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Last modified on November 28th, 2013
Most of these rules are fairly obvious, but they are all very important. Not following the rules may result in a simple rejection of your submission. Please take the time to read them all at least once! It's not that long, and it will save you a lot of time than if you just ignore them and take the time to fill out a submission that will only get rejected!
TROLLS BE WARNED: Depending on the gravity of your offense, repeating your infractions might go from making you lose all your points
to get your account banned from the site!
We have little tolerance for abuse and bullshit. Our system is not a kid's playground. Behave decently and intelligently or suffer the consequences. Constantly abuse our system and we might even report you to your ISP.
That said, you will find that all of those rules are simply common sense, and most people have no trouble following them.
All bands submitted to this site must be metal bands. And you have to prove to us that it's really metal.
The site owners have a strict definition of what metal is. This site will only accept bands that they deem to be "metal enough", AND you must provide compelling evidence that the band you submit is indeed metal (this usually means sound samples). Disagreements about "metalness" will inevitably occur, but it's up to the site staff to draw the line. You are free to have a different opinion, but if you want your band submission to be accepted, read on.
As simple as the "must be a metal band" rule may seem, it involves a huge debate. None of us here think we're a supreme authority on all things heavy metal. However, as an encyclopedia of heavy metal, this site must draw a line somewhere. If we accepted just about anything, it wouldn't make sense; we would no longer be a "metal" archive. Because of this reality, the moderating staff decide, based on these guidelines set by the owners, on whether or not your submission is validly metal. This is perhaps the most important point (other than the point about truthful information), because knowing our rules on what is acceptable could save some people a lot of time that they would spend submitting a band that would simply get rejected. For a band to be considered metal by the site, it must adhere to the following:
First and foremost, for a band to be metal, it must have metal riffs. This point should be fairly straight-forward and obvious. Nevertheless, when it comes to some genres or styles, it's not always implied that the music is rooted in metal or is substantively comprised of metal riffs. For example, grindcore can either be rooted in punk (ex. Anal Cunt) or in death metal (ex. Nasum, Pig Destroyer, Agathocles); metalcore rooted in hardcore/-core (ex. Atreyu) or in metal (ex. The Red Chord); and so on. Such music can be borderline, but still be acceptable. Some bands have mostly chugging, fuzz, or noodling, with minor metal influences; this does not make these bands metal. The metal elements must outweigh the non-metal ones.
Second, for the lesser-known bands, we need compelling evidence that the band is metal. We won't just take your word for it, sorry. The best evidence is, of course, in the form of audio samples. Most bands have a Myspace or Bandcamp with such samples nowadays. But for older, obscure bands (the kind of thrash band that released one demo in 1986 and disbanded, for example), if no sound samples are available, a scan from a metalzine review describing the band's sound as unambiguously metal can be acceptable, but those cases are exceptional and the moderation can exercise full discretion.
Third, for a band to be acceptable, it must have at least one fully, unambiguously metal album. This means that Def Leppard can be accepted because of their NWOBHM debut, even if they turned to pop rock later. This also means that DevilDriver and Soulfly, which started as mallcore, were (reluctantly) deemed acceptable after finally releasing some metal albums. This does not mean that we'll accept Sum 41 because of their one heavy song "The Bitter End". Bands with a long discography of non-metal music and one short metal demo/split/single will not be accepted. Additionally, bands with a few metal songs scattered across an otherwise generally non-metal discography are not acceptable either.
We accept the following non-metal bands in certain cases (these exceptions can be ambiguous and debatable - scroll down for details):
Now... let us elaborate on certain things which are apparently controversial, ambiguous or unclear to some members.
Be careful if you submit a band with an ambiguous genre!
