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ptsc
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:22 pm
Posts: 26
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:43 am 
 

Things have changed so much as to multimedia consumption over the years and accessibility to music is much faster & easier than before. In that sense, what do you guys think about reviews and how important are they to you?

Note: I mean as a reader, not a band.

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Morn Of Solace
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:19 am
Posts: 1275
Location: Italy
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:13 am 
 

An insightful reviewer you can relate with is invaluable in a world with so much material to listen :)

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PaganiusI
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:49 pm
Posts: 378
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:23 am 
 

I rarely read reviews, but if I do, I don't do it for the musical descriptions but the reviewers emotions and how he interprets the meaning behind the album, connects everything to a whole picture, connects it to his own life or tries to look into the soul of the musician. If they add some background info I didn't know about, even better.
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ptsc
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:22 pm
Posts: 26
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:50 am 
 

PaganiusI wrote:
I rarely read reviews, but if I do, I don't do it for the musical descriptions but the reviewers emotions and how he interprets the meaning behind the album, connects everything to a whole picture, connects it to his own life or tries to look into the soul of the musician. If they add some background info I didn't know about, even better.


I guess, I relate to you, however when reviewers overburden their texts by nit-picking the technical aspects of an album, they lose me completely. As a matter of fact, I find interviews (well thought out ones) more engaging than an album review, though I feel like on a general scale, people are not that particularly interested in such. Maybe it's just me having the wrong picture or it is so in reality.

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spellstorm
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed May 09, 2018 10:05 pm
Posts: 12
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:43 am 
 

I'm the opposite of the above two posters as I only like reviews if the reviewer is actually capable of talking about music in a meaningful way, not just "ohh the subtle songwriting and rich powerful riffs are just catchy and superbly well written woohoo". I like to hear about what techniques the guitarists may have used, what compositional devices they may have employed, that kind of shit.

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MawBTS
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:16 am
Posts: 711
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:58 am 
 

Increasingly, I don't rely on reviewers to decide whether an album's good or bad. I can listen to clips and decide for myself.

But I rely on reviewers to act as a kind of musical tour guide - pointing out interesting aspects of the songs that I might have missed, and so forth.

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Somar
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2015 1:01 pm
Posts: 208
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:49 am 
 

I find them really helpful (well, sometimes, depends on the writer) but i don't use them the same way as all of the above stated.

I listen to the albums 1st, a bunch of times, and once i have a good grasp on what's going on with the album I go online and try to find reviews and then compare them to my own opinion.

Since I'm not a musician, while I do have some self-taught notions, most technical stuff eludes me, and by doing this I get to compare my opinions with people that have music backgrounds, learn some new stuff and see if I went wrong somewhere. While I don't let the reviews influence my opinion on albums, it does help me understand why I may like an album and dislike another that sounds quite similar.

A very good example would be the Aepoch - Awakening Inception, I liked the album a lot, it's on my top 5 of this years releases way ahead of Inferi and Augury, but reading the reviews helped me understand why the Augury and Inferi albums are regarded as better albums than that one (at least in most the reviews I've found for all of them), while it didn't change the fact that I still like Aepoch better.
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BastardHead
Magic Mike

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:27 am 
 

MawBTS wrote:
Increasingly, I don't rely on reviewers to decide whether an album's good or bad. I can listen to clips and decide for myself.

But I rely on reviewers to act as a kind of musical tour guide - pointing out interesting aspects of the songs that I might have missed, and so forth.


This is pretty much how I am as well, and it's mostly what I aim for in my own writing. The age of "buyer's guides" are over in this current era of Youtube and Spotify, but a good reviewer can still deliver enlightening/entertaining reads on albums old and new. If somebody is approaching it as a buyer's guide, 99.999999% chance I'm not gonna give a shit.
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exsiccation
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:49 pm
Posts: 170
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:43 am 
 

MawBTS wrote:
Increasingly, I don't rely on reviewers to decide whether an album's good or bad. I can listen to clips and decide for myself.

