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BastardHead
Magic Mike

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
Posts: 5403
Location: Oswego, Illinois
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:08 pm 
 

Not really but it shows more effort than one sentence saying why it's no good. Giving a detailed example of how it can be done and then contrasting it with what Wintersun did would be a great way to illustrate your point. I'm not saying you need to write a thesis but a ten sentence blurb that couldn't have taken more than a few minutes just is not acceptable anymore. And you, being a well established reviewer, should know better.
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OzzyApu
Metal freak

Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:11 am
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Location: Seattle, United States
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:56 pm 
 

Zodijackyl wrote:
OzzyApu wrote:
With over 20 reviews for that album anyway, Zodi does provide something different. However, that different isn't a unique style as much as it's a lack of the amount of content he's willing to write about. Again, like you said BH, it could literally describe any symphonic metal album that could be seen as negative. I could copy-paste that review and switch "Wintersun" with Rhapsody of Fire's From Chaos to Eternity (for instance) and it would fit.


What content is missing? It's 100% about the music without filler about things other than the music - comparable to a dozen other reviews if you removed every sentence about how long it took to make, the dude's computer, and what the general public+writer expected.

BastardHead wrote:
Also, look at that post. With that one post you added a ton of elaboration on your points you could have easily put in the review.

That's how I look at it. You're looking at it as a counter to all the huge reviews that are padded. BH and I are looking at it as elaborating on your points, instead of just putting them out there. That's the content that you're missing. BH's review is long as shit, but even in that humongous review he hits that type of writing.
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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:12 pm 
 

First, I want to state that the extensive discussion isn't anything personal over the rejection of that review, it's something for writers to discuss about writing methods and standards on quantity and quality. Everyone who regularly talks about reviews here has improved their writing over time, and we can see that some users who don't discuss their writing at all can prolifically shit out 600+ reviews of consistently pitiable, uninformative quality.

Why do you think it couldn't have taken more than a few minutes? Every part of it is very deliberate and written to avoid excess. I wrote that to offer readers a contrast between overdone verbal diarrhea that seems to be expected for high-profile albums - the idea that writing more increases the validity of one's writing. I think it is really unappealing to a reader to see a wall of text and be able to read the length of my review through someone else's review without hardly a word directed at the music itself. Much like music itself, a critic of critics can point out what isn't there, but the problem with many reviews is that what is there isn't substance and it dilutes the actual contents to be much less pointed.

A lot of established reviewers work in a very set style as androdion mentioned, writing very systematically and limiting themselves when it comes to forming writing to fit the piece being reviewed - if anything, working in the opposite of an effective manner from a persuasive or informative viewpoint. Lengthy reviews are more often about the writer than the reader - even in the case of Noktorn's review of Catasexual Urge Motivation where he had extensive, uncommon knowledge about the band and could break down the techniques and compositions - the words don't effectively convey meaning to the reader. Every review of 'Time I' is written to an excessive length, far beyond the depth of the actual content - inflating reviews based on the reputation of an album is an unsightly practice that makes it even less appealing to read opinions on something that nearly any reader. The quality of writing tends be low if the scale of the writing is expected to match the scale of the album's reputation.

If I was editing reviews for publication, especially in a high-cost print medium where space is valuable, I'd strike a significant portion of most reviews - there's a lot of wasted words that do very little to convey meaning. Digital reviews tend to be different, where space is unlimited so writers tend to have little regard for it, rarely having any respect for the reader. One can write a thousand words to feel that they did their opinion justice, or one can write a quarter of that to feel that they were fair to the reader in respect for the time that it took to read the review. I'm sure anyone who works the review queue understands that most writers using a digital format have almost no regard for the time of the reader and nearly no sense of editing, to make their writing more efficient and extract the essence of it. How many reviewers write extremely long reviews of their favorite albums that fail to capture the interest of readers?

Most of the extremely brief reviews seen on this site still follow a typical format - introduction/history, talk about the music, reflection, conclusion. Reflections are often an aimless extension of expectations, telling us about perception of preconceived notions on what the album is based on a band's reputation. How often do you read a review where what stands out is how much the writer talked about the music? Compare that to how often introduction, history, reputation, and reflection are written to excess. Have you ever been touched by a personal account of how important an album is to someone? That's entirely about the writer's ego and inability to write, with no respect for the reader.

What surprises me here is that brevity is noted without regard for quality. There are reviews that are a page or two long that have the same amount of actual description and commentary on the music, with twice that in clamor for an album or band's reputation, and these reviews are considered acceptable because they have enough actual content amidst all the crap. It's sort of like an album with two radio singles and a bunch of undeniable filler that follows the same format - if you're in love with it, you'll accept it and maybe even enjoy it, but if you're not invested in it, most of it is worthless.

Talking about it has made me realize that I could add a few more words to elaborate on the lack of dynamics and how that relates to the interlude/overload contrast, but other than one sentence or so about that, there's not a lot more that needs to be said. There's a lot that could be said, as I have done here, but as I just said, it is of little value to anyone who isn't already interested and involved in what is going on.

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androdion
Metal freak

Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:34 am
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:54 pm 
 

Zodijackyl wrote:
A lot of established reviewers work in a very set style as androdion mentioned, writing very systematically and limiting themselves when it comes to forming writing to fit the piece being reviewed - if anything, working in the opposite of an effective manner from a persuasive or informative viewpoint.

What do you mean to imply here Zodi? I'm sincerely not following, or maybe I am but I don't want to jump into conclusions. Do you mean to imply that reviewers who use a system for writing (i.e. a certain amount of paragraphs) limit themselves as to fit their opinions into a certain amount of text? Or am I reading this wrong? I'm not feeling attacked here, I just didn't get it. Everyone writes differently and with a formula or not, boundaries or not. But that doesn't mean that one packs more meaning than the other. If anything I think that sticking to a formula is a sign of finding a working method and doing the best with it. Respect towards the reader to me is brought by the best possible writing within the working method I feel comfortable with.

