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Link Band research list / 2023-08-12 08:52

Harkening back to a news item from over 7 years ago, the band research thread now comes with a neat and shiny list in HTML table form. This list has already helped us tremendously in getting a better overview as well as resolving many entries from that gargantuan and ever-growing thread. If you know anything about any of the listed bands or you're just really into sleuthing work for old forgotten stuff, we'd be grateful for any help in thinning out the list and contributing to the Archives' completeness. Or who knows, maybe you are even so graciously inclined and willing to purchase a release in order to get our collective aural mitts on some crucial piece of music.

See the thread's opening post for more information. If you have any questions, requests or suggestions for the HTML list in particular, feel free to post in the thread or email me directly.

Cheers!

-Azmodes

Link 11th Diamhea Memorial Review Challenge / 2023-06-11 10:28

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 two weeks from now at 12:00AM EST on Monday June 26th and will run until 11:59PM EST on Sunday July 2nd.

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 Donations for Apollo Theater Victims / 2023-04-02 00:49

On March 31, 2023, a severe storm caused the roof to collapse on attendees at a metal gig in Belvidere, Illinois. One man was killed, while another 28 people were injured, including five with severe injuries.

If you would like to provide support, a GoFundMe has been set up for the family of the man who was killed, to help with the costs that come along with losing a family member:
https://www.gofundme.com/f/fred-livingston-jr

Donation pages were also created to help with financial relief for severely injured attendees:
https://www.gofundme.com/f/financial-relief-for-michelle-il-roof-collapse
https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-paul-rojas-after-apollo-roof-collapse
https://www.gofundme.com/f/dylans-recover-from-the-apollo
https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-metal-mark-apollo-theater-roof-collapse
https://www.gofundme.com/f/daniels-recovery-apollo-roof-collapse
https://www.gofundme.com/f/financial-relief-after-roof-collapse-for-victoria
https://www.gofundme.com/f/vmq5j6-medical-and-monthly-bills

If there are additional official donation pages, we will add them. Our thoughts are with the victims, their families, and all those affected by this tragedy. The metal community is here for you.

-Derigin

Link April Fools / 2023-04-01 21:17

Hey gang,

I've got a couple bad news. Firstly, there is unfortunately no magic AI that will help us manage the band queue. That was just a bit of April Fools Day wishful thinking. Who knows, maybe one day!

Secondly, black metal will remain on the site.

-HellBlazer

Link MA and AI / 2023-04-01 02:05



Hello everyone,

There are some big changes coming to the way we do things here on MA. I'm sure most of you have noticed the recent rapid advances in AI technology, such as the amazing results that software like ChatGPT and Midjourney can produce. So we've begun to think, could something similar be used for the betterment of MA? One of our main jobs is of course to evaluate bands for inclusion on the site. This is a very time-consuming process, often leaves people dissatisfied (both mods and submitters), and while we do our utmost to reach an impartial consensus on our decisions, the human element means that there is always a degree of subjectivity involved. Would it be possible to use AI technology to develop an entirely unbiased and scientific way of determining if a band is metal?

As it turns out, yes. Yes, it is. We've spent the last couple months training an AI algorithm on hundreds and hundreds of songs of every genre and have ended up with a very solid model for predicting whether a band is metal or not to a high degree of accuracy. This means that in the near future, we will be able to evaluate band submissions completely objectively based on sound wave analysis and cold computer logic. For the moment, we will be using this AI model manually to double check the results, but we hope to eventually be able to simply let submitters give a Bandcamp or Spotify link, and the automated system will do the rest!

Now, there is one small issue. Algorithms like this create their own way of "thinking" about things, so to speak, and this can sometimes find patterns and details that escape human beings. As such, one very surprising result about metal subgenres came out of our experiments. See, if we throw, say, doom metal at the model, sure, that's fine. Death metal? No problem. Traditional heavy metal? Of course! It's even quite good at determining if the more borderline genres are predominantly metal or not. But... Black metal? It was quite a shocking discovery, but it does appear that when analyzed scientifically, it turns out that black metal isn't actually metal. I know! We were taken aback, too! We even spent a good amount of time redoing the tests while tweaking the parameters and such, but the results remained very consistent: scientifically speaking, black metal is false.

