For real though, I do get it, I pretty much harp on one or two aspects of why I can't stand the album so much, but those one or two aspects are such a roadblock for me that anything else that may be there is just utterly inaccessible to me. The part where I mentioned it took a month to get that far is 100% true, the review sat collecting dust at that sentence for slightly over a month before I was able to find a way to finish the second half of the review. I kind of make the same point over and over again and that's a totally valid criticism, maybe some time in the future I will be able to speechify everything else that makes the album so unbearable to me, but for the past eightish years, it's just been so impossible to listen to that I just can't explain further than what I already have.


Sorry to resurrect this point, but I can totally understand why you wouldn't like the album. I just think your approach was less than effective and you could have articulated your reasons better. If you do decide to take another shot I'd suggest perhaps listening to a random song from the album once a day or less, and just picking it apart to find the most egregious examples of what makes the album as a whole distasteful to you. Listening to any album or music you dislike in large doses is tiring and will dull your senses very quickly.

I think there is certainly an argument to be made about certain people being more receptive to this kind of music or just 'Obscura' itself in particular. Until BH's review I hadn't listened to it in ~5 years but after the opening track rolled through it and once I adjusted, the rest went down smoothly. Keep in mind that in the past year I've probably spent more time just listening to 'Fire of Love' and 'Juju' than I have on new metal releases so it's not like I spend my spare time listening to weird, dissonant music (although I'm certainly not adverse to it!).

On topic, I quite like autothrall's recent output (like the past year or two I guess?). I certainly didn't care for when he initially flooded the review queues but now I kind of use him as a means to double check what new metal albums are worth listening to. I guess he's like my buyer's guide. Otherwise I think NausikaDalazBlindaz is an outstanding reviewer that more people who are into weird doom/drone/other should keep tabs on. Evocative descriptions, good recommendations and solid writing.
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xThe__Wizard
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:59 pm
Posts: 845
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 2:24 pm 
 

BastardHead wrote:
Part of releasing music is dealing with criticism. Some people don't want to trash a band that specifically asked for a review, and I understand that, but it's something the band should be ready to deal with. Not everybody is going to like your stuff. If you're doing stuff for a website, you really shouldn't be too concerned, since that's a bit different than a band coming to you directly. I've given some terrible reviews when I wrote for Metal Crypt, it's just part of the business, really.


I understand I need to look at it as a professional perspective rather then a nice guy perspective. I appreciate your insight and I really dig your Blog BH.
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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 2:36 pm 
 

xThe__Wizard wrote:
So is it looked down upon giving albums that you are asked to review overtly negative scores? I'm doing reviews for a website and so far nothing has offended me (musically that is) but I don't want to be a jerk and make a band seem bad or am I just too much of a nice guy? I can find the positives in most things and see why some people would like/dislike something but I don't want to give out too much to bands. What do you guys think?


It's looked down upon by the people who give you albums to review, but if they give you shit, call it shit. Be honest, and try to mention both positives and negatives. You might not get more promos from them, but hey, if they're sending you shit and you call it shit, do you really want more of their stuff? Mention the positives, mention the negatives, and be sure to cover what was good/well done about an album first.

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androdion
Metal freak

Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:34 am
Posts: 5081
Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 3:17 pm 
 

Zodijackyl wrote:
xThe__Wizard wrote:
So is it looked down upon giving albums that you are asked to review overtly negative scores? I'm doing reviews for a website and so far nothing has offended me (musically that is) but I don't want to be a jerk and make a band seem bad or am I just too much of a nice guy? I can find the positives in most things and see why some people would like/dislike something but I don't want to give out too much to bands. What do you guys think?


It's looked down upon by the people who give you albums to review, but if they give you shit, call it shit. Be honest, and try to mention both positives and negatives. You might not get more promos from them, but hey, if they're sending you shit and you call it shit, do you really want more of their stuff? Mention the positives, mention the negatives, and be sure to cover what was good/well done about an album first.

Pretty much this. I did it for almost two years and it would sometimes be hard to give a score below 50-60% to bands, because I was being given the privilege of having access to unreleased music. And yet when you try to sugarcoat your review because of that it becomes instantly noticeable. Just be frontal about what's good and bad, and the field you're left in is your personal take on it. But if you point out both good and bad then anyone coming to the review can understand where it's good and bad. I'm probably repeating myself a bit, eh.
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xThe__Wizard
Metalhead

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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 3:22 pm 
 

I understand. That is what I typically do in a review because some things I review are things I don't really listen to much. So I like to look at things through a perspective that isn't just my own. Haven't gotten anything bad yet but I will eventually so I kind of want to think how I would do it.
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iamntbatman
Chaos Breed

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
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Location: Innsmouth
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 3:41 pm 
 

I think there is also a bit of a roadblock where there can be a mental divide between reviewing "professional" stuff by people you don't know, and scoring something that some guy you know from here on the forum (or a friend, or whatever) gave you. I think it's tempting to fall into the "this is pretty good for amateur stuff!" trap and maybe rate stuff higher than you would if it was done by complete strangers and released on a regular label or whatever. In retrospect, there's some stuff I've reviewed that was given to me directly by band members that I'd probably score a bit lower after being able to remove myself from the familiarity bias.
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dystopia4
Veteran

Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:47 pm
Posts: 3547
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 4:07 pm 
 

zeingard wrote:
On topic, I quite like autothrall's recent output (like the past year or two I guess?). I certainly didn't care for when he initially flooded the review queues but now I kind of use him as a means to double check what new metal albums are worth listening to. I guess he's like my buyer's guide. Otherwise I think NausikaDalazBlindaz is an outstanding reviewer that more people who are into weird doom/drone/other should keep tabs on. Evocative descriptions, good recommendations and solid writing.