I agree with the sentiment that sometimes less is more, but wouldn't you say that sometimes less is less can also be true? If every negative opinion would be given such a small text frame wouldn't people just toss them out on principle, following the same one you mention about the size of the text mattering? Hey, I'm not saying that you should write a bigger review, I don't tell anyone what they should or shouldn't do and that's my way of being. But don't you think that what others are pointing out is that they wanted to read a better phrased negative opinion from you? Because I think that's mostly what they're saying.
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oneyoudontknow
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Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 6:25 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:15 pm 
 

Zodijackyl wrote:
If I was editing reviews for publication, especially in a high-cost print medium where space is valuable, I'd strike a significant portion of most reviews - there's a lot of wasted words that do very little to convey meaning.

I cannot recall how many magazines I have read in my life so far, but what struck me most is the general absence of quality in the writing and dealing with the issue at hand. Even in professional outlets, the overall description and analysis was barely scratching the surface, while at some point a few vague hints to some bands are thrown in; references, which came over like an excuse rather than providing something meaningful to the discussion.

Zodijackyl wrote:
Digital reviews tend to be different, where space is unlimited so writers tend to have little regard for it, rarely having any respect for the reader.

I like to refer to my Ulver reviews at this point. What you can do in the digital sphere is the ability to analyze things; to bring things into perspective and without a consideration for the length. Whether this is appropriate all the time can be debated of course, but at least there is the chance to do so. Maybe this is the intention of a lot of writers. Maybe this is what annoys you, because you have to go several of such works in a row and feel tired about the endless repetitions of arguments and facets.

Zodijackyl wrote:
How many reviewers write extremely long reviews of their favorite albums that fail to capture the interest of readers?

How many folks get feedback here? I tend to receive one when I bashed something ... at least a couple of years ago.
Some days ago I send a band a longer comment on their music: silence. The same can be said about a good portion of my magazine. There is a certain disregard for reviews and the "writing business". There are so many mags and sites out there that bands seem to be unable to motivate themselves to something simple as "thank you". Constructive feedback is an even rarer issue.
If there is hardly ever any kind of feedback, then how does one have a chance to improve?
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Morrigan
Crone of War

Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2002 7:27 am
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:30 pm 
 

If I understand Zodi's point correctly, in that it can be summarized by the fact that most reviews here are of the tl;dr variety (with little additional substance), I'm 100% with him. It's fine to force reviewers to have actual content, but when that content becomes padding or meandering rants disguised as "analysis", I'd rather have a few one-liners that summarize the album instead. That Wintersun review, while short, would be OK with me.

It's funny oneyoudontknow refers to his Ulver review as example. If it were just me, I'd nuke that shit from orbit. :P At least it's not as obnoxious and self-important as Noktorn's reviews, but still... :nono:


Oh and by the way:
MacMoney wrote:
I'm not sure if it still stands (I'm lazy and haven't checked, or maybe it's just my memory from the yesteryears) but I remember the rules once (years ago) saying that the review should be written like the reader has no frame of reference.

No, no, no and no. This has never been the case. WTF....
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BastardHead
Magic Mike

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:42 pm 
 

I think what MacMoney was saying is in reference to the fact that you can't just compare something vaguely to the band's past. If you just go on about how Reign in Blood is faster than Show No Mercy, you're being completely unhelpful.
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OzzyApu
Metal freak

Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:11 am
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:59 pm 
 

BastardHead wrote:
I think what MacMoney was saying is in reference to the fact that you can't just compare something vaguely to the band's past. If you just go on about how Reign in Blood is faster than Show No Mercy, you're being completely unhelpful.

Right. ConorFynes was caught with this with a couple Motorhead reviews because all he said was "It sounds like Motorhead so that's good, it's a good album" and bullshit like that.
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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:18 pm 
 

androdion wrote:
Zodijackyl wrote:
A lot of established reviewers work in a very set style as androdion mentioned, writing very systematically and limiting themselves when it comes to forming writing to fit the piece being reviewed - if anything, working in the opposite of an effective manner from a persuasive or informative viewpoint.

What do you mean to imply here Zodi? I'm sincerely not following, or maybe I am but I don't want to jump into conclusions. Do you mean to imply that reviewers who use a system for writing (i.e. a certain amount of paragraphs) limit themselves as to fit their opinions into a certain amount of text? Or am I reading this wrong? I'm not feeling attacked here, I just didn't get it. Everyone writes differently and with a formula or not, boundaries or not. But that doesn't mean that one packs more meaning than the other. If anything I think that sticking to a formula is a sign of finding a working method and doing the best with it. Respect towards the reader to me is brought by the best possible writing within the working method I feel comfortable with.

I agree with the sentiment that sometimes less is more, but wouldn't you say that sometimes less is less can also be true? If every negative opinion would be given such a small text frame wouldn't people just toss them out on principle, following the same one you mention about the size of the text mattering? Hey, I'm not saying that you should write a bigger review, I don't tell anyone what they should or shouldn't do and that's my way of being. But don't you think that what others are pointing out is that they wanted to read a better phrased negative opinion from you? Because I think that's mostly what they're saying.


Systematic reviewing can feel very impersonal and removed from the album and an opinion on it. It tends to be more conducive to overviews than reviews, habitually publishing a background and context for an album with some thoughts on it, good and bad, then summed up while feeling very businesslike - little or no feeling for the music coming through in the writing. I think you missed the point about quantity though - I was surprised that there is so much focus on quantity, because it has little correlation to quality in writing that is at least marginally competent - there are reviews with every combination of quality and quantity, and quality should be the primary focus.

A few examples of how I have written reviews in different formats to fit the music:

Extensive technical detailing and obnoxious flair.
http://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/M ... Zodijackyl

Brief and badass!
http://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/M ... Zodijackyl

Disorienting and unconventional while using many familiar forms.
http://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/O ... Zodijackyl

oneyoudontknow wrote:
Zodijackyl wrote:
If I was editing reviews for publication, especially in a high-cost print medium where space is valuable, I'd strike a significant portion of most reviews - there's a lot of wasted words that do very little to convey meaning.

I cannot recall how many magazines I have read in my life so far, but what struck me most is the general absence of quality in the writing and dealing with the issue at hand. Even in professional outlets, the overall description and analysis was barely scratching the surface, while at some point a few vague hints to some bands are thrown in; references, which came over like an excuse rather than providing something meaningful to the discussion.

Zodijackyl wrote:
Digital reviews tend to be different, where space is unlimited so writers tend to have little regard for it, rarely having any respect for the reader.