Now, what shall we do about this? Remove all black metal from the site? Well, it sounded crazy at first, but the more we thought about it... It might actually make sense. MA has always prided itself on its accuracy, and now that it can be scientifically proven that a good number of bands on here aren't metal, it stands to reason that they shouldn't be here at all. It's not completely unprecedented either, since there have been purges of some niche subgenres in the past, though on a much smaller scale. In the end, we think that the opportunity to be 100% consistent and objective in how we do things trumps the inconvenience. Besides, let's face it, I think deep down we all know that black "metal" has always been the worst subgenre. This move should also cut down on at least 70% of band-related drama on the site. Overall, I think we can consider this a win-win.

This is why, in the next few days, we will begin to remove BM bands from the site. This will be a gradual effort since every band needs to be evaluated again. Of course, many black metal bands also incorporate elements from the true metal genres in their sound, and these will be allowed to remain if they are determined to be predominantly metal. This way, you can at least rest assured that the better bands in the genre will stay on MA.

Thank you for your comprehension, and we hope this new technology and classification can usher in a new age of enlightenment for the metal community as a whole.

-HellBlazer

Link The Album of the Year Poll 2022 / 2022-12-02 09:09

The end of the year is nearly upon us, which means it's time for the Album of the Year poll for 2022!

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 2022. 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, 2023 to submit your list to him - once the year changes, the polls are closed!

You get one ballot, and your account on MA must've been registered before November 30th, 2022 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, 2023 or shortly thereafter. This news post will be updated with a link to the results when available. 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 your participation. \m/

-Derigin

Link Merch is here! / 2022-10-24 10:41

It's here!


Yes, we are finally doing site merch, largely to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Metal Archives (sorry, bit late in the year I know, but it took time to get all of this set up...). We've commissioned artworks and designs by Misanthropic Art and Annick Giroux and they look pretty darn awesome if I may say so myself.

The store focuses largely on shirts, but we also have wall art/prints, flags, buttons, stickers and other cool stuff, and most items are fairly customizable. You can choose among the proposed items on the store homepage, or browse through the Collections or the menus to pick what you want. Make sure you select the right size/colours/options (back print or not, fabric, etc).


Here is the store!
https://metalarchives.threadless.com/





30% of proceeds go towards the Eden Reforestation Projects, a non-profit that work in developing countries to combat deforestation, poverty, and climate change and rebuild biodiversity.

We hope you like what you see, and we thank you for your support.

- HellBlazer

&

-Morrigan

Link Metal Archives 20th Anniversary / 2022-07-14 11:05

20 years!



That's how long this site has been around. Do you feel old yet? Or are you among those of our users who were not even born then?

In early July of 2002, HellBlazer and I put this site online on the public Internet, but almost no one knew about it yet. With the help of a few friends (and some of their own friends), we went about to test the platform and started adding data, with the first band page being Amorphis, added on July 7th. Why Amorphis, we are often asked? I have no idea. I was probably listening to Elegy at the time or something. Or I looked around and saw an Amorphis CD lying around. Or maybe not, I honestly can't remember!

Then, on July 14th we bought the metal-archives.com domain name. Yes that's right, in the earliest, pre-launch days, the site ran on a... Tripod.co.uk URL, seeing as it was one of the rare web hosts that offered free PHP/MySQL hosting at the time. And a few days later - band addition records suggests this would be July 17th 2002 - one of our staff members decided to plug the site on a (sadly now defunct) public metal forum, and thus opened the floodgates. The contributions came pouring in quickly, the early “big push” needed towards building what quickly became the definitive heavy metal database on the Internet.

Never would I have imagined, two decades ago, that one day we would be hosting a staggering ~160k bands, or that there were even that many metal bands in existence. HellBlazer and I are constantly awed and humbled by the wealth of knowledge and information our community has gathered over the years, not to mention the wonderful attention to detail and work ethic of our tireless contributors and staff members. We could not have done it without you all, and we sincerely thank everyone who has contributed to this site, both in big and small ways.

Now, the 20 year anniversary of Metal Archiving ought to be celebrated and commemorated in some ways, and we do have some plans for that, which we will disclose shortly. Stay tuned…

For our users old and new, feel free to share your memories, anecdotes, thoughts, or other comments here or on social media.

Here’s to, I hope, several more decades!

-Morrigan

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 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

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