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The Encyclopaedia Metallum was envisioned to be, and has remained throughout its fourteen years of existence, the go-to resource for accurate, neutral information documenting the global heavy metal scene. We are proud of the work of our countless contributors and the incredible dedication of our staff to making the Metal Archives the comprehensive resource that it has become.
From the outset, the Archives were designed to be an encyclopedia - rich in factual detail but neutral in its documentation of these facts. While we recognize that the site is often used by bands and fans alike for promotional purposes, that was never our intention. Similarly, we never wanted the site to be a news outlet, webzine or review blog. While we have and have always had a discussion forum and staff-moderated user reviews, these were never meant to be defining features of The Encyclopaedia Metallum, but rather extensions of the community of staff and contributors who have given so much of their time to the main site.
The landscape of the Internet has changed since the Archives' birth, and while we have been slower to embrace things like social media and digital releases than many would have liked, we have come to the decision that, as a neutral informational database, it is vital that the Archives distance itself from the growing sphere of review blogging. For many years it has been difficult to reinforce the site's public image as a neutral database of heavy metal while simultaneously playing host to publicly available music reviews that are often the source of great controversy. Though it is clear to us that the opinions in the user reviews are those of the writers alone and do not reflect beliefs held by The Encyclopaedia Metallum or its staff, too often the site itself is judged based on the content of these reviews. This becomes particularly troublesome with regard to reviews that contain offensive materials or those which endorse recordings with controversial subject matters.
In addition to these problems, the high standards which we have forged for our review moderation process has put a heavy burden on our staff. Too often our staff members' free time is consumed moderating the review queue and getting into disagreements with users (and other staff) about the acceptability of individual reviews. We would rather our staff and our userbase spend their time maintaining the accuracy of information on the Archives itself and adding more information to the site than spending time with a tangential feature of the site and its community.
While we are incredibly thankful for the massive number of often excellent reviews submitted to our site over the years, we have reached the decision that The Encyclopaedia Metallum will no longer host reviews submitted by users or written by staff. This means that currently posted reviews will be removed, and that reviews will no longer be able to be submitted to the site. We understand that many will be disappointed by this decision, but we feel that it is the best step we can take toward maintaining our reputation as a truly neutral and unbiased source of information for all things heavy metal. We encourage our many excellent review writers to post their reviews in better venues than ours, and likewise encourage readers of reviews posted here to follow their favourite writers to whichever outlet they deem most appropriate for their music reviews.
While the reviews will be removed from the site immediately, we will be returning the text of all reviews to you via the email address listed on your account. Due to the large volume of reviews on the site, please understand that this process will take some time, but you will have your reviews returned to you.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this difficult decision.