I like to refer to my Ulver reviews at this point. What you can do in the digital sphere is the ability to analyze things; to bring things into perspective and without a consideration for the length. Whether this is appropriate all the time can be debated of course, but at least there is the chance to do so. Maybe this is the intention of a lot of writers. Maybe this is what annoys you, because you have to go several of such works in a row and feel tired about the endless repetitions of arguments and facets.

Zodijackyl wrote:
How many reviewers write extremely long reviews of their favorite albums that fail to capture the interest of readers?

How many folks get feedback here? I tend to receive one when I bashed something ... at least a couple of years ago.
Some days ago I send a band a longer comment on their music: silence. The same can be said about a good portion of my magazine. There is a certain disregard for reviews and the "writing business". There are so many mags and sites out there that bands seem to be unable to motivate themselves to something simple as "thank you". Constructive feedback is an even rarer issue.
If there is hardly ever any kind of feedback, then how does one have a chance to improve?


First, I suppose the editing point was made poorly, as professional music reviewers tend to be extremely biased towards being inoffensive and promotional rather than critical.

Third, A fair number of reviewers get feedback - I suppose it's often needed to seek it out/look for it, but I have gotten a lot of valuable feedback by talking to people who also review here about my writing.

And second and last: While the digital sphere allows the ability to analyze without consideration for the length, it is a curse for poor writers and a gift to talented writers. Sometimes prolific writers go off the deep end and you just want to say "shut the hell up" (pun intended).

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MikeyC
Official Greeter of Broken Hills

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 5:16 am
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:22 pm 
 

dartz123's review of Anaal Nathrakh's Eschaton:
Quote:
I would recommend that any good drummer not try this, never mind mediocre drummers, this drumming will make you drum your arms into confuckulation!

Confuckulation?
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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:27 pm 
 

MikeyC wrote:
dartz123's review of Anaal Nathrakh's Eschaton:
Quote:
I would recommend that any good drummer not try this, never mind mediocre drummers, this drumming will make you drum your arms into confuckulation!

Confuckulation?


The title of the review is spelled wrong too.

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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:34 pm 
 

Big big kudos to zodi for his wintersun review. I read it and was blown away by how compact yet informationally dense it is as well as the perfect union of objective critique and subjective analysis. It is the kind of writing I would wish to produce. Straight from the Cheeses school of high-knowledge/low-histrionics metal review. I hope it got 8 points.
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BastardHead
Magic Mike

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:39 pm 
 

YOU WERE PAID OFF.
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androdion
Metal freak

Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:34 am
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:43 pm 
 

Zodijackyl wrote:
Systematic reviewing can feel very impersonal and removed from the album and an opinion on it. It tends to be more conducive to overviews than reviews, habitually publishing a background and context for an album with some thoughts on it, good and bad, then summed up while feeling very businesslike - little or no feeling for the music coming through in the writing. I think you missed the point about quantity though - I was surprised that there is so much focus on quantity, because it has little correlation to quality in writing that is at least marginally competent - there are reviews with every combination of quality and quantity, and quality should be the primary focus.

A few examples of how I have written reviews in different formats to fit the music:

Extensive technical detailing and obnoxious flair.
http://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/M ... Zodijackyl

Brief and badass!
http://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/M ... Zodijackyl

Disorienting and unconventional while using many familiar forms.
http://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/O ... Zodijackyl

Ok, so what you're trying to say is that each review should have a different length and mood according to the album or band being reviewed? Because if a reviewer always writes within the same style and text frame (number of paragraphs, lines, words...) the reviews becomes plastic and indifferent? I'm sorry for keep knocking on the door Zodi but please take into consideration a few things: 1, I'm no English native, despite having a good understanding of the language; 2, I'm heavily medicated and I have a fucking migraine that's killing me; and 3, I've been listening to Neurosis since 5PM (GMT) up until now, so my head is virtually mush by now.

Taking all of these factors into consideration allow me to pop a direct question then. Do you feel like my reviews are in some way bad because I write in a, let's call it pre-determined way? What I'm trying to understand if you're globally criticizing everyone who abides by such a formulaic procedure, which I believe you are, or if you're also trying to say something more in the process. And by something more, I mean saying directly that you dislike my way of doing things.
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Necroticism174
Kite String Popper

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:48 pm 
 

SHIT IS ABOUT TO GO DOWN.
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:51 pm 
 

Reviews in gimmicky styles can be fun, but not every single album really merits that...sometimes, sure, but unless you're really inspired it'll just come off as stupid.
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MikeyC
Official Greeter of Broken Hills

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 5:16 am
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:01 pm 
 

Zodijackyl wrote:
The title of the review is spelled wrong too.

I didn't notice that. I also just noticed this:
Quote:
Fifth, the lyrics on here really excited me more and almost gave me a metal-gasm to the extent that I'd cum some black form of ectoplasm.

I'm...I'm sure it did.
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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:35 pm 
 

androdion wrote:
Ok, so what you're trying to say is that each review should have a different length and mood according to the album or band being reviewed? Because if a reviewer always writes within the same style and text frame (number of paragraphs, lines, words...) the reviews becomes plastic and indifferent?


Have you ever read autothrall's reviews? Other than some retrospectives of his favorite albums like early stuff by Pestilence and Nuclear Assault, which are quite interesting, his reviews come off as completely indifferent and lifeless.

androdion wrote:
Taking all of these factors into consideration allow me to pop a direct question then. Do you feel like my reviews are in some way bad because I write in a, let's call it pre-determined way? What I'm trying to understand if you're globally criticizing everyone who abides by such a formulaic procedure, which I believe you are, or if you're also trying to say something more in the process. And by something more, I mean saying directly that you dislike my way of doing things.


I can pretty consistently skip the first 15-25 lines of your reviews and be better for it. Your conclusions are generally extremely lengthy to simply restate and sum up what you said in the middle section where you actually talk about the music. More than half of your review of The Haunted's "Unseen" is spent telling us who the band are, and really, the first half of your review of Dawn's "Slaughtersun" contains some interesting creative writing that sounds like obscure prose that would be badass lyrics but makes me wonder what the hell you're talking about in the review, while the conclusion of that review is awfully long to apologize for having an opinion. I looked at a review of a band that I hadn't heard of, and your Calm Hatchery review spends 20 lines to tell me basically nothing about the music.

