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Link 3rd DM Review Challenge: 20th - 26th May 2019 / 2019-05-20 08:52

Greetings, all! It's that time of the year again - time for our classic MA Virgin Reviews Challenge!

This challenge is a time-honored tradition among our reviewers here. Every summer and every winter reviewers are encouraged to spend a week writing and submitting as many quality reviews as possible... with the aim to focus on albums with no reviews so far (ie. virgin albums). 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 started at 12:00 AM EST on Monday May 20th and runs until 11:59PM EST on Sunday May 26th.

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

Looking forward to your participation! \m/

-Derigin

Link Band appeals changes / 2019-05-13 14:23

We've decided to make a change to the way we handle band appeals.

Up until now if you wanted us to review a band that has been rejected, deleted and/or blacklisted, you had to ask in a thread in our "Suggestions & Complaints" forum. While this method has served us well for the last decade, we realize that there's always room for improvement. As a result, we have decided to dedicate a whole forum, the "Band Appeals" forum, to handling these requests.

The way this new forum works is simple. Each band brought up gets its own thread (see our example thread). In that thread, people are free to (politely) make the case for why we should reverse our decision to reject/delete/blacklist that band. A moderator will respond with our new decision - whether to whitelist the band so it can be resubmitted, or to maintain the rejection/deletion/blacklisting of the band. Once a decision is rendered, it is FINAL until or if the band releases a new album, or new evidence comes up that shows it may qualify as acceptable under our rules. Threads will be flagged to show if the appeal has been approved, denied, or needs more information/evidence.

Before asking for an appeal, you are expected to do a search of the forums to see if the band has been previously brought up. You are also expected to read our guidelines for how to make an appeal and what evidence we would need for it. Please note that duplicate threads for bands that already have threads will be closed. Likewise, we ask each user to limit the appeals they bring up to no more than a few per week.

We hope this new system will make appeals easier and more streamlined for everyone. Please remember to thoroughly read our guidelines on it.

Thanks. \m/

-Derigin

Link April Fools / 2019-04-01 23:44

Yes, as most of you have figured, we're not really going to start filtering bands based on their subjective quality... though many people seemed to actually be into the idea! We instead remain committed to documenting every metal band in an encyclopedic fashion, as always.

Thank you all for your reactions, it was entertaining as usual. Happy April Fools' Day.

Also, I must apologize for the taste in "good" metal of certain moderators. <_<

-HellBlazer

Link Maintenance / 2019-01-25 19:09

There will be a short downtime tonight around 1 am EST. Sorry about the inconvenience.

-HellBlazer

Link Maintenance, part 2 / 2018-10-20 20:50

It turns out that there was a mix-up with the migration, and we need to go down for maintenance again. Possibly tonight at the same time, but I'm having trouble confirming this with our host (hence the late warning, sorry about that).

EDIT: Confirmed for midnight.

EDIT 2: Migration complete... for real!

-HellBlazer

Link Maintenance / 2018-10-19 14:50

The site will be migrating to a new server tonight at midnight EDT / 4 am UTC. There will be some downtime. We'll try to make the process as quick and smooth as possible.

EDIT: The migration is complete. Please report any problem you encounter to me.

-HellBlazer

Link Digital-only bands policy change / 2018-09-10 12:12

Since we first started to allow digital-only artists on MA over five years ago, the staff has tried to abide by a number of guidelines that were designed to prevent the Archives from getting flooded with fleeting online projects that never put out any substantial releases. These guidelines were used because while the physical release rule has long served us well as a measuring stick of eligible bands, simply extending the general criteria of this approach to digital work comes with a number of issues; issues mainly stemming from the potentially ephemeral nature of internet releases and the relative ease of putting together an album compromising the original intent behind the physical release rule.

Out of the digital release guidelines, the most visible is almost definitely the length requirement. This requirement was intended as a rough point of orientation, as a more concrete representation of a "proper" and "serious" album that mods could consistently apply when faced with hundreds of new bands in the queue. As such it was also only one of a number of other attributes that seemed reasonable to expect from professional (enough) output. Over the years, however, the length requirement has taken on an undue amount of significance and has essentially become the primary benchmark for bands, in many cases undermining the "spirit" behind its conception. To make things worse, the "needed" length of a digital release has become a constant source of misunderstandings, inconsistent definitions and frustration, both amongst our userbase and staff-internally.

Over the past few months we have discussed this problem amongst the staff and the bottomline is this: The length aspect is going to be greatly deemphasised when it comes to eligible digital-only bands. In turn, we will endeavour to better assess a project's apparent level of dedication, professionalism and distribution effort by way of teamwork and discussion between mods. Ideally, as much as possible, if a band is acceptable with a physical release, it should be acceptable with a digital one as well.

The relevant rules section should be updated soon with more details and pointers to reflect this change in policy. Note that singles and rough demos are still (generally) not sufficient and that one of the foremost requirements for a release remains that there is a full download option for the everyday music explorer, i.e. no streams or downloads hidden behind walls of registration or other unreasonable hoops to jump through.

Thank you for your continued contributions.

-Azmodes

Link Two items / 2018-09-06 05:21

  • A number of users keep adding streaming-only digital releases. To reiterate, a digital album, in order to be listed in the discography section, must be or must have been available for full, public, official download at some point. Apparently this problem is particulary virulent for Bandzone streams. Again, please do not add streaming-only releases of any kind.

  • Considering that with differing timezones there can be some ambiguity about the "already out" part of a release, in regards to bands eligible for submitting, we would like to make it explicit that for release dates, the site goes by "MA time" (i.e. GMT-4, i.e. what you see via all the timestamps on the site) to determine whether an album is released (and thus the band valid) or not.

  • To clarify, for bands already listed, upcoming albums can be added with the usual caveats (cover art, full tracklist and confirmed release date), but for potential submissions, the eligible album's release date must align with "MA time". Not the band's timezone, not any other location on Earth. This may come across as somewhat fussy and doesn't make a difference in most cases, but with more visible and anticipated upcoming bands in particular, there can be a sort of run at the band queue, with technically premature submissions happening before midnight MA time. We would like to enforce a clear, uniform standard in the interest of fairness.

    In short, only submit a band if the qualifying release is out according to MA time.

As always, thank you all for your contributions and comprehension.

-Azmodes

Link 1st DM Review Challenge: 11th - 17th Jun 2018 / 2018-06-11 22:51

The classic MA Virgin Reviews Challenge is back, yet again, though this time with a new name and a new beginning. In honor of our lost friend, and frequent participant in the challenge, the community has decided to rename the challenge after Diamhea in his memory. Today begins the inaugural Diamhea Memorial Review Challenge, or DM Review Challenge for short.

This challenge is a time-honored tradition among our reviewers here. Every summer and every winter reviewers are encouraged to spend a week writing and submitting as many quality reviews as possible... with the aim to focus on albums with no reviews so far (ie. virgin albums). 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 started at 12:00 AM EST on Monday June 11th and runs until 11:59PM EST on Sunday June 17th.

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

Looking forward to your participation! \m/

-Derigin

Link Donations / 2018-05-25 21:02

If anyone would like to donate to help Diamhea's family with funeral costs and the like (see the previous post if you haven't heard the sad news), you can do so at the following address:
https://www.gofundme.com/ ceremony-for-chris

Every little bit helps. Thank you.

-HellBlazer

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