We've sometimes seen some bands listed as a genre that would seem fitting, but upon hearing the actual band we've had some pretty bad surprises... So consider the following genres to be "ambiguous", in the sense that if we see a band with one of these terms in their genre field, we WILL be wary:
Hopefully this is clear enough! If you have any questions, you can ask the moderators on the message board, but some of us are sick of repeating ourself, so don't take it personally if we don't answer your "Why do you say nu-metal isn't metal?!" or whatever. Keep in mind that the rules of what is accepted or not were ultimately decided by HellBlazer (the mastermind of the Encyclopaedia) and "put on paper" (or rather, screen?) by Morrigan (the co-webmaster). The moderators have given counsel and suggestions but they merely enforce the rules - some of them don't agree with them 100%, but they will do their job! However, they are only humans, and they all have slightly different opinions.
Nobody asks you to completely agree with us. A lot of these decisions could be debated for hours (time that few of us have). Definitions aren't always set in stone, and this is just a website to allow people to lookup information - no need throw a fit because a band you wanted there didn't make it... :) Please understand that we try our best to not have double-standards, but what may seem like an inconsistency to you would make perfect sense to another and so on. We cannot please everyone.
Any user caught with plagiarism will be insta-banned.
If you submit a review that was published on another website, you are more than welcome to send it to us - as long as it is YOUR review! Stealing other people's writing is unacceptable and we will not stand for any of it.
This also includes written content for band information. Do not, we repeat, do NOT, copy and paste a biography or some similar text from another website (such as BNR or Tartarean Desire), nor any text from the official or unofficial site of the band.
Plagiarism is evil. We have zero tolerance for this, and these warnings are explicit enough. It doesn't matter if you submitted a review that's not yours even if you gave credit, because the points will go to you and the review will still be listed under your name. Simply put, do not add a review you are not the author of, or you will lose your account and get banned immediately!
Another insta-bannable offense. You'd think this would go without saying, but just so we're clear: you are not allowed to sabotage band information by entering stupid/false/derogatory information, adding fake albums/links, deleting valid links and so on. Do any of that and we'll simply restore the data and ban your account instantly.
It's rather sad that we have to actually write that down, simply because of a few juvenile assholes.
Short version: don't make consecutive, worthless updates just to boost your score. You'll get your points docked at best, banned at worst. For more information about what consists of a "worthless update", read the list below.
Seems like some of you love your score. You love it so much, that even though you are in the top 5 of the user rankings, and have had Veteran access for months now, you still get off seeing your score increase, and gasp in horror if it should ever decrease. You could lose 2000+ points and still keep your ranking, but it would still be a tragedy.
So you decide to be cute, and bloat your score in every possible way with worthless updates. This is called Point Whoring. It includes, but is probably not limited to, the following:
It's simple, really. We catch you at point-whoring (and we will), we drop your score, if you don't get the message, we "Durst" (aka ban) you. So, just don't do it.
Please, try to avoid spelling mistakes. We realize that many people often don't take the time to really type well on the Internet, but this is not a chatroom or even a message board, and you should take what you submit seriously enough to at least write properly. This goes especially for song titles. Try to respect the punctuation and proper capitalization too. If the songs are in a foreign language, make sure the spelling is accurate.
Proper capitalisation is important. Do not enter information in ALL CAPS or all lowercase. Respect the capitalisation for band names, album and song titles.
Tip: band names and song/album titles generally have the first letter of each word capitalized (except for acronyms obviously),
except for small words like "the" and "of" (unless of course they start the title).
Good: Council of the Fallen, Storm of the Light's Bane
Not so good: Council Of The Fallen, Storm Of The Light's Bane
Bad: COUNCIL OF THE FALLEN, storm of the lights bane
When in doubt, use the Wikipedia standards for capitalisation.
When entering line-up and artist information, always use the real instrument names. It's "vocals, guitars, bass and drums", not "regurgitated vokills", "666 shredding strings of doom", "baritone cacophony" and "pounding rhythms of madness" or *insert pretentious/dumb metaphore here*.