Between those fluffy, misdirected intros and apologetic endings, your writing is very good and requires no apologies. You're on-point and manage to explain what the music sounds like fairly accurately, though it seems like your imagination is often directed towards confusing introductions like the Slaughtersun review, but much less present in the descriptions of the music. It's a shame that it's buried behind prefacing that oozes as much charisma as a Wikipedia article.

You see how I managed to take a lot of time to bury the good things after a bunch of discouragement and summed it up with a snarky remark? That's kind of how your reviews feel, but thicker in the middle.

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BastardHead
Magic Mike

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:42 pm 
 

Am I the only person sensing that Zodi's last however many posts have been thinly veiled "LOOK HOW BRILLIANT AND CLEVER I AM" posts? People have valid beef with the review you went out of your way to promote, stop acting like there isn't a single thing wrong with it.
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Derigin
Anthropophagus

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:55 pm 
 

Truthfully, Zodi, I wouldn't have accepted your review either. It's not so much about length, either, but about substance. Over the years, here, at least, it seems a review culture has developed among the users here, and among the mods here, where there is an expectation that reviewers are direct and forthcoming when it comes to elaborating, describing and explaining the specific musical nature of an album: a single album, not all albums and not the band as a whole. It's less about the band itself, it's less about the non-musical or irrelevant novelties or trivia of the album, and it's more about the music. I'm all for concise reviews, even if they may not be my own way of doing things, but the key to being concise is being able to define an entire album's musical nuances in as few comprehensive and explicit points as possible. The problem I mainly see with your review is that it doesn't do that. Instead, we're left with a review that makes such broad-reaching snippets on the musical nature of the album that it very well could just apply to about any album of the band, or any album of that particular genre of music, even. You have a tendency in your reviews to do that - to sum up an album's music by reaching out to some distant, over-arching meta principle about the band's music, or the genre, or the musical style you sense they play - but without any strong reason exemplifying why this album is the one that made you want to write that review. By trying to be concise while doing that, you make the whole world a forest... or your review, a summation of nothing.

I mean, to cut it short, I didn't learn anything about this album that I couldn't have already known simply by looking at the genre listed for the band, or any such similar label. What good is there in that? Why even bother reading the review? Granted, some people might just want that, and for the most part those people tend to look at reviews more as an elongated genre description than a critique or an evaluation of an album; but that is not what reviewing is all about. That is not what it means to be a critic, and it is rather disheartening when the art of being a critic is relegated to the simple duty of reiterating basic facts expected for a type of music. I sense enough that among the reviewers here, and among the listeners, and even among the bands, that is not what they generally seek out when it comes to metal reviews. Maybe it is wishful thinking to hope that we, as mods, try to support that creed when we manage and (in turn become) the reviewers of reviews, themselves.

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Metantoine
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:06 pm 
 

I fully agree with what Der Igin said, I was a bit lazy and didn't feel like writing a long comment knowing that's more his style!
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androdion
Metal freak

Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:34 am
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:35 pm 
 

Zodijackyl wrote:
androdion wrote:
Ok, so what you're trying to say is that each review should have a different length and mood according to the album or band being reviewed? Because if a reviewer always writes within the same style and text frame (number of paragraphs, lines, words...) the reviews becomes plastic and indifferent?


Have you ever read autothrall's reviews? Other than some retrospectives of his favorite albums like early stuff by Pestilence and Nuclear Assault, which are quite interesting, his reviews come off as completely indifferent and lifeless.

Yes, I have indeed. As I have read reviews from pretty much all of the most prolific reviewers on the website. Some I like the style and some I don't. Some I think have something interesting that I could adapt into my writing and others I see nothing worth owning. I've never been elusive about my writing influences, in fact I've stated (if memory serves in this same thread) that autothrall was my main influence when I started writing. Take that as you will. Of course that if you take some time and go read my reviews chronologically you'll notice a clear improvement in phrasing, music description and text structure. I used to make a metric shitfest of small paragraphs, now I try to condense them into more sizeable bulks of text that have a better flow. I've been evolving as a writer and I've been experimenting with things as to find the grounds where I feel more comfortable.

Zodijackyl wrote:
androdion wrote:
Taking all of these factors into consideration allow me to pop a direct question then. Do you feel like my reviews are in some way bad because I write in a, let's call it pre-determined way? What I'm trying to understand if you're globally criticizing everyone who abides by such a formulaic procedure, which I believe you are, or if you're also trying to say something more in the process. And by something more, I mean saying directly that you dislike my way of doing things.


I can pretty consistently skip the first 15-25 lines of your reviews and be better for it. Your conclusions are generally extremely lengthy to simply restate and sum up what you said in the middle section where you actually talk about the music. More than half of your review of The Haunted's "Unseen" is spent telling us who the band are, and really, the first half of your review of Dawn's "Slaughtersun" contains some interesting creative writing that sounds like obscure prose that would be badass lyrics but makes me wonder what the hell you're talking about in the review, while the conclusion of that review is awfully long to apologize for having an opinion. I looked at a review of a band that I hadn't heard of, and your Calm Hatchery review spends 20 lines to tell me basically nothing about the music.

Between those fluffy, misdirected intros and apologetic endings, your writing is very good and requires no apologies. You're on-point and manage to explain what the music sounds like fairly accurately, though it seems like your imagination is often directed towards confusing introductions like the Slaughtersun review, but much less present in the descriptions of the music. It's a shame that it's buried behind prefacing that oozes as much charisma as a Wikipedia article.

You see how I managed to take a lot of time to bury the good things after a bunch of discouragement and summed it up with a snarky remark? That's kind of how your reviews feel, but thicker in the middle.

To be perfectly honest that The Haunted review isn't very good. I wrote it at a time when I started working with the webzine I'm affiliated with, but I reckon that it's not very good at all. But again I say, one has to learn right? No one starts writing 8 pointers like that and I'm glad that I've left stuff like that Unseen review behind and that now I can write a decent review. You should know that I don't regulate the way I write based on what people think of my reviews though. I take the little feedback that I get into consideration and try to improve on places where I think that my writing falters, but I honestly can accept my limitations and work my best around them. I'm no poet but I do like a bit of "purple prose" in my writing, what's wrong with that? On one hand you say that a reviewer can't be a lifeless numb that spits out reviews because the clock is ticking, and on the other hand you complain that there's too much "emotion" in some of my writings. What is it then? One more thing, have you ever stopped to consider the fact that there are people who have no idea of what the Polish scene is? Or do you think that everyone who's into metal is as knowledgeable as some of us? Wouldn't it be correct to acknowledge the fact that a review can and should have a background for the uninformed or are we so full of ourselves that we expect our "audience" to know all the facts in retrospective, to the point where we only need to regurgitate musical description without any kind of creative writing placed amongst it? What is it that bothers you so much with substantiating musical description with creative writing?

