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Illuminati322
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:55 pm
Posts: 297
Location: Grand Chute, WI, USA
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 2:15 pm 
 

Am I the only one here who is sick of the intensive hyperbole in reviews of extreme metal albums? For instance, the overuse of adjectives such as "horrific" "nightmarish" "frightening" etc. to describe vocals and guitar riffs? Black and death metal are artistically rewarding and entertaining genres, but they never literally embody any of these adjectives. Additionally, such terms actually marr the review, in that they are broad and abstract terms that do nothing to describe the actual sound and structure of the material.

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Napero
GedankenPanzer

Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2005 4:16 pm
Posts: 8437
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:31 am 
 

Illuminati322, while none of your threads are truly crappy or anything like that, you're creating them at an alarmingly high rate. This discussion, for example, could have well been a part of the reviews discussion thread, and sort of borderlines a worthy thread. You may keep posting here, of course, but using a bit of the old-fashioned restraint in creating new threads would be cool. This is not directed to you as an individual, but I'd say that, statistically and historically, a profilic thread-starter is likely to overdo stuff, and turn into persona non grata and eventually get banned.

As I wrote above, the quality of your threads is sufficient so far, but chilling down a bit would not be a bad idea... we both know you can't keep the quality up for a year if you keep making 10 threads a day, don't we?
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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 4677
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:43 am 
 

I agree, Illuminati322. A dispassionate tone can facilitate the expression of deep feelings in a more informative way as well as get in basic information that tends to be lost in the angry rant style of review. Even just pretending to have some level of professionalism improves the signal to noise ratio. Some of the hyperbole is probably subconsciously (or trying to be funny) mirroring the outlandish theatricality of metal itself, but it is unnecessary and detracts from, rather than adds to, total understanding and elucidation.

I blame angry video reviewers for this warped perspective people have on how to form and present criticism.
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WaywardSon
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:48 am
Posts: 903
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:14 pm 
 

Hyperbole does tend undermine whatever point one is trying to make. Case in point: this guy. It looks like a bad game definitely, but screaming, yelling and making inane comparisons just make him look like a pathetic man-child who has had no social interaction with anyone other than their mom rather than a source of information/entertainment. Nothing wrong with showing enthuasim, but when it feels as forced and needless as that, it just becomes an annoyance and any actual point that may have been made becomes white noise. Feigning extreme anger (and even joy) is one of those annoying trends that hopefully dies out soon.
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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:36 pm 
 

Histrionics is in. Later, stoicism will be in.
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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: Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:10 pm 
 

I don't see anything wrong with hyperbole in theory - it just matters how one does it. I like exaggerating some things, it's just human. And sometimes, depending on the level of wit that goes into it, it can be funny. But I do agree that generally it's best in small doses, and overdoing it and using it in like every sentence can get old and just come off as immature. It's better to strive for a middle ground I guess.

I don't see what's wrong with using adjectives like nightmareish or horrifying though. That's just part of describing certain sounds. Of course it's not usually literally nightmareish or horrifying, but I think that goes without saying.
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Akerfeldt_Fanboi
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 12:07 am
Posts: 45
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:01 pm 
 

I think this is correct as ANUS proves every time I have the misfortune of stumbling into a review of any of their death metal stuff. It's just hilarious, luckily there aren't many of those super pretentious ramblers on here.

I mean, I tend to do it fairly frequently because I know that a lot of the people who like the music here aren't musicians and discussing the exact theory behind specific feelings is a lot harder to get across to a crowd. It's simply easier to just describe a particularly atonal passage or bizarre chord progression as some atmosphere that strikes the same idea. I have a generally poor review repertoire, and I'm attempting to clean up those little things - there's a reason I took my last writing class my senior year of high school - but ideas like a nightmare evoke specific feelings and if you feel a record has a particular atmosphere, I see no reason to avoid it.

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SortaShooter
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 7:11 am
Posts: 19
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:33 am 
 

Empyreal wrote:
I don't see what's wrong with using adjectives like nightmareish or horrifying though. That's just part of describing certain sounds. Of course it's not usually literally nightmareish or horrifying, but I think that goes without saying.


I understand where you're coming from, but isn't that often a symptom of lazy writing? The English language has a lot of words, there have to be more apt descriptions than those hyperbolic cliches. If we reserved the use of words like horrifying for those occasions when they're actually merited, there'd be much less rolling of eyes around metal reviews.
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DodensGrav
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 6:45 pm
Posts: 223
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:17 am 
 

Horrifying is one thing, but nightmarish is another. I imagine there is some disagreement about what qualifies as hyperbole. There are plenty of bands with "nightmarish" atmospheres at times, although I can't think of any that are horrifying. But this is just splitting hairs about specific examples of hyperbole and not the practice itself.