Another rule that might appear obvious, but we've had several violators already: you are not allowed to create sock puppets, for example, to rig review scores, the recommendation system, or to spam reports.
We have had people try to create multiple accounts to add more votes to the similar artists recommendation system. As stated here, any user caught registering more than one account (and they always, invariably get caught!) for this purpose will be instantly banned, and all their votes will be wiped in one click of a mouse, so don't bother.
Similarly, we've had the occasional idiots who created several accounts and submitted seemingly different reviews to boost an album's score. Needless to say, once caught the reviews were deleted and all the accounts were banned.
Other uses of sock puppets may include (but are not limited to): sending several reports (or report comments) from different accounts to make the original report seem more important; reporting a pending band claiming the band is legit (while in reality both the band and the report were sent by the same person), and of course, posting on the forum with multiple accounts all pretending to agree with each others to reinforce your viewpoint. To repeat: users caught with sock puppets will be instantly banned.
Neutral information only, written in 3rd person, at all times. (This does not apply to reviews, obviously, but band/album/artist/label data.) This site is meant to be an encyclopedia after all. Do NOT write stuff, in the lineup or additional notes fields or anywhere else, that promotes or bashes the band in question! Do not write a biography in the first person, e.g. "This is my band we formed last year, we sound like band X and draw influences from Y, etc etc".
Be reasonable for the data you enter in the additional notes (whether it's for bands, albums, labels or artists). It clearly says "no personal opinions", yet we still see submissions where it says things like "Awesome brutal band for all death metal fans!", or "their talent has brought them much recognition in their home country" and the likes. Don't.
Guidelines regarding the "not to be confused" issue:
There are three stances where "not to be confused with" might be useful:
>> Band links <<
Everyone can contribute links to websites related to a band. Do not, however, add a link to the main page of a site
such as "Headbanger's Delight" to every single band that sells merchandise there. If you do that you could at least link to the page
with the actual band merchandise. For example:
Acceptable:: http://www.headbanger.net/bandname/, http://www.sitename.com/band.ext?id=666
Unacceptable: : http://www.headbanger.net, http://www.mydistro.com/home
I.e., a direct link to a band page. Linking to the label or store's main page is useless.
Do not add links to album reviews or interviews, unless there is no other source about the band on the Internet.
For those with the Veteran rank: you may update URLs or delete broken links. Do not delete valid links! You are allowed to delete broken, false or unrelated links, to keep the integrity of the information. Deleting valid links just for the hell of it, or to spite the owner of the linked site, or whatever stupid reason, will not be tolerated.
>> Artist links <<
You can add the musician/artist's links such as his homepage, his Facebook, Youtube channel, etc.
Do NOT add links to interviews, nor to links to the artist's BAND homepage unless you link directly to a detailed section about the artist. For example, for Steve Harris, linking to Steve Harris @ Ironmaiden.com is acceptable, because that link contains a detailed biography with information not present on the artist page. But linking only to Ironmaiden.com directly on Steve Harris's artist page is useless, since that link is already present on the Iron Maiden page. Similarly, if Steve Harris has a personal homepage, do not add it to Iron Maiden's page; add it to his artist page instead. Exception: if Steve Harris played in a non-metal band, it would be OK to add a link to this band on his artist page, under the link category Unlisted bands.
For links to the artist's non-metal/unlisted bands (link category: "unlisted bands", only add up to ONE link per non-metal band. For example, Kurt Cobain is on the site because of his link to Earth and Melvins, but he's of course more famous for Nirvana, a band not featured on the site. Adding a link to the Official Nirvana Website is acceptable; adding various Nirvana websites is not. One per unlisted band is enough.
In other words, link to pages related to the artist as a PERSON and not his/her bands, unless those bands are not on the site (such as non-metal bands). Keep band links to the band pages.
Exception: for solo artists, if the artist's homepage is both about the artist (as a person) and his/her solo band, it's acceptable to add the link to both pages.
