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Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:34 pm
Posts: 68
Location: Painted World of Ariamis
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:47 pm 

I haven't read metal reviews from large sites in awhile. There's a lot of people here who can meld their talents at creative writing and love for metal together and I've enough trust for the community to take what they say seriously. I read a handful of metal archive reviews every week to keep myself entertained and informed, the site usually strikes a good balance of both.

I have very little desire to read reviews from places like Blabbermouth or Metal Sucks, mostly because I don't visit those sites often enough for news and I'm not exposed to their stuff in any other way. Today though, I needed to write a report on the media industry and the impact critics have on entertainment for my college course. I decided to check out some reviews for Death Thy Lover by Candlemass because it was an EP I wanted to listen to again soon, me and my friend had a differing opinion on it and I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone. Jesus Christ though, mainstream metal reviews have clearly fallen a long way:

http://www.metalsucks.net/2016/06/01/ep ... andlemass/

http://www.blabbermouth.net/cdreviews/d ... -lover-ep/

The first review is heavy on the filler and spends more time making jokes about hipster shit than describing and commenting on the music, while the second tries to disguise a very shallow opinion with flowery language. I really feel like I made a better assessment of their writing in that one sentence than they did Candlemass' whole EP. I doubt either of these reviews would make it onto the site and I certainly wouldn't proudly show that shit off as an achievement in my writing career, much less a triumph in music journalism.

Why are these reviews so awful? Is it just a bad sample size? Blabbermouth and Metal Sucks are big sites, why do I end up trusting the opinions and writing ability of 16-year-old Brazilians over people who get payed to review music? Feel free to weigh in.

Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:30 am
Posts: 150
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:23 pm 

Metal Sucks is a horrific site but in general too many reviews I read are just snark laden, poor excuses for writing.


Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 8:22 pm
Posts: 3651
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:32 pm 

As a "professional" music reviewer myself (Apparently somebody in a thrash group on Facebook thought I got paid for my Conformicide review?), the biggest metal sites like those listed tend to have mediocre content because they're usually reviewing releases that they "have to do." They may either have their bands they're legitimately passionate about, the ones they'll write about because they know people will have strong opinions about it, and (Most often in the case of MetalSucks specifically) the straight up clickbait. Unless they care or can guarantee that readers will care, they'll phone in what basically amounts to a flowery Wikipedia article.

There's also concerns of promotion as well as conflicts of interest with most of those sites. Since free promos are involved, they tend to not want to bite the hand that feeds with a review that is either unfavorable or "too" honest to an album. That's why so many reviews are so middle of the road bland in opinion unless the fan outcry is too overwhelming to ignore. If I'm not mistaken, Blabbermouth is also affiliated with Roadrunner in some way, which is why their 8/10 review of Dedicated to Chaos exists complete with a preemptively defensive attitude throughout.

As a musician, having my works reviewed on the sites would only satisfy me in the sense that it would reflect some sort of international recognition. But in terms of actual content and criticisms, I take reviews by fans and underground blogs run by a friend or two much more seriously.
Spirit Division (Stoner/Doom): http://spiritdivision.bandcamp.com
My solo acoustic project (Dark Folk/Blues): http://christophersteve.bandcamp.com/
Lavaborne (Heavy/Power/Doom): https://lavaborne.bandcamp.com

Eats and Spits Corpses

Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:46 pm
Posts: 8853
Location: At the Heat of Winter
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:37 pm 

These reviews suck because they are written the bands promotional interests in mind. They are rarely impartial.
Italy: #1 exporter of erroneous MA data since 2002.

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