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Link Coupla 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 6th Diamhea Memorial Review Challenge: 30th Nov - 6th Dec 2020 / 2020-11-28 21:19

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 November 30th and will run until 11:59PM EST on Sunday December 6th.

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 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

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 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

Link R.I.P. Diamhea / 2018-05-22 14:17

We have some sad news.

One of our moderators, Christopher Santaniello, known to us by his handle Diamhea, has died. He was 31.

Diamhea had a stellar work ethic here. Some of you might know him best as a point of contact when handling reports, or in providing feedback on reviews, or even just for his love of Overkill and bodybuilding. Whether you got along with him or not, he was truly a facet here, and his absence is noticed. He was devoted to Metal Archives, and took pride in helping to maintain its integrity. I can't think of a better way to honour him, than to recognize how much we valued him as our friend and as a member of our team.

R.I.P. We'll miss you, man.

- The whole MA team

&

-Derigin

Link It's that time of the year... / 2018-04-01 22:33

Turns out, there are constantly new metal bands being formed and releasing music, and so we will never be fully complete? Who knew? :)

Happy April Fool's Day, everyone. Band submissions are open again. Here's to another 120,000 bands and more!

-Morrigan

Link 100% COMPLETE: NO LONGER ACCEPTING NEW BANDS / 2018-04-01 00:23

Hello everyone!

It has been close to 16 years since we launched this site, never expecting at the time that it would grow the way it did. We are very proud of having helped the community build this amazing resource and we appreciate everyone's hard work over the last decade and a half or so.

But all good things must come to an end. We currently have over 120,000 bands, more than we ever thought possible. That is more than enough to declare our database 100% complete. Safe to say, no other resource comes close to being as thorough and comprehensive. Considering the continuing dilution of metal by outside musical influences, it is this unrivalled level of coverage of what may very well be called the birth, life and death of the genre that has led us to the decision to stop accepting new band entries as of today. When we started, we thought it'd be cool if we could get as many as 12,000 bands listed, some day in the distant future, but we have crushed this objective more than ten times over.

Don't worry, the Archives are not shutting down! Review submissions are still open, and for an undetermined amount of time, edits will still possible to fix whatever mistakes remain. But we have more than enough bands to be considered fully complete. All noteworthy bands have been catalogued, and then some. It's time to move on.

It's been a pleasure, everyone. \m/

- HellBlazer

&

-Morrigan

Link 20th M-A Reviews Challenge: 4th - 10th Dec 2017 / 2017-12-02 13:10

Holy shit, we've reached 20!

The classic MA Virgin Reviews Challenge is back, and just as we reach the end of what has been a wild year!

This challenge is a time-honored tradition among our reviewers here. Every winter and every summer 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 starts at 12:00 AM EST on Monday December 4th and runs until 11:59PM EST on Sunday December 10th.

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

Looking forward to your participation! \m/

-Derigin

Link 15 years! / 2017-07-07 05:32

July 7, 2002: The first band was added to Metal Archives. ~117,000 bands later, here we are. We would like to thank all contributors, past and present (and future!), big and small, for their contributions to the site and making Encyclopaedia Metallum the definitive resource for metal.

If you are so inclined, head over to the official MA Facebook page to commemorate this milestone and share your favourite memories of the site.

\m/ \m/

-Zodijackyl

&

-Azmodes

Link 19th M-A Reviews Challenge: 5th - 11th Jun 2017 / 2017-06-05 07:25

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 winter and every summer 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 is currently running from today (June 5th) until 11:59PM EST on June 11th. Everyone is welcome to participate - all you have to do is submit reviews as usual.

Looking forward to your participation! \m/

-Derigin

Link Maintenance / 2017-05-08 20:52

The site will be going down for some quick maintenance around 11:30 PM EDT / 3:30 AM UTC. I'm told it shouldn't take more than 30 minutes.

EDIT: All done.

-HellBlazer

Link April Fools / 2017-04-02 04:26

Yeah, you know the drill. We're not really doing the news thing (as was hopefully obvious).

-HellBlazer

Link 18th M-A Reviews Challenge: 12th - 18th Dec 2016 / 2016-12-07 13:02

Greetings, all! It's December yet again, and that means yet another MA Virgin Reviews Challenge!

First hosted over a decade ago, this challenge is a time-honored tradition among our reviewers here. Every winter and every summer 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!