>> Label links <<
In the "website" text field of a label, you should add the label's main homepage. For any other link, use the "External links" section. You can add the label's Youtube channel, Myspace, Facebook, Webstore (if different than the homepage), and so on, in that section.
Since April 2012, you can now add lineups from the artist's page by searching for the band(s) an artist has been part of. You can only add actual members (permanent or live) from this page; guest and session artists must be added from the albums they participated in. This is an important distinction, since you can also add non-featured bands (bands not listed on the site) on the artist page with lineup information (instrument, year range, etc.) just like you would for a featured band, but you can only add bands the artist has been a member of. Do not add every single band the artist has been a guest for! The resulting clutter will be ludicrous.
For example: adding Nirvana and Foo Fighters on Dave Grohl's page is acceptable, since he respectively was/is a member of those bands. Adding Tenacious D or Killing Joke is not, since he was simply a guest for those bands.
Related to that, there is also a category of external link (mentioned in the External Links section above), "Unlisted bands". You can use this section to link to no more than ONE site (official band sites should take priority) per unlisted band on the artist page. For example, it is acceptable to add the official Foo Fighters website to Dave Grohl's page, but if you do that, do not also add the Foo Fighters Facebook, Youtube, etc. Basically, pick one that makes sense as a basic reference only. This site is not meant to be a directory of non-metal links, after all.
[Edit 2013/01/01: Previously, bands were required to have at least one physical release (CD, tape or LP) to be listed. As of January 1st, 2013, some digital-only bands will be acceptable: see below.]
First, the band must have at least released SOME material. If you don't even have a physical demo or a digital full-length, forget it. The band might have been formed, even got a logo, but how will we know that they won't just disband before even recording anything? An mp3 or two on MySpace or the likes is not enough. A physical demo or a digital full-length, with proof of its existence, is the minimum.
This demo/album must be released already. An upcoming release is not acceptable: wait until the actual release date before submitting the band. We used to accept such bands, until we realized many of them were all talk and never even released the demo for real. So we're very strict on this. Expect any band whose sole album is upcoming to be insta-rejected by the first moderator who sees it in the queue.
A valid physical release is always preferred, and you must provide evidence of the availability of this physical format. This means a CD, LP, or even a tape. Photographs of the physical release(s), such as this or this example, will go a long way into having your submission accepted (whereas blank-looking CD-Rs hand-written in black marker will not). We also require evidence of legitimate distribution. Unprofessional BS such as "Promo Tape limited to 5 copies", "Promo CD-R limited to 10 copies", etc., are not going to fly. We actually prefer serious digital releases (see below "Valid Digital Releases") over garage/bedroom amateurism.
It would be best if there is mention of the band anywhere on the Web, even if it's just a demo review. Otherwise, it could be a joke/fake band and we have no way of knowing.
If the band is not mentioned anywhere on the Web, or if you cannot prove that they have a physical release by using Web links alone, the best ways to prove that they have a physical release is by making a scan or photography of:
Valid Digital Releases?
While physical releases are preferred, digital distribution is now more than common and predominant, and as of 2013, we are now also accepting digital-only releases -- with some caveats. Here are criteria for a band's digital release to be accepted:
That's a no-brainer, obviously. Don't submit fake bands, don't add false information, and if you want to make updates such as band line-ups, check the validity of your sources. You must provide compelling evidence of the band's existence (see "must have valid release" above) and of its "metalness".
When you add an album, make sure you got all the necessary information and especially all the tracks, or else just don't bother. Song lengths are optional, but try to be consistent; if you want to include the song lengths, do so for every song on the album. Do NOT add an album with a bunch of nameless tracks (unless, of course, the tracks are actually unnamed, in which case, write "-" sans quotes)! If you don't have at least the tracklisting, just wait until you do or don't bother!
For albums with unknown tracklistings, please add them under "Other releases" in the band's additional notes.
...Usually. Don't ever keep submitting the same band repeatedly.
