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Xenokrist
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:03 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 8:46 pm 
 

I've recently decided to review the entire Opeth discography, however I feel as if they won't be the same as my other reviews, and I can't put my finger as to why that is.

But another thing I wonder is; have any of you done discography reviews, and whether you have or haven't, what's your take on them?

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OzzyApu
Metal freak

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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 8:57 pm 
 

I've done plenty of full-length ones and I believe a couple every-release ones that probably still need finishing: Running Wild, Behemoth (stopped a while back), WASP, Before the Dawn, etc. I've only finished a handful of them. It's the completionist in me that wants to be able to have everything reviewed - to know that I'm really done with it. Recently did a full-length spree for Amorphis.
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Xenokrist
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 9:17 pm 
 

OzzyApu wrote:
I've done plenty of full-length ones and I believe a couple every-release ones that probably still need finishing: Running Wild, Behemoth (stopped a while back), WASP, Before the Dawn, etc. I've only finished a handful of them. It's the completionist in me that wants to be able to have everything reviewed - to know that I'm really done with it. Recently did a full-length spree for Amorphis.


For me, it's not necessarily wanting to be "done with it", it's just something that I think would remind me of why I love that certain band so much. It gives you a sense of how they've evolved over the course of their careers and all that.
But when you did your full discography reviews, did you do them in chronological order, or randomly?

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MutantClannfear
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 12:12 am
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 9:38 pm 
 

I usually don't review huge bands with sprawling discographies, partially because I'm young and haven't gotten the opportunity to hear bands' entire discogs yet, and partially because the genres I mainly have interest in (brutal death metal and deathcore) haven't really been around long enough for the bands to have accumulated particularly large discographies. I have done it a couple times, though (most notably for Origin) and it is kind of fun not having to build your description from scratch for each review, you can just compare it to the previous releases as you go. Fun to write, but they seem like they usually end up compromising the overall quality for me because I don't want to describe a band's basic sound five times in a row.

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hells_unicorn
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 9:41 pm 
 

I've done a number of discography reviews, and have actually done them in every discernible order. Doing reviews chronologically has its advantages and disadvantages, but I've generally found this approach to work well for a band that had a shorter run on things, such as 2nd and 3rd tier thrash metal bands that stayed in the game for 2-4 full length albums, as I've found myself becoming automatically prejudiced in favor of early releases of a given band. I actually hit much of the Arch Enemy discography by doing a reverse chronological approach (newest to oldest) and found myself liking it slightly better for longstanding bands.

Then again, a lot of bands that I ended up covering from start to finish usually occurred in random or semi-random spurts, often reviewing 1 or 2 full lengths and then taking a break and coming back later. Sometimes this happened for no real reason and at others I was getting side-tracked by ongoing promos that I needed to review.

I would say that if you want to do the entire Opeth discography (it's pretty big), I'd start with my favorite album and go from there to your least favorite (since you love the band, you'll want to save the negative parts for later, in my opinion), while keeping the rest of the discography in mind for points of comparison and contrast.
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OzzyApu
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 9:54 pm 
 

Xenokrist wrote:
OzzyApu wrote:
I've done plenty of full-length ones and I believe a couple every-release ones that probably still need finishing: Running Wild, Behemoth (stopped a while back), WASP, Before the Dawn, etc. I've only finished a handful of them. It's the completionist in me that wants to be able to have everything reviewed - to know that I'm really done with it. Recently did a full-length spree for Amorphis.


For me, it's not necessarily wanting to be "done with it", it's just something that I think would remind me of why I love that certain band so much. It gives you a sense of how they've evolved over the course of their careers and all that.
But when you did your full discography reviews, did you do them in chronological order, or randomly?

IWell I don't look at it as having to do it for the sake of "oh I have to do it". It is for having everything I want to say about the band in text and available online - all my thoughts about a band's music. That's what I meant by "done with it," so that there weren't any feelings about a release I haven't voiced.