But I rely on reviewers to act as a kind of musical tour guide - pointing out interesting aspects of the songs that I might have missed, and so forth.

This, pretty much. If a band or album has a lot of positive reviews, it's an indicator I should check it out - if it has a lot of negative reviews, I usually avoid. If there's no reviews at all, it's probably a band that I found some other way (like via streaming discovery features).

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Deathdoom1992
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat May 07, 2016 9:19 am
Posts: 352
Location: Wallowing in a sea of sorrow.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:25 pm 
 

I often read reviews of reviewers I like to look at their take on an album I've already heard. On occasion I'll read a review and suddenly want to listen to the album reviewed, but more often than not I discover stuff through youtube and spotify, and buying physical copies of the albums of bands I like.

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Spiner202
Metalhead

Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 3:32 pm
Posts: 1997
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:47 pm 
 

I hope so since I still spend a lot of time writing them! :P

I use reviewers in a few ways. I always check out reviews for albums I just bought to see the general opinion on records (and to see if I like albums more/less than others).

For styles of music where I can't immediately tell if something will be good or bad before buying it (i.e. power/trad/death can all be very hit or miss for me), I usually check out reviews before I buy it.

Similar to others, I also find reviewers with similar taste to me and then check out their reviews of new albums.

As a reviewer, I'm not so sure that my writing is turning anyone onto or away from albums, but my hope is that I'm giving exposure to bands that otherwise might not have any exposure. Of course, I still review the big stuff, so I know nobody is discovering new music from that, but that stuff is more fun for me to review.
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PaganiusI
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:49 pm
Posts: 378
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:08 pm 
 

Spiner202 wrote:
As a reviewer, I'm not so sure that my writing is turning anyone onto or away from albums, but my hope is that I'm giving exposure to bands that otherwise might not have any exposure. Of course, I still review the big stuff, so I know nobody is discovering new music from that, but that stuff is more fun for me to review.


And having fun is still the highest priority, because this also affects the writing. If the reviewer doesn't like writing you can tell because his reviews won't have the "spirit" and are no fun to read.
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GOOFAM
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:06 am
Posts: 41
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:15 pm 
 

BastardHead wrote:
MawBTS wrote:
Increasingly, I don't rely on reviewers to decide whether an album's good or bad. I can listen to clips and decide for myself.

But I rely on reviewers to act as a kind of musical tour guide - pointing out interesting aspects of the songs that I might have missed, and so forth.


This is pretty much how I am as well, and it's mostly what I aim for in my own writing. The age of "buyer's guides" are over in this current era of Youtube and Spotify, but a good reviewer can still deliver enlightening/entertaining reads on albums old and new. If somebody is approaching it as a buyer's guide, 99.999999% chance I'm not gonna give a shit.


Sounds like you're saying there's still an audience for criticism, but not so much for classic "reviews." I'd largely agree. Criticism is way more interesting/less formulaic to write, anyway, so as somebody who occasionally reviews things I'm glad about that.

One other thing I like to use music reviews for in general is to investigate artists/genres I don't really like, because it's enlightening to figure out what others see in those other styles of music. Like, I'm not an extreme metal guy at all, but it's interesting to read, say, the reviews of The Unspoken King or Illud Divinum Insanus on here, because it gives me a sense of where extreme metal folks draw the line on those styles. Not to mention some of those reviews are funny as hell.

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raumr
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:11 pm
Posts: 985
Location: Norway
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:31 pm 
 

I almost never read reviews on other sites than this one. I know that people who write here are metal fans themselves, they are not paid workers who are given albums to review.

I view the reviews on this site almost as commentaries, so I often read them after I listened to something new and cool, to avoid "spoilers" :P .