When Autothrall really gets into it, he's great, although he does spread himself to thin. However, it's good to have a guy who's heard such a vast amount of metal and covers so many albums that otherwise would have been forever unreviewed. With regards to Nausika, I'm kind of on the fence. While we do have some overlap in what we enjoy, her tastes are often too weird for me. While she certainely is a capable writer, sometimes her writing comes off as a tad dry, clinical and overly-professional.

As for feeling bad about reviews I've been asked to write, yeah it happens. Looking back, I do think I have rated some things with a higher rating than I should have. For example the vocalist of Judas Ancestry asked me to review their split with Izund. Although Judas Ancestry are great, I think I was a lot easier on Izund as I should have been and looking back their song wasn't all that great. I did feel band when I was reviewing the debut demo from that one man Lebanese band who's name now escapes me. I did point out the potential and better aspects, but it was still a thoroughly negative review. Much to my surprise he PM'd me and thanked me for giving my honest criticism and then started a friendly conversation. I think for a musician this is the best way to respond to a negative review where the reviewer isn't intentionally being an asshole. I know people take pride (as they should) in the music they make, but you have to develop a thick skin, even if what you do is great, someone out there is going to loath it and some negative reviews are more or less inevitable once you start gaining exposure.
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xThe__Wizard
Metalhead

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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 4:16 pm 
 

iamntbatman wrote:
I think there is also a bit of a roadblock where there can be a mental divide between reviewing "professional" stuff by people you don't know, and scoring something that some guy you know from here on the forum (or a friend, or whatever) gave you. I think it's tempting to fall into the "this is pretty good for amateur stuff!" trap and maybe rate stuff higher than you would if it was done by complete strangers and released on a regular label or whatever. In retrospect, there's some stuff I've reviewed that was given to me directly by band members that I'd probably score a bit lower after being able to remove myself from the familiarity bias.


The issue I have when review on the website (brutalism.com) is that I can only do full stars. Now I enjoy the star rating system but some things are 3 and a half stars as opposed to 4 stars and it irks me that I can't do that which brings into question, do I rate something higher then I feel it should be or lower? it's tough to do and its something I will have to contact the owner about.
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Grave_Wyrm
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 2211
Location: At the bottom of the lake
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 4:27 pm 
 

Ilwhyan wrote:
I'm highly critical of my own writing, and when I read my submissions a while after submitting them, I often feel like taking them down entirely.

Holy shit don't do that.

Ilwhyan wrote:
As far as using English goes, I find some things to be easier to express than in Finnish.

If it's within the bounds of the thread, I'd like to hear more about this.

And Zodijackyl, thanks for reminding me that Napero gets lots of praise. Just to clarify, I don't feel he's underrated. Metantoine is forever using his name to flog autothrall's fan base. :) A "good company" comparison and a dual compliment that it's an educational pleasure reading both in languages that aren't their native tongues. Good shit.
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Apteronotus
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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:07 am
Posts: 856
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 4:40 pm 
 

I understand the sentiment that NausikaDalazBlindaz can be dry at times, but I think she is fairly underrated, especially for such a prolific reviewer. There have been quite a few times I'll be reading one of her reviews and think "you just read my mind!" For example, the description of the guitars on Nightbringer's Apocalypse Sun as "pointilist" was absurdly spot on for me. Even when I have a different opinion I always understand how the music is being evaluated, which isn't always the case with some of the more colorful writers out there.

Who is the most underrated? It is a hard question for me. I tend to read reviews to see what various people think about particular music, rather than looking to see what particular individuals have to say about various bands.
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Tengan
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 6:09 am
Posts: 67
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 4:58 pm 
 

xThe__Wizard wrote:
So is it looked down upon giving albums that you are asked to review overtly negative scores? I'm doing reviews for a website and so far nothing has offended me (musically that is) but I don't want to be a jerk and make a band seem bad or am I just too much of a nice guy? I can find the positives in most things and see why some people would like/dislike something but I don't want to give out too much to bands. What do you guys think?


I write for a site as well (www.metalcovenant.com) and have the luxuary of being able to choose what to review. Hence I end up with quite high scores (I consider 70%+ to be high) and am in a bit of the same situation as you. However, some albums I jus can't give high scores beacuse they're either boring and has been done about a thousand times already or simply crap. The key I think is to describe what is bad without using too strong a language or trying to collect cheap funny points on someone else behalf. If you show that respect and give an honest but fair opinion I don't think you will be in much trouble.