I'm a really easy going guy, I think that's been clear over time considering my usual polite way of posting and even teasing with other users, so I have no intention of going into a shit flinging contest. I can be here all night rationally discussing whatever it is we're discussing. What picks my brain however is your need for everything to be according to your law. Can't we just accept that there are different people writing in different ways? And isn't there enough space on the Internet for all of us? Or should we just comply to some authoritarian statements that are meant to point the "right" path? Who ever stated that there's a "right" way of writing reviews?

I can say that when I started writing I wasn't very good, but over time I began to feel a bit more of responsibility and I've tried improving to the point where I felt I was doing things right. I can tell you that I only feel happy about some of the reviews I've written this year, all others feel a bit off and primitive to me now, worthy of improvement if you will. But that's normal since I had to learn to work within the limits of what I can or can't write, and I feel happy with the results so far. That doesn't mean that in the future I couldn't do some changes to my writing style, but like a musician who's writing music for himself and ends up with people who like his work and people who don't I too am writing for myself. If people like it or not is completely secondary in my book. It's good to hear praise for my writing, it's good indeed. But it doesn't kill me if I hear or read negative remarks. I don't resent you for saying the stuff you did about my reviews, I really don't. You're entitled to your opinion. But then again I'm also entitled to mine, and as such I can choose to ignore what you consider to be "wrong doings". I like writing a review as if it was a journey; a journey beginning at a scene, down to a band and album, through said album and the experiences it evokes and finally into a conclusion that wraps it as a whole. That's the way I like writing reviews, why would I change that? You may not want to read it but there are others who will, and even if no one would want to read it apart from the mod accepting it I'd still write it like that because it gives me pleasure doing so.

This testimonial is probably way more metaphysical than rational at this point in time considering the advancing hour. Probably doesn't even make much sense. Or maybe it does. All things considered I have to say that I respect all opinions and can take criticism for what it is, others' opinions. I can accept and understand them, but that doesn't mean I should comply to them. Maybe you can see my point here, or others'?!
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Necroticism174
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:45 pm 
 

A man gone mad with power, disappearing into self-love and belief. Convinced that his opinion is the only truth. Another, simply writing because he loves the music and doing it the best he can. These beings collide over a poorly written critique. Is this merely the Internet? Or perhaps it's the collision of thoughts ascending into The Twilight Zone.
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Zodijackyl
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:51 pm 
 

BastardHead wrote:
Am I the only person sensing that Zodi's last however many posts have been thinly veiled "LOOK HOW BRILLIANT AND CLEVER I AM" posts? People have valid beef with the review you went out of your way to promote, stop acting like there isn't a single thing wrong with it.


That review certainly isn't brilliant, but it has been part of a discussion that includes 23 other reviews, including yours, that extensively bow to the reputation of an album, positively or negatively, while making the "tell us about the music" part a secondary portion of the review. It seems like the status quo is to write ad nauseam about this album's massive reputation, with the only two exceptions being todesengel's review, which is reasonable, and SionsBrother's review, which has more space occupied by line breaks than descriptions of the music. A few others are alright, but the majority of these are buried beneath a bunch of whackery that doesn't "tell us about the music". Perhaps it's appropriate to have two dozen people tooting their own horns about a Wintersun album.

Is there a single thing wrong with it? Reviews aren't right or wrong. You are correct that I certainly could have said more, and you're the one who decided that the brevity was wrong per the site's standards. Sure, you have valid beef with it, do I have valid beef with the 23 other reviews including yours?

This has certainly been a much more in-depth and effective discussion of what makes good and bad, appealing and unappealing reviews, certainly much better than "holy shit ConorFynes sucks" or "did hells_unicorn mean to put this in his Iced Earth review or post it on a Ron Paul forum?"

Derigin wrote:
Truthfully, Zodi, I wouldn't have accepted your review either. It's not so much about length, either, but about substance. Over the years, here, at least, it seems a review culture has developed among the users here, and among the mods here, where there is an expectation that reviewers are direct and forthcoming when it comes to elaborating, describing and explaining the specific musical nature of an album: a single album, not all albums and not the band as a whole. It's less about the band itself, it's less about the non-musical or irrelevant novelties or trivia of the album, and it's more about the music. I'm all for concise reviews, even if they may not be my own way of doing things, but the key to being concise is being able to define an entire album's musical nuances in as few comprehensive and explicit points as possible. The problem I mainly see with your review is that it doesn't do that. Instead, we're left with a review that makes such broad-reaching snippets on the musical nature of the album that it very well could just apply to about any album of the band, or any album of that particular genre of music, even. You have a tendency in your reviews to do that - to sum up an album's music by reaching out to some distant, over-arching meta principle about the band's music, or the genre, or the musical style you sense they play - but without any strong reason exemplifying why this album is the one that made you want to write that review. By trying to be concise while doing that, you make the whole world a forest... or your review, a summation of nothing.

I mean, to cut it short, I didn't learn anything about this album that I couldn't have already known simply by looking at the genre listed for the band, or any such similar label. What good is there in that? Why even bother reading the review? Granted, some people might just want that, and for the most part those people tend to look at reviews more as an elongated genre description than a critique or an evaluation of an album; but that is not what reviewing is all about. That is not what it means to be a critic, and it is rather disheartening when the art of being a critic is relegated to the simple duty of reiterating basic facts expected for a type of music. I sense enough that among the reviewers here, and among the listeners, and even among the bands, that is not what they generally seek out when it comes to metal reviews. Maybe it is wishful thinking to hope that we, as mods, try to support that creed when we manage and (in term become) the reviewers of reviews, themselves.


