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Link 7th Diamhea Memorial Review Challenge: 14-20 Jun 2021 / 2021-06-13 13:50

Greetings, all! It's 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 every autumn, 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 (i.e. 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 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 21, 2018. He was the first person to have ever written 100 reviews for a single challenge!

The challenge will start at 12:00AM EST on Monday June 14th and will run until 11:59PM EST on Sunday June 20th.

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 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

Link April fools, proteins fold / 2020-04-02 08:18

As many of you likely already gathered one way or another, the site isn't going anywhere. Happy April Fools' Day!

However, the projects we linked to in the previous post are very much real and doing actual valuable work you can contribute to. If you elect to donate your computer's resources, we'd be happy to see you joining the official Metal Archives teams (#237115 on [email protected] and simply "Metal Archives" on [email protected]). Happy crunching! \m/

-Azmodes

Link Reallocation of server resources / 2020-04-01 06:50

In light of the ongoing pandemic situation, the staff has decided to dedicate the site server's computational resources entirely to the [email protected] and [email protected] distributed computing projects for biomedical research, until such time as a cure/vaccine for COVID-19 is found. As a result, the site will be taken offline completely effective 24:00 EST today.

We understand that for those of you currently under quarantine or engaging in social distancing, Metal Archives is now more important than ever, but even so it is the unanimous opinion of the owners, admins and the moderator team that the priorities are clear here. We hope you can understand this decision, as it was not reached lightly.

Thank you for your continued support and we hope to be back as soon as possible. If you would like to help shorten the downtime, be sure to check here, here and here for more information. Stay metal, safe and healthy!

-Azmodes

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

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