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SadisticGratification
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:00 pm
Posts: 406
Location: Ireland
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 6:42 pm 
 

I searched and all I could find was posts from five years ago with dead links to possible female reviewers so just covering my back ;) but do we have any prominent female reviewers on MA? I'd always be interested in hearing their perspective on metal seeing as it generally is a bit of a sausage fest :lol:

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BastardHead
Magic Mike

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
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Location: Oswego, Illinois
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 6:45 pm 
 

NausikaDalazBlindaz is probably the most prolific one I can think of, though we also have Immortally_Insane, who is pretty good but mainly sticks to power metal and she seems to love fucking everything ever released. Most reviewers don't seem to make their gender a thing though, I only know NDB because she's old school and well known here and I_I because we have mutual friends.
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SadisticGratification
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Location: Ireland
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 6:54 pm 
 

Cheers BH I'm just looking more out of curiousity really to see does the gender thing really make a difference to a reviewing style. I think women are hideously under represented especially when it comes to extreme metal so I'll have a look through the reviews :)

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Metantoine
The XVI, dominar to over 258714 subjects

Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:00 pm
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Location: Québec
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 6:59 pm 
 

I think Immortally_Insane is one of the safest by the book reviewers, she writes for websites and everything but her reviews are really really boring, the "professional" textbook reviewers are always a pain to read, you're not fucking writing a recipe!* I'd like Ortab to write some reviews, but she's always busy.

*says the guy who wrote one for his Stoned Jesus review!
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SadisticGratification
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:00 pm
Posts: 406
Location: Ireland
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 7:06 pm 
 

I wouldn't really have much interest in power metal so I think I'll stay away from Immortally_Insane but had a wee gander at Nausika and it's pretty good, I enjoyed her Heartwork review because I pretty much agree with it and it's expressed well, although the Necroticism review was very much a track by track account which was boring in the body of the review, the intro was really nicely phrased though and this girl has good writing chops, although if I were to read the reviews without a hint to the author's gender then I honestly would just assume it's a dude. Good stuff, I must start exploring more reviewers here besides autothrall.

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Sick6Six
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:01 pm
Posts: 931
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 7:34 pm 
 

SadisticGratification wrote:
Cheers BH I'm just looking more out of curiousity really to see does the gender thing really make a difference to a reviewing style. I think women are hideously under represented especially when it comes to extreme metal so I'll have a look through the reviews :)

On forums probably, but I'm always surprised at how many girls I see at metal shows and many of them are headbanging their brains out. Last time I saw Inquisition there was a group of hot chicks next to me and one of them (who I see at every fucking show) helped the opening band's singer light a bible on fire which he then held out in his hand over the crowd for the entire song until it was almost burnt to ashes. It was pretty awesome :bow: The opening band was called Nethervoid. Edit: From Iowa!
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MutantClannfear
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 12:12 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 11:07 pm 
 

Wow, the new Demilich review sucks. The guy makes a big deal about how the album isn't as weird as everyone says, then assumes that everyone's talking about the croaking guttural vocals and the guitar tone as opposed to, you know, the oddly rocking drum beats and the extremely contorted and angular riffing style. Talk about missing the point...

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dystopia4
Veteran

Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:47 pm
Posts: 3547
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 12:38 am 
 

Yeah, I don't mind that someone did a bad review for the album, but at least make some convincing points. The review was pretty lame, too short for what it was and didn't do a good job at describing the music. The line "This is only for tech-death die-hards, and even they may have some difficulty in liking this" made me roll my eyes, as it is pretty obviously false judging from the other reviews. If this is only for the most die hard tech death fans and even then a lot will have trouble liking it, then how come it gets almost entirely glowing reviews not only on MA but many other places? I understand you don't like it, but don't say that almost everyone will have a hard time enjoying it when the evidence points to the contrary.
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
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Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 9:18 am 
 

It's a valid enough opinion even if I disagree with it, but yeah, poor review, and the assumptions about why people like it and what not really make it even worse.
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TheStormIRide
Jesuscop

Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:45 pm
Posts: 989
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 11:02 am 
 

I hate trying to write a review and being constantly interrupted by phone calls. I guess work isn't the best place to try to write...
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androdion
Metal freak

Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:34 am
Posts: 5081
Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 11:11 am 
 

You should be... working?! :oh shit:

I was about to bring up that Demilich review too. It's really off, and I can't seem to shut down the thought that the guy knows little about DM. Citing his own profile: "Death is nice in third since it's a heavier and more aggressive take on Thrash with some elements such as the Blast Beat and more complex solos and breakdowns.". While nothing's particularly wrong with that description, for a seasoned DM fan it sounds like something a guy that has been listening to late eighties/early nineties bands for a couple of years would say.

I also couldn't help but notice that on his 55 album collection, 36 are in... well... MP3! :durr:

I agree with MutantClannfear, he completely missed the point of Nespithe.
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Sick6Six
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:01 pm
Posts: 931
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 11:32 am 
 

TheStormIRide wrote:
I hate trying to write a review and being constantly interrupted by phone calls. I guess work isn't the best place to try to write...

Haha I wrote most of my reviews at work too :oh shit:
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