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Draehl
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:13 pm
Posts: 45
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:22 pm 
 

Specific reviews not so much- I put way more stock in recommendations or lists because taste varies so much you're better off finding RYM users, Bloggers, YouTubers, etc. you know mesh with your tastes. Especially EOY lists. I listen to enough albums every year that if I see a top 10 list that includes more than a few of my top 10 you bet I'm going to check the others out.

End of year polls are useful, too, if only to point out stuff outside your core genres that might be so good you'll like it anyway.(IE Terminal Redux)

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Unaerth
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:15 am
Posts: 70
Location: The Star Peninsula
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:08 pm 
 

Having grown up in a time before there was "internet", I used reviews/interviews/magazines endlessly to search out, discover, and acquire my music. Those resources were both indispensable and enjoyable to use back then. Today, to be completely honest, the accessibility and ability to listen before you buy has greatly decreased my use/need (but not my appreciation) for good reviewers. I do not need someone else to tell me if something is going to click with me. I now have the chance to listen for myself, and make a direct decision on whether something is important enough for me to spend hard-earned cash on. If anything, I will say that I do find myself going back through archives/reviews to glean different perspectives on bands and albums that I overlooked or missed the first time around. Things that did not click with me initially, perhaps, are sometimes brought into a different focus when reading reviews ... prompting me to revisit things I might not have otherwise, which has proven to be quite beneficial now that my tastes have broadened/evolved over time. Rambling over ... ha!

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Pitiless Wanderer
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:34 pm
Posts: 439
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:07 am 
 

I love the review sites for their content, passion and effort, but I don't rely on them. I skim the text and always listen to the sample song if the description sounds like something I'd like. Some review sites, like AMG, I find myself literally never agreeing with. Every bad review of theirs ends up being an album I like, and vice versa. The writing is pretentious too, so I don't read it.

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Twisted_Psychology
Metal freak

Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 8:22 pm
Posts: 4113
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:53 am 
 

I tend to read reviews for albums I've either heard or am interested in hearing. I also like the idea of each review being part of an overall discussion on a specific album as opposed to standalone buyer's guides. As both a musician and a major reviewer, I do wonder if reviews have much of a say in sales anymore. I'd imagine not honestly.
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PvtNinjer
Veteran

Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:45 am
Posts: 3807
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:48 am 
 

I only check out reviews for ideas on what to check out, but I don't necessarily count on a well reviewed album being good. Angry Metal Guy, for example, has been a great resource for discovering bands and albums I probably would have never checked out, but their reviewers also seem to have really basic taste, over-rating really generic albums and giving low scores to stuff that is maybe a bit more out there, but also much more interesting. That being said, I still value it as a resource to learn about new albums or bands.

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Acrobat
Eric Olthwaite

Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:53 am
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Location: York, North Yorkshire
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:09 pm 
 

Reviews are this site's bread and butter, really. So, if someone finds someone whose taste they trust and they have a decent amount of reviews it's always helpful. I dunno, I'm sure there are some good metal youtubers but the ones I've found tend to be weird alt-right guys who wear sunglasses indoors and have dodgy taste, anyway.
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mjollnir
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:14 pm
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Location: Versailles, PA
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:15 pm 
 

Acrobat wrote:
Reviews are this site's bread and butter, really. So, if someone finds someone whose taste they trust and they have a decent amount of reviews it's always helpful. I dunno, I'm sure there are some good metal youtubers but the ones I've found tend to be weird alt-right guys who wear sunglasses indoors and have dodgy taste, anyway.

Word! Well said!
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logrus
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:19 am
Posts: 5
Location: Poland
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:38 am 
 

In my opinion the times have changed and the need for reviews has decreased greatly.

Circa 15 years ago I used to write reviews of (true) doom metal albums for some websites/zines in Poland and I felt that it was something valuable for the readers. Doom metal was a niche genre in Poland since at that time we had no (true) doom metal scene, so availability of CDs and number of people you could talk to and get some recommendations were limited. Reviews were read, forums was full of intense discussions, but it faded away with time.
Anyway, I was surprised that MA forum is still such an active one!