I understand your points about the review culture, and I have generally been a part of the good writing practices you speak of. A lot of my reviews are written because there is something to be said that hasn't been said - probably half of my reviews are of bands who are otherwise unspoken of or rarely mentioned, and some metalcore albums like On Broken Wings who are quite notable, but spent a full decade on the archives before I wrote the first review of them, or As I Lay Dying's "Shadows Are Security", a popular album where every review on the site seemed to be fixated on the condition of the album being metalcore. In this case, I wrote a review that wasn't an eyesore and a headache to look at.

I don't understand the point about the review stating that it doesn't say anything that couldn't be inferred by the genre. Going strictly by genres on the archives (abbreviated), Wintersun are the only notable SMDM band, while the few SDM bands that are notable really don't have a similar sound - Fleshgod Apocalypse and Winds of Plague to name two. Symph black/death seems to be a very different style, with the black metal side giving the music a much more comprehensive atmospheric feeling, largely due to a different type of guitar riffing. OzzyApu mentioned a similar point about symphonic metal and named Rhapsody of Fire, but despite similarities, symphonic power metal is a completely different sound because all of this underlies a true lead vocalist, while the main attraction of Wintersun seems to be the production. That really seems to be the element that most people pick out for the band, the complete sound, not a single part of it, and there's not much that I could accurately compare it to.

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Zodijackyl
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:28 pm 
 

androdion wrote:
On one hand you say that a reviewer can't be a lifeless numb that spits out reviews because the clock is ticking, and on the other hand you complain that there's too much "emotion" in some of my writings. What is it then? One more thing, have you ever stopped to consider the fact that there are people who have no idea of what the Polish scene is? Or do you think that everyone who's into metal is as knowledgeable as some of us? Wouldn't it be correct to acknowledge the fact that a review can and should have a background for the uninformed or are we so full of ourselves that we expect our "audience" to know all the facts in retrospective, to the point where we only need to regurgitate musical description without any kind of creative writing placed amongst it? What is it that bothers you so much with substantiating musical description with creative writing?

I can be here all night rationally discussing whatever it is we're discussing. What picks my brain however is your need for everything to be according to your law. Can't we just accept that there are different people writing in different ways? And isn't there enough space on the Internet for all of us? Or should we just comply to some authoritarian statements that are meant to point the "right" path? Who ever stated that there's a "right" way of writing reviews?


Sorry that I wasn't more constructive with the first post, I've been a bit distracted while writing today and I have been up and away from my computer at least a few times during each post I have written. I don't mean to come off as authoritarian, and there's no authority being used on my part (other than my supreme knowledge of metal ;)) - I'm not a master of conveying tone in posting, I'm less hostile than ShaolinLambKiller and less lovable than Metantoine, but aren't we all? (I love both of you.)

About emotion in writing, I think you could directly your creativity towards describing the music - a bit less abstract, though that quality of writing is also what makes the lyrics of many non-native English speakers so colorful. Writing is a process of constantly refining and adjusting your style to what you are writing about, and I see that to some extent in your writing - it seems like you don't care that much for Unseen, you're perplexed by Illud, and you seem to be intrigued by Slaughtersun - while that does come out, as a reader I lose interest by the time I get to your best writing. I think you should fortify your strength in writing and get away from what I see as something between a crutch and a bad habit, the tl;dr introductions that I've been rambling about for as long as it takes a fast reader to get through them on all the Wintersun reviews.

I disagree with you about that last part about my law and the right and wrong ways of doing things. Nearly everything being discussed here isn't a matter of right or wrong, it is a matter of preference, practice, and perception. There are different ways of doing things, some preferences and some substantiated, most with some of each. I rarely preface my opinions and assessments, and I try to contain my writing without supplemental acknowledgements of the unsaid: for example I wouldn't write this:

"Slaughtersun has as many lovers as detractors and while the later will call this overlong and overblown I feel inclined to respectfully disagree with those arguments, although I can understand them. One thing that I do agree is..."

You're a good writer and your writing speaks for itself. The quality of your writing, especially the second half of that review before that sentence, conveys knowledge and confidence of opinion - you don't need to provide a rebuttal because the quality of your writing stands for itself. Don't write reviews to acknowledge a general consensus, write reviews to say what you have to say.

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androdion
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:09 am 
 

You're right on the Unseen and Illud accounts, not so sure why you think I'm intrigued by Slaughtersun though. Is it the excessive imagery on the preface? Possibly, eh. :p

I wrote the four Dawn reviews overnight from a late Sunday to a Monday afternoon, so they were all a bit of an emotional pouring, and I do find Dawn to be a band that shines more on times of melancholy. With that being said I can understand why someone, in this case you, would look at that review as too colourful or with and excess of "purple prose". But in that particular case it was actually made purposely to be like that. The whole allegory with the album cover, the final effort of the band and the emotions it conveys. I think they all fit a certain type of imagery that I've tried to piece together as a whole and make it flow. But I can understand that it may be a bit over the top for some, but that was the actual point of it. ;)

If you read my Depresy reviews, especially Sighting's, you'll find a bit of that again. The imagery used as a background for the music and the sentiment it transpires. I tend to do that while reviewing an album and I do try to let the reader understand what the album at hand means to me and makes me feel. Of course I give the listener what he wants, and that would be enough musical description to have an image of what the album sounds like. I just like to "decorate" that and add to the review my own personal experience with it, as if I was conveying a part of my experiences to the reader through the album's review. Now, is that completely objective?! Nay, of course it isn't. But if I did it in any other way, without it being a bit of a "personal ride" for me as much as it is for the listener it would take the fun out of it for me. It really would. That's primarily why I write so little reviews and separated by months. Because I really put a bit of myself into the text and try to make the listener realize what my experience of the album is. He/she then can find it funny to listen to it and relate to some parts of what I wrote. Or not. It all depends on who's reading really. That's how I like to write really and it's fun, albeit self-consuming and time demanding.