If your band is rejected, you will receive an email notification (if you didn't receive anything, check in your spam folder). But regardless of your notification settings, you can see the status of your band submissions at all time under My Bands in the top left menu. Rejected bands will be flagged in red.
If your submission was rejected, you may apply corrections (based on the reason posted) and resubmit. Use caution when resubmitting! The mods can see the history of all the changes, and they will know if you have resubmitted without responding to the reason(s) that they gave you. If your band is clearly unacceptable (i.e. not metal, fake, not a valid release), repeated submissions will only a) annoy the moderators, b) result in the band being blacklisted (thus preventing any further resubmission), and c) possibly cause your account to get banned. If you want to object to a band rejection, go here, read the first post, and most of all, BE POLITE.
If a band is still pending acceptance, it will not disappear out of the queue - so there is no need to keep spamming us with the same band over and over again. Just be patient, we'll get to it eventually.
If, for some reason, you believe your band submission did not go through because you got a blank screen or something after your submission, please check if it's present either in your drafts or in the submission queue. If it's not showing up, something went wrong server-side (and we're sorry about that), so do resubmit.
So normally there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to submit a band twice. If you do so by accident, that's acceptable, as browsers can be fickle; but it's hard to double-post something two days apart.
If a band changes name, there will be two (or more) entries on the site, provided that they have releases under each name. So if you know of a band that has a new name, please wait until they actually have released something under that name before making a new submission. For example, we have entries for both Kreator and Tormentor, but not one for Tyrant (as they were previously called) because they never released anything under that name.
As of November 2012, you can now link these bands together using the "Years Active" rows in the editing form (more information here).
Please note that bands whose name change isn't significant enough (to be judged by a moderator) won't be added. Example: Dezperadoz, formerly called Desperados, kept the same page.
Please, when you review an album, try to stick to the album content. It doesn't matter how well written it is, how poetic it sounds, how original it is, if all you do is make silly metaphors that go nowhere or mean nothing. It might sound a silly thing to ask for, but such reviews sadly exist (some are even famous for it...). Reviews should give the potential listeners a good idea of what the album sounds like, not show off one's English vocabulary.
Did we mention this yet? Well, it also means, lashing out on a band's image, attitude or reputation is not exactly
a good idea either. That doesn't mean we'll refuse a review if you attack a band's image or integrity
- in fact, sometimes such things do need to be pointed out and criticized.
But a review based mostly on that is of little interest.
This also includes attacks or generalizations on the listeners, not just the fans (see examples below).
Ubiquitous examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
Note: here, the "music" includes everything about the album content, depending on the release type. So DO write about the following:
If you genuinely hated an album with a passion, go ahead and flame it - just do it intelligently, and don't just cuss it out without giving good reasons (i.e., reasons that have to do with the album's music, production and overall quality). Excessive swearing is probably not a good idea, unless you're doing it well, and for humourous reasons.
On the flip side, the same can be said about excessive fanboy gushing. It's perfectly fine to love an album so much that the inner child in you wants to squeal in glee and jump up and down, but avoid doing that in your reviews... unless, again, you know how to write it so well that it sounds cool and/or humourous, rather than pathetic.
Below are examples of what is considered acceptable or not in regards to the above.