I also usually do them in chronological order. Sometimes I do 1 album and then I think oh I could wrap up the rest. That's what I did with Insomnium. 1 in one year, 1 in another, and then the other 3 this year.
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Metantoine
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 10:15 pm 
 

I agree with what Mutant said, I wouldn't do it 'cause I don't want to repeat myself especially if there's no many differences between the albums (like reviewing Amon Amarth's entire discography lol). You wouldn't have this problem with Opeth but the band already has a lot of reviews (11th most reviewed band on MA) and I would personally prefer if it was a band without many reviews (as a moderator, a reader and for diversity's sake)

I checked your review for Orchid and you definitely should improve some of your arguments. This part is :scratch:
Quote:
Some say that this is black metal influenced, and that may be true, but I highly doubt that, as Opeth is a swedish death metal band, and their kind of music was despised greatly by the norwegian black metal scene.
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Xenokrist
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 11:06 pm 
 

hells_unicorn wrote:
I would say that if you want to do the entire Opeth discography (it's pretty big), I'd start with my favorite album and go from there to your least favorite (since you love the band, you'll want to save the negative parts for later, in my opinion), while keeping the rest of the discography in mind for points of comparison and contrast.

I'll definitely keep that in mind. And I'm only doing the studio discography, which even in itself is quite vast.
I don't think that I should review them in chronological order, because to me, it would feel like "Before I get to Blackwater Park, I have to do Still Life" and I might make the reviews seem rushed and uninteresting.

Metantoine, I definitely plan on re-reviewing Orchid and My Arms, Your Hearse. They were both terrible reviews, but that was back when I first started writing them, and I think I've honed my skills just enough to make my reviews somewhat interesting (not gratifying myself too much to the point of self-indulgence).

MutantClannfear wrote:
Fun to write, but they seem like they usually end up compromising the overall quality for me because I don't want to describe a band's basic sound five times in a row.

That's another thing I'm afraid of, another thing that might make the reviews seem repetitive and boring. I get what you're saying, no one wants to repeat that ad nauseum.

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caspian
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 11:52 pm 
 

Tbh I generally find them highly annoying, unless it's a reviewer that I love (none of whom do them, as far as I can tell). There is an element of hypocrisy here of course, as I've done Nadja (more of a "when I'm bored" project really), Isis and probably a few other bands. Summoning? It's not something I do deliberately though. If I really love an album I find myself writing about it, so that can apply to a whole band's discog if they're a favourite, I guess.
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Wilytank
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 12:15 am 
 

The only times I've done this are for Skepticism (5 releases) and The Ruins of Beverast (3 releases), so pretty small discogs. However, I have written quite a number of them for Blut aus Nord who have much more material, though I don't really press myself to finish the discography (I have 5 of the albums still unaccounted for).

One of the things that does make me comfortable about reviewing a string albums chronologically by the same band is being able to analyze one album in comparison to the last one. It really gave me a good point of reference on my Beverast reviews.
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Napero
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 7:29 am 
 

I basically did this on Moonsorrow, a band that I like, and find an interesting in the sense of progression from Suden uni to Kuolleiden maa. There is a continuity and a theme in the development, and that was what led me to give it a go. I think I should re-read my own works on them, the albums have been on pretty much constant rotation since.

If you find writing on specific albums a chore or boring, though, I would not even consider going through a discography. There's zero sense in doing that for any band, if any part of the quest seems like something you don't enjoy. The Lords know we have had our share of uninteresting, fellating, lukewarm, hollow, uninspired, just-for-the-sake-of-loving-the-band reviews on many discographies, and we don't need any more of those. Mostly this goes for Opeth, Metallica, Dream Theater, certain power metal bands, and to a lesser degree, Iron Maiden & Al. We have the odd youngster popping up every two months or so, deciding to go through the whole Iron Maiden catalogue, willing to illuminate our minds with his opinions and deep analysis, regardless of the fact that his opinions are usually the result of seven spins of the album and two days of googling for the sake of conforming to the majority. Just don't do it.
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Zodijackyl
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 10:21 am 
 

Reviews of entire discographies tend to stand poorly on their own, reference surrounding albums while expecting the reader to know all of them, and vaguely describe the album in literal terms, instead feeling like a chore, trying to say enough about each album while repeating much.