I get what you're trying to say about me sounding apologetic sometimes, and that is shown because of the way I write as stated above and the fact that I'm always a 50/50 person. I have opinions based on facts but I can relate to both sides of the rationalization. That segment you quoted from Slaughtersun is supposed to mean something like "I understand critics of this album but the same things pointed as low points are in fact what give the album the identity it has" and not "hey, I really like the album but it's OK if you don't, but please do". Know what I mean?! Sometimes it may be due to the wording indeed. I exchange emails with a British friend of mine and sometimes while trying to read his sentences I have to double back to understand them. Try having a language as though and complicated as Portuguese and then writing in English without "sounding" like a non-English speaker... Sometimes it's hard to do so, and even more if it's an American reading it. There are noticeable nuances, and the way the sentences are longer and with more words and flourishing to say something that could be said in half the words. But that's linguistic mate. And that's the beauty, like you say, of having a non-native doing native's stuff. It sometimes seems to come out as exotic, while others it just seems wrong. :)
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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:18 am 
 

I understand that you try to decorate your entrance hallway, but there's no reason that needs to stop in the bare room with a couch and a beer fridge. You can put the best of both together.

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androdion
Metal freak

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:24 am 
 

I don't know if you noticed, but even the way I explain myself sometimes sounds apologetic. It reads a bit like "you know, this is me" doesn't it?! :lol:

Since I've received SAZ and EOTS yesterday (since it's 4AM already) I was thinking about doing the whole "sludge triad", which would no doubt be a cumbersome task. I mean, reviewing the three best albums from one of my all-time favourite bands... I'll consider doing it and I'll try to see how "evolution" runs during that process. I won't promise anything though as I may return to more familiar grounds.
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Derigin
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:35 am 
 

Zodijackyl wrote:
I understand your points about the review culture, and I have generally been a part of the good writing practices you speak of. A lot of my reviews are written because there is something to be said that hasn't been said - probably half of my reviews are of bands who are otherwise unspoken of or rarely mentioned, and some metalcore albums like On Broken Wings who are quite notable, but spent a full decade on the archives before I wrote the first review of them, or As I Lay Dying's "Shadows Are Security", a popular album where every review on the site seemed to be fixated on the condition of the album being metalcore. In this case, I wrote a review that wasn't an eyesore and a headache to look at.

I don't understand the point about the review stating that it doesn't say anything that couldn't be inferred by the genre. Going strictly by genres on the archives (abbreviated), Wintersun are the only notable SMDM band, while the few SDM bands that are notable really don't have a similar sound - Fleshgod Apocalypse and Winds of Plague to name two. Symph black/death seems to be a very different style, with the black metal side giving the music a much more comprehensive atmospheric feeling, largely due to a different type of guitar riffing. OzzyApu mentioned a similar point about symphonic metal and named Rhapsody of Fire, but despite similarities, symphonic power metal is a completely different sound because all of this underlies a true lead vocalist, while the main attraction of Wintersun seems to be the production. That really seems to be the element that most people pick out for the band, the complete sound, not a single part of it, and there's not much that I could accurately compare it to.

How you've approached your last paragraph more or less justifies what I was alluding to with how you tend to review, so consider that the response for your first paragraph.

It seems, in general and from this response, that you're more caught up in the genre as a whole, and even in the band as a whole - and not really this album, specifically. So be it with your thoughts on "symphonic metal" or your thoughts on Wintersun's overall direction and appeal, the heart of your evaluation of the album should be about the album. Even as a microcosm of something more expansive, the album deserves (or perhaps is better justified by) more than a caricature of another thesis far beyond or above it. The key is not to reduce a bigger picture down to the album as a unit of that picture, but to explain and demonstrate how that album contributes to the bigger picture and somehow merits shaping that bigger picture into what it is.

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droneriot
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:15 am 
 

Bonus points to MutantClannfear for comparing a band named "Jewicide" to a band from Israel.
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MacMoney
Man of the Cloth

Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2002 10:17 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:04 am 
 

Morrigan wrote:
MacMoney wrote:
I'm not sure if it still stands (I'm lazy and haven't checked, or maybe it's just my memory from the yesteryears) but I remember the rules once (years ago) saying that the review should be written like the reader has no frame of reference.

No, no, no and no. This has never been the case. WTF....


Oh, my apologies. Must've been just one mod's answer to a complaint that I was thinking of or something similar.

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MalignantThrone
Vanished in the Cosmic Futility

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:16 pm 
 

droneriot wrote:
Bonus points to MutantClannfear for comparing a band named "Jewicide" to a band from Israel.

:lol: You know, I did realise how ironic that was later, but it was after I'd submitted my review and I didn't want to find some way to integrate what was really just a funny coincidence.
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androdion
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:26 pm 
 

What do the critics have to say now? :evil: "points at the new Ataraxy reviews"
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orionmetalhead
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:40 am 
 

Necroticism174 wrote:
A man gone mad with power, disappearing into self-love and belief. Convinced that his opinion is the only truth. Another, simply writing because he loves the music and doing it the best he can. These beings collide over a poorly written critique. Is this merely the Internet? Or perhaps it's the collision of thoughts ascending into The Twilight Zone.


Hahaha. I see both points in regards to this and while the review was short and could possibly have had more musical description and such, I also applaud Zod for deciding to tackle the review as he did, evoking memories of reading McLuhan in college communication courses and applying his "The medium is the message" concept to random things. Perhaps this is an instance where what Zod wanted to say wasn't what he said but in the form he decided to present it, hidden behind what would otherwise be a barely-acceptable review.
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MalignantThrone
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:12 am 
 

Which is, in my opinion, his undoing. A lot of Zodi's reviews seem like they'd be better described as responses to other reviews or as reflections on the non-musical elements of a band, rather than a description of a band's music and a critical evaluation of their music based on that description (which is what a review, at least by MA's guidelines, ideally should be). From this perspective, I see a lot of his reviews as being more appropriate as forum posts, since they tend to indirectly reference other previously-accepted reviews and "fill in the gaps" that other people miss, so to speak, with insightful description seemingly added as a mandatory bare minimum, a prerequisite for his works to be accepted. I obviously disapprove of this, and I assume based on MA's unspoken policy towards reviews that call into attention other reviews' opinions and statements (I've had reviews rejected for this reason before) that the moderators would agree.
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orionmetalhead
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:17 am 
 

Fair enough, though I think at times that a style like this, which maybe doesn't directly reference other reviews, but which responds to the context they create can be a fairly strong critique of an album itself and the way in which it is viewed.

I'm on the fence with this particular review, as I can see both sides here but perhaps some of the criticism of Zod's method can be described as harsh. He wrote a review which responded not only to the album but to the context surrounding it, at least in the sense of the reviews accepted thus far.