Nowadays on-line access to music, even that less popular, is so easy that I don't feel like reviews are so important. I'd even say that ease of creating a blog and publishing everyone's and his mother thoughts on music make a lot of information noise with all that low-quality reviews written by people who know very little about music. Too much fanboy writing, too much sponsored reviews, etc.

On the other hand there are so many new albums released and metal is already nearly a half century old. I believe articles/lists about summarizing history of particular genre/scene, classic bands and milestone albums are what is needed more than 666th review of new Five Finger Death Punch album or whatever some kid considers a new breakthrough in heavy metal music.

Personally, beside recommendations from my metal pals, I have some strictly limited number of websites/blogs/forums where I lurk to check what makes a stirr and just listen to the album on-line to decide if it matches my taste.
IF I read the review, it's more often for entertainment purposes than a need for opinion. Some people can write in such colourful/brutally honest way that the review itself is a piece of art!

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sovcom
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:07 am
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:47 am 
 

I mostly use Rateyourmusic and simply listen to stuff on Youtube. Metal Archives, sometimes but less and less, as I generally dislike the site now as the forum is run like some esp totalitarian communist commune instead of being about music (which is bound to attract people with *gasp* different opinions about life and other such shockers).

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jimbies
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:52 pm
Posts: 884
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:15 am 
 

You know what I like WAY more than a review? A track-by-track breakdown by one of the band members/songwriters. I want to hear their experience writing/composing/recording the song. Parts they struggled nailing down, what inspired the lyrics, if there are any cool or unique stories about part of the song, like where it was written. I think an artist can still give this insight without ruining the interpretation for the listener.

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Twisted_Psychology
Metal freak

Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 8:22 pm
Posts: 4113
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:05 am 
 

jimbies wrote:
You know what I like WAY more than a review? A track-by-track breakdown by one of the band members/songwriters. I want to hear their experience writing/composing/recording the song. Parts they struggled nailing down, what inspired the lyrics, if there are any cool or unique stories about part of the song, like where it was written. I think an artist can still give this insight without ruining the interpretation for the listener.


I still love those reviews that the drummer from Cirith Ungol did for some of their albums though his attitude has thankfully changed since then with the band's resurgence and all. I would absolutely love it if reviews like that showed up more on the site and in general. I could write pretty in depth commentaries on my own work but I'm not sure who would really care to read it.
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MetalCrest of Darkness
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:29 am
Posts: 46
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:02 pm 
 

Yes there a few dozen specialized press, that has the best of the best of the writers, and have the staff that knows what they are talking about, if a web-zine never had a print edition back in 1981 'till 1991, that web-zine is worthless, in every way....there 6 or more print editions i read, where me and the writer have the same exact taste, when you find something like that, you can just for for the upper .1 to 1 percent and leave all the hyped over-hyped garbage alone. I am glad i got my start early in the 1980;s metal underground and not all the poor web-zines around after April 15th, 1995. Once I find a print edition that knows the gold standard albums and artist, for there genre that they are covering, it is just a matter of making want list and hunting that stuff down. I have been with a few fanzines since 1990, it is just a matter of of finding some awesome fanzine editor who has a good ear for music as well as the extreme/ heavy. As a record collector i can keep track of my favorite 1,500 bands of the top of my head, once a band sells-out, then a spot on my want-list opens up. I hit the record shops 3 times a week since 1982, since I hate Television. I like most music on the classical/ shred side of things, Megadeath/ Testament...etc. So I keep in mind that subjective perspective when i read a objective music review. 1300 genres and only one of them is actual heavy metal!

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Nhor
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:59 pm
Posts: 305
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:52 pm 
 

I'll check out a band if they got a bunch of good reviews here but I'm often like 'why the fuck doesn't MA like such and such band/album etc"

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Rodman
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:15 am
Posts: 400
Location: Sydney, Australia
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:02 am 
 

Has MA considered a 'trending' feature on its homepage - as in, something that indicates what bands/albums are receiving the most high reviews over a period of, say, the last 3-6 months?