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BastardHead
Magic Mike

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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 11:33 am 
 

I've planned on doing full discographies before, almost always crashing and burning (Running Wild and Nevermore being the most obvious examples for me), but I have completed them for Mastodon (intentionally as a series) and Ensiferum (just kind of by chance). Ensiferum never got dull for me because there's like a five year gap between my first and last review for them, but the Mastodon series was pretty much a chore by the time the last review rolled around. It may also be because that one was chronological, whereas for Ensiferum it wasn't. If you plan on doing such a thing, I recommend doing a band with multiple stages or levels of feeling for you, because ten positive or negative reviews would be tiring to write, there are albums I love and hate from all four bands I've mentioned, so there's more to write about. I'd also suggest probably not going in chronological order, since that seems to amplify fatigue.
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Tengan
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 3:09 pm 
 

Writing reviews for entire discographies in the format of MA gives quite poor results. Good discography reviews are those written as a coherent text which requires one explanation of the band's general sound and then mainly bringing up differences from album to album. The good ones are almost like a story on the bands musical journey with the reviewers personal opinions intertwined. Hacking up such texta for dividing them into each album's section makes it quite difficult to read and the flow gets lost.

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oneyoudontknow
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 3:56 pm 
 

Before such a thing can even be considered, more format opens should be enabled for the reviews.
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Metantoine
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 4:09 pm 
 

oneyoudontknow wrote:
Before such a thing can even be considered, more format opens should be enabled for the reviews.

Such as? I'm not favorable to the addition of different kind of reviews. I don't want the site to become RYM, Amazon or Metal Storm with their 2 sentences reviews. That's not MA for me.
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BastardHead
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 4:25 pm 
 

I think he means more like the whole "reviewing a full discography as one coherent career" thing. Like a band review as opposed to an album review.
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oneyoudontknow
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 4:35 pm 
 

My bad. I had a typo in my post. I wanted to write options instead of opens. If you write on something as complex as a full disography you need more elements to structure your text.
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Metantoine
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 4:37 pm 
 

Not sure it would be a good idea, there's not a lot of writers who could do that on MA in my opinion (OYDK is one of them) and it would be a pain to moderate. OYDK, do you care about listing those options (I understood what you meant) so we don't have to speculate?
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Napero
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 7:53 pm 
 

That is an interesting idea, but it would have to have very high standards, and should only be done on bands that have a considerable discography under their belt. I'm not for it as a feature here, but someone writing that stuff on a blog would be an interesting thing to read, which is a rarity on the blogging scene.
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oneyoudontknow
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 4:05 am 
 

Metantoine wrote:
Not sure it would be a good idea, there's not a lot of writers who could do that on MA in my opinion (OYDK is one of them) and it would be a pain to moderate. OYDK, do you care about listing those options (I understood what you meant) so we don't have to speculate?

Well ... Html is a good reference in this regard. Personally, I feel that longer texts need a certain kind of structure and emphasis on certain parts. This can be done by a slight variation of the size of the letters (+1 or +2); one for the normal text and one for certain heading; like for a paragraph, a new album ... numerous examples can be brought up without much difficulty. I am against using colours -- b/w should be fine. I am also against using additional images in the texts.
Maybe it is possble to indent certain passages of the text. Footnotes would be a nice thing to have, as well as a small field for literature that had been used for this review. Wikipedia has some nice elements that could be used for such a thing, when it comes to structure such a monster. Maybe even some kind of index on top of it with jumpmarks to the passages.

And a separate entry on the front site. Such an effort should be rewarded with some additonal attention; the bloody narcissists that we are.

Napero wrote:
That is an interesting idea, but it would have to have very high standards, and should only be done on bands that have a considerable discography under their belt.
I agree with that.
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caspian
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 6:58 am 
 

Being able to add indents, bullet points etc would be a pretty awesome feature imo. Even the +1 or +2 text size thing would be awesome for headings in a longer review. I reckon you'd have to mod a bit harder as some asshats would just do a whole review in +2, but yeah, little font size additions and indents would be pretty cool. It'd be a real neat and intuitive way of making longer reviews significantly more readable IMO.

OYDK, do you want to put this in the S&C where it might get a mention?


*I should add that I'm suggesting this just for extra additions to normal reviews. Not too keen on band reviews really; that's definitely what blogs are for. They'd be unwieldy and MA is enough of a circle jerk as is.
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oneyoudontknow
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 4:01 pm 
 

I hit Morrigan and HB with a message.