I agree that hyperbole is frequently overused when it comes to describing heavy metal music, and that it often comes across as unintelligent and self-indulgent.
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MalignantThrone
Vanished in the Cosmic Futility

Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 1:24 am
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Location: A step closer to home
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:39 am 
 

Eh. I usually read reviews for entertainment, not to know what the album sounds like or to gain some new magical perspective on an album's formula, so if reviewers want to talk about stapling their nutsacks to their noses instead of listening to the album or whatever when reviewing albums they hate, then go ahead, give me a laugh. I do think that hyperbole on the opposite end of the spectrum (e.g. "THIS ALBUM IS MINDBLOWINGLY GENIUS AND IS BETTER THAN SEX") tends to come across as more immature and vacuous, and therefore more likely to be undesirable, but overall as long as it makes me chuckle I have little to complain about. "Srs bsns" musical discussions are what online forums are for. ;)
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BastardHead
Magic Mike

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
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Location: Oswego, Illinois
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:45 am 
 

MalignantThrone wrote:
so if reviewers want to talk about stapling their nutsacks to their noses instead of listening to the album or whatever when reviewing albums they hate, then go ahead, give me a laugh.


This is a nod/reference so obscure I'm probably the only idiot who got it, but I'm so flattered.

But on topic, I'm really in no place to suggest subtlety is the best course of action when it comes to humor, but in all honesty it really is. I was basically a Boris clone when I started reviewing but people liked my stuff so I just kept rolling with it until I settled into the style I have now (which is still good with humor, just not constant in-your-face ridiculousness). Find the middle ground, I also like it best when reviews can manage to be entertaining along with being informative.
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Grave_Wyrm
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 2043
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:36 am 
 

John_Sunlight wrote:
Histrionics is in. Later, stoicism will be in.

Words like drips in snow-banked pool .

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
Posts: 18775
Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:46 am 
 

SortaShooter wrote:
Empyreal wrote:
I don't see what's wrong with using adjectives like nightmareish or horrifying though. That's just part of describing certain sounds. Of course it's not usually literally nightmareish or horrifying, but I think that goes without saying.


I understand where you're coming from, but isn't that often a symptom of lazy writing? The English language has a lot of words, there have to be more apt descriptions than those hyperbolic cliches. If we reserved the use of words like horrifying for those occasions when they're actually merited, there'd be much less rolling of eyes around metal reviews.


Using those words is pretty lazy, true, and I wouldn't use them very often myself. But at the same time I don't think they're necessarily dealbreakers. They're more like beginner-terms. A good writer will elaborate on the music more without just those words - and use them only when truly applicable.
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SortaShooter
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 7:11 am
Posts: 19
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:48 pm 
 

Yeah, I agree. It's not like I close my browser and hurl my laptop down the stairs when I see them.
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inhumanist
Metal freak

Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:09 pm
Posts: 4222
Location: 50 Forts Along The Rhine
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 4:09 pm 
 

I think the main problem is that such words are conclusions that have to be drawn from something. I.m.o. it is perfectly okay to use words like nightmarish in an appropriate context; but the context can only be appropriate if the reviewer explains why something has something in common with nightmares, meaning they have to examine how the devices of musical expression are able to create such an effect. Hyperbole, like anything that is more than just observation, is a thesis that has to be proven somewhere. To me this is much more important than stylistic considerations. Regarding those, hyperbole is a stylistic means that needs to have a purpose, like everything else in the text.
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Caj1
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:33 am
Posts: 25
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:22 am 
 

Everybody's got an opinion, and some people just don't have the vocabulary or the writing skill it takes to say more than a few adjectives. Plus, you know there are fanboys out there for every genre/band.
I think it just comes with the territory. These are amateurs, for the most part. Hell, a lot of professional reviewers use excessive hyperbole. "THIS IS THE BEST RECORD EVER."
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Gutterscream
The Last Old Schooler in Town

Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 3:59 pm
Posts: 1419
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:43 pm 
 

It's to the point where descriptors like 'nightmarish' and 'horrific' in metal (especially the more aggressive genres) are as common and useless as 'good' and 'great'. Now if you are describing a Dream Theater solo or something as nightmarish or horrific (as either a positive or negative), then it would probably make me sit up and notice a bit more.
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Poisonfume
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:26 pm
Posts: 1119
Location: Greece
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:37 pm 
 

I think 'nightmarish' and 'horrific', in a metal review, are a tad cliche to be hyperbole. They're barely intensive any more, though I do agree with Gutterscream to a certain extent. That being said, hyperbole are fine in my book if tastefully done (which is hard for me to explain, but they can really add depth to a review and make it interesting to read).

I am a shit reviewer myself and do it rarely, but I personally thought my hyperbole "raw as red meat and heavy as Cthulhu's six hundred and sixty-six ton ass" was captivating stuff :p
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orionmetalhead
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:54 am
Posts: 2453
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:45 am 
 

I try and restrain myself from using too much hyperbole unless of course the album itself deserves it in either a bad or good way. So while my Carnivorous Vagina review was full of hyperbole, at the same time an album like that should be reviewed with a sense of exaggeration because the album is itself that. Bland and boring albums don't really call for such elaboration... just an explanation of where the album is boring and bland. I sometimes exaggerate how boring something is but that's part of getting the message across in my opinion.
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