I'd find something like this very useful, and it might also provide more value to the good work being done by reviewers on MA.
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Goatfangs
Wicker Mantis

Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 5:02 pm
Posts: 2461
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:45 pm 
 

These days I don't really use reviews as a guide. I make my own determination on what I like and dislike. There are albums that are hated by Metal-Archives reviewers that I like quite a bit. There are albums that have 90+ percentage average that I haven't really gotten into.

With that said if it is a band I never heard before and there is an album with multiple good reviews I might be more inclined to check it out.
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Cat III
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:44 am
Posts: 204
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:43 am 
 

I wouldn't be so quick to write off the usefulness of reviews as buyer's guides. Even a long review takes less time to read than a short album takes to listen to, plus not every album is readily available on streaming services. A lot of music takes multiple listens to appreciate. If I trust a reviewer's taste and they strongly recommend an album, I'm more likely to give it more spins even if it doesn't grab me the first time. Of course, as others have said in this thread, that's not the only reason people read reviews and everyone should keep that in mind when writing one.
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SweetLeaf95
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:19 am
Posts: 575
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:52 pm 
 

They're definitely less necessary now than before, but I try to read as many as I can for a few reasons:
1. People have exposed me to new, great bands that way
2. Seeing how someone interprets an album is fun in my eyes, which is why
3. (continued) I never have issue with the amount of reviews on classic bands, because whether it says the same thing or not, I like to see what others think about albums I've always loved. Thus, bring on the 100th Reign In Blood review. Won't irritate me in the slightest.
4. I believe writing and reading them more often transmits to real life articulation, and can help in other social areas in your life (I may stand alone on this one).
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jimbies
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:52 pm
Posts: 884
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:51 pm 
 

Rodman wrote:
Has MA considered a 'trending' feature on its homepage - as in, something that indicates what bands/albums are receiving the most high reviews over a period of, say, the last 3-6 months?

I'd find something like this very useful, and it might also provide more value to the good work being done by reviewers on MA.


It'd be kinda cool to see what pages are visited the most often as well (band/album)

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Bingewolf
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:59 pm
Posts: 185
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:32 pm 
 

In terms of determining if I will check out the music myself, no I don’t consider reviews anymore. It’s so easy these days to find a track or album to stream that I’ll usually check it out myself first. Then, if I like it, I will seek out more info on the band/project.

If it’s a band I know and like, I will give it at least one spin.

The only exception would be bands I know and don’t like. There are certain music journalists that I enjoy (i.e. I like their writing style or they have a track record of liking the same things as I do). If I see a review from said journalists about a band I would not check out otherwise, then I will read why they liked it and maybe consider giving it a spin. Kevin Stewart-Panko from Decibel comes to mind as one such journalist.

I am guilty of scrolling through MA reviews of obscure metal bands I come across when I can’t sleep though... Ha!

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Somar
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2015 1:01 pm
Posts: 208
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:04 am 
 

In regards to MA reviews i find them to be very bad in general.

I already tend to ignore those that rate albums 100% or 0%. That's usually already an indicator that the review is way biased.

But even those that give more adequate ratings are usually not that insightful. (There are a handful of very good ones, mind it)

I mostly look for magazine reviewers, in my experience they have much more reliable info, which is not surprising, it's their job after all.
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PaganiusI
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:49 pm
Posts: 378
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:17 am 
 

Somar wrote:
I mostly look for magazine reviewers, in my experience they have much more reliable info, which is not surprising, it's their job after all.


More reliable info, probably.

Mor reliable scores, I doubt it.
Label's pay for good reviews or adds in the mag and thus get higher scores. Mags have to fund themselves somehow and loosing a major add partner might kill it. This doesn't aply to every mag of course! I count more on a good fan review even though they might be biased.
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Somar
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2015 1:01 pm
Posts: 208
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:45 am 
 

PaganiusI wrote:
More reliable info, probably.