Maybe a rank system for the reviews can be implemented. Those who happen to be reach the level of an established writer, are allowed to use advanced text editing options.
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Metantoine
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 4:03 pm 
 

That's a good idea. Morri and HB are currently at MDF, they'll be back tomorrow if I remember currently.
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SadisticGratification
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 4:21 pm 
 

How would the rank system work? would it allow for guests to rate a review or only registered users? it's certainly a neat idea but I definitely think that downvoting should not be allowed, not that I think we shouldn't be able to downvote a bad review but I imagine a lot of butthurt kids going onto the doscography of their favourite band and downvoting any review with a bad score(say under 80%) regardless of review content. Maybe there could be some moddable way you can upvote reviews so as to discourage rank whoring. Maybe upvoting and giving a small two to three line paragraph explaining why you want to upvote the review. Just speculating so abuse of the system can be avoided.

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oneyoudontknow
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 4:40 pm 
 

I think you did not understand what I had written. This is a rank system:
http://www.metal-archives.com/user/list
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SadisticGratification
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 5:01 pm 
 

Oh I see now, so are you proposing to have another rank system alongside the current one or use the current one to establish whether someone has the right to use the added formatting options?

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caspian
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 7:26 pm 
 

The easiest way would be to give the "scribes" the extra formatting options. If you're trusted enough to accept your own album reviews, you should be trusted with some extra formatting options. Easy done.
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TheStormIRide
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 10:02 pm 
 

caspian wrote:
The easiest way would be to give the "scribes" the extra formatting options. If you're trusted enough to accept your own album reviews, you should be trusted with some extra formatting options. Easy done.


Seconding that idea. The points system alone has a lot of higher level users that have never written reviews before. The scribes, on the other hand, have been trusted enough to self moderate. So I would imagine it wouldn't be abused... otherwise you could lose your scribe privileges.
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oneyoudontknow
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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 7:20 am 
 

SadisticGratification wrote:
Oh I see now, so are you proposing to have another rank system alongside the current one or use the current one to establish whether someone has the right to use the added formatting options?

No ... I am proposing that what Caspian referred to.
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dystopia4
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 1:21 pm 
 

caspian wrote:
The easiest way would be to give the "scribes" the extra formatting options. If you're trusted enough to accept your own album reviews, you should be trusted with some extra formatting options. Easy done.

I think that's a great idea.

I think discog reviews can be cool. I have to be honest, it's kind of lame when a newbie comes in and reviews every album of a band like Iron Maiden, Opeth or whatever. For famous bands with big discographies, I'd much rather see an accomplished reviewer doing it, instead of some unknown guy giving us a whatever review with the same opinions we've heard countless times before. I have to say that Noktorn reviewing most of Napalm Death's discography is really cool and helpful.

As for me I'm currently in the slow process of reviewing the discographies for Crowbar and Bolt Thrower. I've only done the two albums before they found their sound so far, but I'm planning on reviewing all of Neurosis's albums.
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Against Such Things
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:49 am 
 

Question: How would this review system accomodate for active bands? For example, let's say someone did a discography review for Megadeth. Does anything change when Super Collider comes out? Do you have to edit it each time, wait for the band to no longer be active, just leave it incomplete..?
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oneyoudontknow
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:08 pm 
 

I am working on a review for Sabazius' monster one track live album with a bibliography and indents. Maybe I can post it on this site at some point as well.
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HellBlazer
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 4:09 pm 
 

In regards to formatting options, it's already possible to do some stuff with HTML/CSS, though admittedly it's not particularly user-friendly. The <ul> and <li> tags are allowed for bullet lists, for instance, so something like this will show up as a list:

<ul>
<li>Bullet point 1</li>
<li>Bullet point 2</li>
<li>Bullet point 3</li>
</ul>

CSS can be used with the <span> tag for various other effects. Say, bigger font: <span style="font-size: 1.5em">This text is 50% bigger</span> (the em size is multiplied by the normal font size, so 0.5em is 50% smaller, 1.5em is 50% bigger, etc.). Or indentation: <span style="padding-left: 50px">This text is indented 50 pixels</span>.

That said, this is definitely not an ideal method, and the syntax can be very error prone (use the preview feature if you're trying formatting this way). It could be a good idea to implement a more fully-featured text editor for entering reviews, perhaps only available to people with a certain number of accepted reviews to avoid newbies making a mess of things. I'll consider it. Do you guys think it would be really useful?

As for band reviews, I'm not too keen on the idea. As previously stated by some, only a few reviewers on the site would really have the abilities to make something like that work (and those people probably have other avenues for their writing), so I kinda doubt it's worth the effort. As "Against Such Things" points out, it also becomes a bit problematic for bands that continue releasing albums.