With the possible exception of some of the (admittedly quite solid) instrumental work on the final track, there really is nothing worthwhile here. Whether it's the bizarre chorused clean guitars/"big riff" combination in the start of Crucifictive (probably the biggest turd out of the whole lot, has to be heard to be believed), the abominable, TERRIBLE casio-keyboard sounds that permeate most of the album, the hopeless, depressed/angry 12 year old lyrics, the completely overwrought attempt at emotion that are the vocals or just the HARD FAIL that are the guitars and their unbearably fluffy attempts at leads, the whole album is about as appealing as playing soggy biscuit with a large steaming turd.Bad way to bash
I didn't expect much from this album to begin with. It had cool cover art, that's why it got a 10. Peter Tatgren came right out and said "We wanted to base an album on Slipknot." I read it somewhere. So he just came right out and said "This album is crap." Well, I think Peter should have released this album under a name other than Hypocrisy. I'm almost ashamed to call myself a Hypocrisy fan. It just doesn't make sense how a legendary band like Hypocrisy would get so terribly gay on their very LAST album. Couldn't they have just not released it and still have their fans? Hey, thanks for getting gay Peter.Good way to praise
With all due respect to Black Sabbath and the genre they created, the finest Heavy Metal album EVER recorded is Judas Priest's second LP, "Sad Wings of Destiny". [...] went into the studio on a shoestring budget and codified in one 37-minute piece of vinyl exactly what a 'heavy metal' album should look and sound like - grandiose intros, piano ballads halfway through the first side, balls-out rockers, super-long moody epics, and TONS of great guitar riffs and solos from arguably the best guitar duo of all time, Glen Tipton and KK Downing. They blaze and rip through "Tyrant" and "Genocide", slash through "The Ripper", play a textbook example of tension-and-release in "Victim of Changes", and soar in the grandiose epic finisher "Dream Deceiver/Deceiver" (which features the greatest melodic guitar solo of all time by Glen).Bad way to praise
This right here is some catchy speed metal with great chorus lines! Tunes Of War an album about Scottish War & William Wallace to boot! The album opens up
with a instrumental called "The Brave" it awesome because it has bagpipes!
The next song is "Scotland United" I guess you could call it a Scotts pride song? it's fast song with a great chorus! it was my first song that I heard from Grave Digger and was an excellent starting point if do say so myself.
Another song I would like to comment on is "Rebellion" This songs OWNS!! I love this song!! it's really catchy! that is one thing Grave Digger has managed to do with this album and thats make it catchy!
There is not really a minimum of words or lines, but chances are, if it's too short and doesn't say anything, it won't be accepted. You must describe the music (accurately, of course) and give arguments to support your opinions.
Avoid referring to reviews of other members. This can be considered very rude, unless you point out a previously made comparison that you agree with, or wish to elaborate on a point someone made before you. But writing a review contradictory to a previous one just out of spite, or to boost or lower the average rating, is not acceptable.
We ask a minimum of writing ability. We're not all that strict on this (hell, English isn't our first language, and this whole page alone most likely has many grammar mistakes), and we certainly do not ask for sleek professionalism; we just ask for the review to be readable. No abuse of typos, caps or punctuation - or lack thereof - ("This album ROCKED!!!! BEST ALBUM EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!" or then "this album reallly sucked i thought it was gay and teh giutar waspoor its overal prety weak") - just try to be coherent, and if possible, helpful for the readers.
If English is not your first language, and your grasp of English is very crude, just avoid sending reviews altogether. Sorry, this isn't a rag on anyone or their nationality, but that's just the way it is.
We really shouldn't have to explain that... An inside joke, a quote or a small reference in another language than English is OK if it's not more than that, but the reviews must be available to any other visitor.
In some very rare cases, track-by-track reviews could be appropriate. For albums with short numbers of tracks, this is not a problem. But generally speaking, these reviews are very lacking in content, poorly written, and reek of vapid amateurism. They are also usually very uninteresting reads. Please try to avoid them as much as possible.
Do not review the unfinished promo version of the album, like those with an incomplete tracklist or an unfinished production (rough mix etc.). Only review what is meant to be reviewed: either an official promo copy released by the band for this exact purpose, or the actual, final album.
Don't worry, we're not as harsh as you might think after reading this. We are very reasonable; we just don't want any garbage on the site, and we just want to make sure no one spends a lot of time to send us stuff, and then whine that they wasted their time because their stuff wasn't accepted.
Thank you for your comprehension and enjoy your privileges as a member of Encyclopaedia Metallum!