Mor reliable scores, I doubt it.
Label's pay for good reviews or adds in the mag and thus get higher scores. Mags have to fund themselves somehow and loosing a major add partner might kill it. This doesn't aply to every mag of course! I count more on a good fan review even though they might be biased.

Yes, you're right.

I was talking in terms of writing, not the score. But it's still possible to write a good review, and include criticism to certain aspects, while giving a higher score than you would normally. It's just a matter of choosing the words you use.

I find fan based reviews useful, but i prefer them if they come from someone with musical background, that also knows how to write things properly, that's were professional reviewers usually do a better job overall.
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Thexhumed
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:26 pm
Posts: 1007
Location: Chile
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:58 pm 
 

Yes, specially on the ones posted here on the Archives. Whenever I want to know new stuff I come here, look for albums I already like, see some good reviews given, who wrote them and what other albums the reviewer liked. It has worked wonders.
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Cat III
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:44 am
Posts: 204
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:29 pm 
 

PaganiusI wrote:
Somar wrote:
I mostly look for magazine reviewers, in my experience they have much more reliable info, which is not surprising, it's their job after all.


More reliable info, probably.

Mor reliable scores, I doubt it.
Label's pay for good reviews or adds in the mag and thus get higher scores. Mags have to fund themselves somehow and loosing a major add partner might kill it. This doesn't aply to every mag of course! I count more on a good fan review even though they might be biased.

Theneedledrop (I know, I know) made a video recently highlighting an article that pointed out that of mainstream reviews of pop culture, those regarding music are the most positive, to the point that critical reviews are exceptionally rare. My guess is this has to do with music piracy being so commonplace, labels work extra hard to avoid any negative press and they have the leverage to enforce this because music publications are in even tighter positions financially.

Seems like any time I visit a major metal website, all the reviews on the sidebar are at least 6/10. Admittedly amateur reviewers often have similarly high averages, but at least they review on a whim and aren't expected to be comprehensive. I very well could be missing some stellar writers, but I don't recall any professional reviews I've read recently that stood out as particularly well-written.
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PaganiusI
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Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:49 pm
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Location: Germany
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:52 am 
 

Cat III wrote:
I very well could be missing some stellar writers, but I don't recall any professional reviews I've read recently that stood out as particularly well-written.


Especially magazines (at least those I've read in the past) had review sections that covered lots of releases. About 10 pages of reviews per mag, but they were mostly at a length and depth somewhere between Amazon and the lowest MA standards. Only the album of the month got his own page. If you have to write several page-filling articles, go to concerts, do interviews and constantly write stuff which pretty often doesn't even end up being in the mag due to some other stories being more "interesting", there's not too much time left for the Reviews. In addition to that, they all have guidelines about how long, how in-depth the review has to be and so on which doesn't give them much space to go all in about the songwriting skills of different members, how well thought through the cow bell in track 7 is and and and. Online zines on the other hand usually have dedicated writers strictly for reviews (mostly guest writers and such) and are mostly just like us here. Fans that love to write about stuff.
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praey
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:33 am
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:17 am 
 

The idea that "reviews are pointless nowadays because music is so easily available" makes no sense to me. Sure, these days it's easier than ever to listen to what the writer listened to, but there's more to a review than just getting a recommendation for what to buy. A good review can reveal nuances or influences in the album you didn't here yourself, name-drop great bands you haven't heard of before, provide some perspective or commentary on the current scene, and provide a different perspective on an album or the performances therein - possibly causing you to change your own opinion. In short a good review is no different than discussing an album with fellow metal fans, there's a lot you can learn beyond just "the guitar tone sounds like a swarm of bees ripping your scrotum apart."

That said, there are a lot of bad reviews out there. I find the better ones tend to be written on sites or blogs that have dedicated writers and don't run ads or have a financial interest in labels or bands. Like anything else, you have to be critical of what you read and not take everything as gospel.

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