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caspian
Wanderer of the Wastes

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:29 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:20 am 
 

I'm honestly not sure how much I'd really use it, I gotta admit. It seems like a good idea when talking about it, but then I realise that I've mostly done cheap 'n' cheerful 4/5 paragraph ones for years now. I think someone like OYDK would find it super useful.

I also think there's an argument that giving people more powerful editing could encourage people to branch out a little. Maybe. This might be one of those points that should've just stayed in my head, heh.
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oneyoudontknow
Cum insantientibus furere necesse est.

Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 6:25 pm
Posts: 5344
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:24 am 
 

caspian wrote:
I think someone like OYDK would find it super useful.

Yes, I would. It is a nice thing to add some structure to your writing. It would (might?) also encourage people to add some additional elements and content to the reviews. Footnotes and such stuff, if such a thing can be implemented, could raise the quality level of writing even more. This is what we should go for. I do not know whether it would be difficult to implement such a thing, but this debate is somethign we should keep going.

On the issue of active bands and on writing on their discography: it seems best to separate between what had been released and what has only seen the light of day very recently. Maybe it is best to add some kind of rule that it is not allowed to write -- in case of a band discography review -- on albums that have only been spread in the last few (2-3) years. Let the dust settle a bit and then things can be discussed and brought into perspective. It is also quite easy to expand the reviews and elaborate the new stuff even further. The writings would be more like a work in progress than something that feels like it had been carved in stone -- this means that it seems appropriate to have edit times and version history of the pieces.

caspian wrote:
I also think there's an argument that giving people more powerful editing could encourage people to branch out a little. Maybe. This might be one of those points that should've just stayed in my head, heh.

Is this good or bad? I am a bit uncertain in this regard. As long as the pieces are overall conclusive, this should not be too much of a nuisance.

Edit:
Why people online don’t read to the end.
http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2013/06/how_people_read_online_why_you_won_t_finish_this_article.single.html

Spoiler: show
Image


Seems like people are not always interested in reading longer online articles.
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Twisted_Psychology
Veteran

Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 8:22 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:11 pm 
 

While I personally do more reviewing for new and recent album releases, I do like the discography reviews and had a lot of fun with the Queensryche Month I put together in June. You can sometimes get a narrative out of watching a band progress their sound and it can really put a band's best and worst moments into perspective. I'll certainly have to find another band to review that I already haven't torn into in the past.
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Xenokrist
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:03 am
Posts: 56
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:22 pm 
 

I might be doing the Mournful Congregation discography. I just wrote a review for their first full-length (which by the way I was quite surprised how there wasn't a review for it already). I completely forgot I was doing the Opeth discography.

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xexyzl
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:38 pm
Posts: 237
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:45 pm 
 

Whilst I would love to read some discography reviews of bands I have a keen interest in, I'd imagine if it were a substantial enough technical hurdle to implement and integrate a section for these kinds of reviews into the site it's not going to be done. Very niche demand for this kind of thing and would probably be more work than it is worth.

I don't see reviewing active bands as an issue, however. Reviews have datestamps for a reason and I don't think it'd cause much confusion for a reader to see a review for, say, Atheist's discography written in 2006 to not mention Jupiter. Hell, it happens with individual releases anyways; bands that were thought dead come back to release new albums all the time.

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Huldrelok
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 297
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:56 pm 
 

OzzyApu wrote:
I've done plenty of full-length ones and I believe a couple every-release ones that probably still need finishing: Running Wild, Behemoth (stopped a while back), WASP, Before the Dawn, etc. I've only finished a handful of them. It's the completionist in me that wants to be able to have everything reviewed - to know that I'm really done with it. Recently did a full-length spree for Amorphis.


I would love to do the same, and really go through every piece of music in my collection. Its a goal that is almost never attainable yet, helps out in so many ways for personal benefits. I am extremely new to writing reviews, have finally finished a few, but i never seem happy with myself. Have been writing a review for Sabbath Bloody Sabbath for two weeks now, and it is damn hard, really putting all your thoughts and emotions in a comprehensible manner for others is damn hard indeed... On the thought of full discographies, i like the idea, especially with bands that have wrapped up their careers. It would be almost like writing a full biography of the band.

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