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Link On deaths and band statuses / 2022-05-11 17:22

You've probably noticed that on every band page we list the band's status. There are six options: active, on hold, split-up, unknown, changed name, and disputed. Typically, it's our policy that a band is listed as "active" unless proven otherwise (i.e. there's an official statement from the band saying that they're taking a break (thus, on hold), have changed their name (self-explanatory), or have decided to call it quits (and therefore split-up)). The "unknown" status is a placeholder, intended only to be used when there hasn't been activity from a band - even in the form of gigs and communication with fans - for a long time. The "disputed" status is for special cases involving band members claiming ownership of a band and deciding to take it in different directions - think Batushka or English Dogs.

When a band member dies, so long as there are other band members, and it's not just a solo project, do not change the band's status from "active". Wait until the band has made a statement about their plans before doing so. Just because a band member has died - even the frontman of the band - it does not necessarily mean the band is immediately over. The remaining band members may choose to keep playing, or take a break, or quit, but give them time to grieve and figure that out first. Sometimes a statement may never be given, but context is important, and we'll have a better sense of the band's status at a later point in time.

This is also true for other circumstances that might impact the lives of band members. Just because a band member may be charged with a crime and/or is incarcerated does not necessarily mean the band is automatically "on hold" or "split-up". The same is true if everyone but one person leaves a band; the band could remain active, you don't know unless the band says otherwise.

In any case, tl;dr: ideally, wait until the band makes a statement on its status before changing its status on MA.

Thank you. \m/

-Derigin

Link 9th Diamhea Memorial Review Challenge / 2022-05-07 13:58

Greetings, all! It's almost that time of the year again - time for our classic reviews challenge!

This challenge is a time-honored tradition among our reviewers here. Every spring and autumn, reviewers are encouraged to spend a week writing and submitting as many quality reviews as possible. The challenge is focused on virgin albums: those with no reviews so far.

Every day, the reviews submitted and accepted are tallied, so that participants can see how they compare with one another and whether or not, altogether, we've been able to surpass previous challenges' totals. There's no prizes or rewards except knowing that you've given a review to an album that didn't previously have one. There's also bragging rights for the most reviews, if that matters to you. Please read this thread for the rules and to discuss the challenge!

The challenge is named in memory of our friend Diamhea, a long-time contributor to the challenge and staff member here at Metal Archives, who sadly passed away on May 21st, 2018. He was the first person to have ever written 100 reviews for a single challenge!

The challenge will start one month from now at 12:00AM EST on Monday June 6th and will run until 11:59PM EST on Sunday June 12th.

Everyone is welcome to participate - all you have to do is submit reviews as usual during that week.

Looking forward to your participation! \m/

-Derigin

Link Genre policy update / 2022-04-01 01:20

You know, every year I think nobody will be fooled by the joke, and yet... Some of you always provide some amusement. No, we're not really getting rid of genres, that would be really silly. Happy April Fools.

-HellBlazer

Link Support for Ukraine / 2022-03-01 23:18

If you haven't been living under a rock for the past week, you probably already heard about the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces.

In these dark times, please consider donating to help with the situation over there. Every little bit can help!


-HellBlazer

Link A reminder about digital singles / 2022-02-01 07:48

Based on what we keep seeing in the band queue, I'd like to remind our contributors that approving band submissions solely based on one digital (one-track) single release is still the exception rather than the norm. I know that a previous news post on the matter states that one single can be acceptable in certain contexts (ex. with such unusual length that one might as well call it an EP; in addition to other criteria such as cover art and downloadability being met), however as a rule of thumb and for the overwhelming majority of cases there should be at least two before we'll even begin to review the submission for any other requirements. This particularly holds true if the band is playing a borderline genre, since multiple singles can offer a better picture than one, even if it is comparably lengthy, although moderators may opt to reject a submission even so if the available music so far remains ambiguous.

Also, there is no 5-minute rule.

-Azmodes

Link The Album of the Year Poll 2021 / 2021-12-01 16:08

The end of the year is nearly upon us, which means it's time for the Album of the Year poll for 2021!

How does it work? Select your top ten metal albums of the year; they have to be metal, they have to be new, original material, they have to be on MA, and they have to have been released in 2021. Put your list in order, with #1 being the album you liked the most. Once you're certain you have your list, send it to BastardHead by private message (pm) on the forum. You have until 12:00AM EST on January 1st, 2022 to submit your list to him.

You get one ballot, and your account on MA must've been registered before November 30th, 2021 in order to participate. Please read the first post here for more details on the way the poll works.

The results of the poll will (ideally) be announced on January 1st, 2022 or shortly thereafter. In the meantime, feel free to discuss the poll in the thread located here.

EDIT: Results can be found here.

Have fun, and look forward to the results. \m/

-Derigin

Link Cats / 2021-04-02 00:38

Wow, that little joke blew up, huh? Cool to see so many people enjoying the feline band pictures. So much so that our traffic more than doubled, and the server had a hard time keeping up. Sorry about the slowness!

Thanks to Black Metal Cats Twitter, sadanduseless.com, various cat pic subreddits, and many, many other random sources from Google Image Search for the material.

Happy April Fools to all, and by general demand, if you want to keep browsing MA with cats instead of humans... Now you can!

-HellBlazer

Link Couple of things / 2020-12-28 10:35

Here's a few items regarding some largely unrelated things we've noticed during the last year or so of working on the site and which either (to my knowledge) aren't explicitly addressed in the rules or may need an explicit refresher here. Nothing really major, but I feel they warrant some clarification regardless.