Maybe' I'm playing devil's advocate here.
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Zodijackyl
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:34 pm 
 

MalignantThrone wrote:
Which is, in my opinion, his undoing. A lot of Zodi's reviews seem like they'd be better described as responses to other reviews or as reflections on the non-musical elements of a band, rather than a description of a band's music and a critical evaluation of their music based on that description.


Could you provide some examples of this?

Quote:
From this perspective, I see a lot of his reviews as being more appropriate as forum posts, since they tend to indirectly reference other previously-accepted reviews and "fill in the gaps" that other people miss, so to speak, with insightful description seemingly added as a mandatory bare minimum, a prerequisite for his works to be accepted. I obviously disapprove of this, and I assume based on MA's unspoken policy towards reviews that call into attention other reviews' opinions and statements (I've had reviews rejected for this reason before) that the moderators would agree.


When have I referenced other reviews? The only time I have done this is the [joking] title of my Pathfinder review. I could understand where you say I fill in the gaps, especially with regard to bands that otherwise hadn't been reviewed, but otherwise it seems like you're only talking about the context surrounding ~5 unpopular opinions of mine.

orionmetalhead wrote:
He wrote a review which responded not only to the album but to the context surrounding it, at least in the sense of the reviews accepted thus far.


How did I respond the the context surrounding it? Other than the first sentence which says "the band is renowned for their production", I said absolutely nothing that wasn't directed at the music. I left the rest of the discussion of reviews for the review discussion thread.

orionmetalhead wrote:
Necroticism174 wrote:
A man gone mad with power, disappearing into self-love and belief. Convinced that his opinion is the only truth. Another, simply writing because he loves the music and doing it the best he can. These beings collide over a poorly written critique. Is this merely the Internet? Or perhaps it's the collision of thoughts ascending into The Twilight Zone.


Hahaha. I see both points in regards to this and while the review was short and could possibly have had more musical description and such, I also applaud Zod for deciding to tackle the review as he did, evoking memories of reading McLuhan in college communication courses and applying his "The medium is the message" concept to random things. Perhaps this is an instance where what Zod wanted to say wasn't what he said but in the form he decided to present it, hidden behind what would otherwise be a barely-acceptable review.


You are correct. Apply this to other reviews and you'll understand what I am saying further.

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androdion
Metal freak

Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:34 am
Posts: 5085
Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:24 pm 
 

androdion wrote:
What do the critics have to say now? :evil: "points at the new Ataraxy reviews"

Have you ignored my previous post Zodi?
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Rotting_Christ_Mike
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:48 am
Posts: 844
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:40 pm 
 

I want to say that I liked Frog's review of 'Triarchy of the Lost Lovers' very much. Good job dude!
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MalignantThrone
Vanished in the Cosmic Futility

Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 1:24 am
Posts: 2785
Location: A step closer to home
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:25 pm 
 

Zodijackyl wrote:
Could you provide some examples of this?

Quote:
When have I referenced other reviews? The only time I have done this is the [joking] title of my Pathfinder review. I could understand where you say I fill in the gaps, especially with regard to bands that otherwise hadn't been reviewed, but otherwise it seems like you're only talking about the context surrounding ~5 unpopular opinions of mine.

Okay, I'll admit I'm not entirely sure where I got "reflections on the non-musical elements of a band", but I think I know a way to better phrase my thoughts now: a fair bit of your reviews (particularly, yes, the unpopular or otherwise passionate opinions of yours, though I'd say more than five - examples for me would be Illud Divinum Insanus, Dingir, the Satanic Warmaster/Vothana split, your recent review of Sonata Arctica's single, and Shadows Are Security) feel as if they were constructed to make a short statement about the music which most previous reviewers have missed, which in a way would make your review an indirect response to theirs (you admitted this yourself, farther up the page while talking about why you wrote your review for Shadows Are Security). But they usually fail to cover the breadth of information one would expect from such a review. For example, your review for Illud presents a different view on a widely-berated album, which is fine by itself - but your review reads as if it's bound to a word limit, and you refuse to elaborate on your points beyond a few general statements and individual breakdowns of a few songs on the album. In general, your scores and conclusions are not adequately justified by the content of the review, especially for your reviews featuring unpopular opinions, where the reader expects a bit more justification for your reasoning. I'm moving further and further into the realm of subjective preferences here, but I can't see the point of this since I can't imagine many people reading reviews on the sole selling point that the review is brief - I find the sorts of reviews that you write too centred on musical description to be particularly entertaining, yet not sprawling enough to provide as a fleshed-out, helpful analysis.

It oftentimes feels like your motto while writing is "don't say anything that's already been said", except you take it a bit too literally and don't say anything which has been previously mentioned, regardless of how integral it feels to the flow of your own reviews. I know that you're capable of expanding your thoughts when you want to, usually when you're reviewing a band which very few people have before (for example, your On Broken Wings review is quite good; it describes the music but has a bit of fun with itself and talks about various genres and movements associated with OBW at the same time), but a lot of your reviews for larger bands would come across as rather sparse and lacking if the reader only read your review as opposed to the other ~20. In this way I see them sort of like a comment on a blog post which featured another person's review - they take the base of someone else's thoughts and build off of them, without hardly building a basis for their own thoughts. They hardly suffice as standalone works, because you'd get the feeling that something was missing if you read them by themselves; like they addressed specific points that the original blog poster made and contested them. Ergo, I see them as replies, forum posts, references to other reviews.

Perhaps your reviewing style simply isn't for me (I've said numerous times that my primary motive to read reviews, besides to see what other thoughts people have on albums I've heard, is to be entertained), but I see a lot of your reviews for prolific bands coming across as dry, like you cut out bits and pieces of secondary information to reach an ideal of succinctness, which leaves the final product begging for more than a display of brevity and opining based on rather empty and sweeping descriptions. You've shown on the last two pages that you can elaborate upon your points when prompted, and regardless of whether or not it's already been said by people before you, I think it would help to shake off that feeling of indolence I pick up when I read your work - plus, if you can find a way to describe your thoughts in your voice, in a tone of writing that is unmistakably yours, then you'll be able to find a unique and refreshing way to present the secondary points of your reviews that will both be fun for you to write and entertaining for others to read. Win-win scenario.
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which ones are mainstream cuz i will stop listening to them

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