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I am no longer accepting requests for reviews, and have disabled my inbox since people seem to be ignoring this fact. I mean no disrespect, I simply do not have the time these days to cover anything more than what I'd like to. Also on a 2-month hiatus until the end of the summer.
First off, we should all thank the moderators and coders for providing us with this excellent resource. I've begun cross-posting some of my reviews (old and new) to contribute to the effort, that I might provide some information and opinion on releases where there is little or none. I'm not a poet laureate, but I do hope I get some points across.
I've been a long listener of metal music since the late 70s, when my cousin would pass off records to me as a tyke. Before I could even make the distinction of what was beating on my eardrums. Started with Judas Priest, KISS and Motörhead, and you could argue it was all downhill from there. These days I listen to everything from Merzbow, depressive black metal and brutal death to J-pop and film/game scores. I'm a musician myself, but I haven't been performing in metal bands for a few years now, thus writing about the style helps me keep up to date on all the newest releases, styles, and scenes, while giving back something to this music which has always been there for me, through both the good times and the bad.
Personal virtues when attempting to critique music: Honesty to the artist. Honesty to the reader. Honesty to the artist's promoters, labels, etc. Most importantly, honesty to oneself. An accurate assessment of value to the fan. To the non-fan. Points always awarded for originality, but originality does not automatically imply quality. No one is perfect, so I'll edit errors when I encounter them, both grammatical and factual (don't be shy to write me and point one out). No pandering to scenesters. No pandering to poseurs. No automatic dismissals based on sub-genre. No political or contrarian scores or motives. No sacred cows. No 'revenge' reviews. No concern for 'consensus' opinion. No decaf.
ALL reviews posted from my blog site to here on the Metal-Archives are written by myself. There are others who have contributed a handful of reviews over on THAT site, but I have never posted their work here, and accusations to the contrary are nothing but libelous rubbish. I generally have a set rule of listening to a release three times MINIMUM before summing up my thoughts, often many more if it's deeply involved and not merely derivative of a thousand albums I've already heard (or if I'm just having too much fun with it to put it down). Naturally some of the critiques of 'classic' or older albums, faves or stinkers, will be much more in-depth, since I've accumulated a lot more to say over the decades.
The following is a breakdown of my review scores, both here and on the blog where they are originally posted:
100% [10/10] Timeless, flawless, will still be listening to this in 20 years.
95% [9.5/10] Damn near flawless, and extremely memorable.
90% [9/10] A fine example of its genre, well worth the investment.
85% [8.5/10] A great album, but on the bottom rung of what I'd paid for.
80% [8/10] A great album, worth buying if you collect the artist or genre.
75% [7.5/10] A good album, but I might not pick it out of a lineup.
70% [7/10] Successful, but hovering just above the level of mediocrity.
65% [6.5/10] It's not bad, but you'll forget it just after listening.
60% [6/10] Basically the median for most metal albums released.
55% [5.5/10] Average with perhaps the spark of a good idea or two.
50% [5/10] Not offensive, but entirely mediocre.
45% [4.5/10] Pretty weak, but things could be worse...
40% [4/10] Things are worse. Not worth the media it's printed on.
30% [3/10] I recognize this as music, but it's painful to listen to.
20% [2/10] Proof that we live in a cruel, cruel universe.
10% [1/10] You're kidding me, right? Where's the hidden camera?
0% [0/10] I didn't realize 'shit' was now a color on the rainbow. This is usually reserved for worthless compilations of previously released material, but there might be a special exception once in awhile.