  • As with logos, band picture collages should generally be avoided. Only use the most recent available photo. There are some exceptions, particularly for some of the bigger bands that have particularly lengthy careers under their belt, but these are rare and it's best to leave adding them up to moderator discretion.
  • Please do not add digital releases that are being offered for clearly ridiculous prices. This is a common issue with Bandcamp in particular, with a lot of bands setting an album's price to (usually) 666 USD/€/etc. This appears to be a common way of encouraging people to buy the physical release instead, while still making something available for listening. Obviously, essentially nobody is going to pay these amounts and as such we do not consider such releases to be valid in any way, neither for submitting a band nor for addition as an album entry to an already listed page.
  • Please, please, PLEASE do not use the "Add another version" function for "correcting" errors. Use the report function instead if you cannot edit the existing version yourself. We get way too many duplicates that way.
  • If a label puts out a re-release of a band's work after they've split up, please do not put said label under the "Last known label" field. The same applies to posthumous releases of recorded, but hitherto unreleased material. The label field should only ever reflect whatever the band was signed to while still being active. Use "Unsigned/independent?" if they weren't signed to any label when they disbanded.
  • The chronologically first release is always the parent version of a discography entry, barring perhaps a very few freak cases generally up to the staff to rule on. For instance, it doesn't matter if a band considers a later CD release to be the "official" release if a digital version has been available from their Bandcamp before that. If it came first, it is first.
  • There seem to be some misunderstandings about how to properly use the "Formed in" and "Years active" fields. To clarify, "Formed in" should always reflect the year a band entry's name (or minor variations thereof that don't warrant their own entry) was first active under. It does not refer to when they may have formed under an earlier name (regardless of whether that incarnation is listed or not). We also do not differentiate between things such as when the idea for a band was first conceived and when they actually played their first show/rehearsal/etc. "Formed in" and the first year under the entry name under "Years active" should be identical in that regard. Also please do not add guesswork based on when a band's first release came out, only use explicit information.
  • There is no need to add the current year to band or lineup ranges to represent "-present". Leave it blank and this will get filled in automatically (and otherwise the information inevitably becomes outdated).
  • No US state postal abbreviations for locations, please, always spell them out. Not everyone knows these by heart. An exception to this is the label address field.
  • The photo field is, surprisingly, only intended for actual band photos. Not album covers, not additional logos, not any other kind of band-related photo that does not show any band members. It's alright to leave it blank if there are no usable photos.
  • Instrumental album versions should be added as child entries to the main releases, and not as separate entries or even separate listings. An "Instrumental" tag can be added to their version descriptions. Note that being an instrumental version doesn't automatically mean it can only be a version entry. It largely depends on the difference between the recordings. If we are just talking about the same source material being used, simply without the vocal track(s) (and maybe missing or adding a few other things), then it's a version. If something was completely or mostly re-recorded, a separate entry is required.
  • There is no need to add redundant information to the version description. If a release is a CD, don't add "CD" to the VD field. If it's digital, don't add "download" or similar. These can all be covered with the format field.
  • For external links, Spotify and Deezer should go in the "Official" section, while Amazon and iTunes should go in the "Official merchandise" section. Furthermore, please add Bandcamp links in the form of bandname.bandcamp.com as opposed to bandname.bandcamp.com/album/albumname.

Thanks for reading and happy/safe holidays!

-Azmodes

Link Digital release policy update / 2020-10-26 14:56

Over the past few months, the staff has had another look at the site's policy in regard to what constitutes a valid digital release (specifically one needed for a band to be acceptable), attempting to further minimize the arguable special treatment of physical releases relative to digital ones. Some of you may already have noticed that certain requirements have seen some loosening again considering newly approved bands, in particular when it comes to digital singles and production quality in general. We would now like to make certain things explicitly clear in this news post, highlighting two major changes.

1) Streaming-only releases are now valid, if and only if they are available through an officially sanctioned reputable distributor. This most prominently includes Spotify, but also other big outlets such as Apple Music, Amazon Music, Tidal and Deezer. The list is not exhaustive and subject to expansion over time as we see fit. Youtube/Youtube Music is NOT acceptable, unless of course a download link is included in the video description. Additionally, streaming-only releases on music-promotional sites that normally/potentially do come with a download option are also not acceptable, i.e. SoundCloud, Bandcamp, ReverbNation, VKontakte, etc. Of course, downloadable releases from such sites are still valid; nothing has changed in that regard, but when it comes to streams, we want to stick to the more prominent, dedicated sites for now.

2) We have decided to become more inclusive concerning bands with only digital singles, as opposed to the previous, restrictive approach where only exceptional and multiple single releases would qualify for a select few cases. The basic requirements and guidelines are as follows:

  • Ideally there should be multiple singles, although in the case of only one, moderator discretion can come into play considering things such as length, genre context and other factors.
  • Unique cover art is still essentially a must. Other considerations can provide some leeway here, such as the number of singles and general presentation.
  • Advance single previews/teasers for upcoming albums are not acceptable, and neither are a bunch of random song downloads on a band's website. Please be sensible in distinguishing these from actual autonomous single releases (again, unique cover art goes a long way towards making a case for an acceptable single, but it also depends on the way something is presented and promoted by the artist).

Updated sections for the rules covering these issues and more are in the works. Thank you.

-Azmodes

Link Band logos / 2020-06-21 17:03

Please don't upload logo collages (multiple logos in one image) to band pages. We will eventually support uploading multiple logos and pictures from different periods, but for now, just the most recent logo is enough (or the most recognizable/classic logo in the case of a split-up band).

Thanks.

-HellBlazer

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