This challenge will run from Monday December 12th @ 12:00AM EST to Sunday December 18th @ 11:59PM EST. Everyone is welcome to participate - all you have to do is submit reviews as usual.

ALSO, this year we're bringing back SECRET SATAN. In addition to the challenge, you can opt-in to the Secret Santa (Satan?) bonus round. In Secret Satan you will be matched up with another reviewer by yours truly. You will exchange with one another a virgin album for review and will commit to reviewing that album for the challenge. If you want to join Secret Satan, please read what you need to do here. Got any questions? Feel free to ask there!

Looking forward to your participation! \m/

-Derigin

Link External links / 2016-10-18 15:16

A decision has been made somewhat recently to overhaul the "Links" tab, removing clutter, streamlining and determining what is/isn't pertinent for addition to band pages. We must emphasise that third-party links should only be added if they complement the existing info on the page, or provide tertiary info for extremely obscure bands. Wikipedia, Last.FM and Discogs links generally do not belong anywhere in the links section; Wikipedia links are notoriously unreliable on all fronts, while Last.FM pages are rarely directly operated by the band members themselves and do not add much, if any, encyclopedic value either way, as multiple "artists" with the same name are oftentimes bunched together.

Motivated by the prevalence of users point whoring and taking advantage of the "Unofficial" sub-tab, users need to take a step back and consider whether or not inundating bigger band pages with dozens of fan forums, off-site reviews and other means of clutter is really worth it from an encyclopedic standpoint. These links are oftentimes temporary at best, leading to more broken links than functioning ones only after a short time. Lastly, realize that merch and label links MUST redirect to a band-specific page on the site in question.

Thank you for your comprehension.

-Diamhea

&

-Azmodes

Link 17th M-A Reviews Challenge: 20th - 26th Jun 2016 / 2016-06-20 08:53

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

First hosted a decade ago, this challenge is a time-honored tradition among our reviewers here. Every winter and every summer 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 is currently running from today (June 20th) until 11:59PM EST on June 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 research thread / 2016-04-21 11:03

Attention, band submitters!

Did one of your submissions get rejected for non-musical reasons and you find yourself unable to provide the needed information/evidence? Did you come across a potential addition, but are hesitant to submit because there's a crucial piece of info missing? Whatever the case, try posting in this useful thread on the forum dedicated to digging up music samples, proof of release and the like for obscure bands. Someone else might be able to help you out and in doing so further enrich the Archives for us all. Or maybe it's you who can fill in some gaps for any of the thread's many bands in need of some online (or RL) detective work.

Seriously, give it a try, it works more often than one would think and -needless to say- is vastly preferable to having a potentially valid band entry slip into oblivion forever.

As always, thank you all for your contributions. This site would be an impossibility without you.

-Azmodes

Link IMPORTANT (YET AGAIN) - A Return to Normalcy / 2016-04-02 00:03

We find ourselves at a turning point - should we forge forward with our pledge to accept all reviews, without moderation, and stay committed to that cause? Or, should we turn our back on change and return to the time-tested practices of the past? We have witnessed naysayers make claims and accusations that border on the insulting; arguing that the inclusion of reviews is without merit and that our moderators are lazy workers that should "fuck off and resign." What can I say but that a future without reviews on this site is no good future at all! We will not and shall not accept a reality where reviews are stripped of their permanence and albums laid bare of their acclamations and refutations. No, metal brothers and sisters, you can rest assured that we would not remove all reviews, nor would we accept all reviews without proper vetting... at least you can be certain we wouldn't do so outside of jest. And, yes, jest it was.

Happy April Fools' Day, folks. The fun is over. Everything is back to normal now.

All automatically accepted reviews have been set back to drafts. If, by chance, you're one of the very few who sent in a serious review today, you can now re-submit it for formal approval (through our lovely, moderated review queue). For everyone else, you can delete your silly reviews or keep them as souvenir drafts.

On a serious note, though. Over the last week tempers have flared, and some individuals have made some rather passionate posts in the forum - whether they were "in" on the joke or not - on the state of our moderation and whether reviews are worth keeping. Regarding the first point, moderating the review queue - although at times painfully tedious - is not difficult. This is a task that many of us actually enjoy, when we can get around to it. We wouldn't be here if we didn't enjoy the work we do on the site. Regarding whether reviews are worth keeping, though? Well, folks, if you value reviews as a way of giving you a glimpse into the features, sound, and style of an album, that value holds true regardless of the availability of that album. Not to presume that any one reviewer is objectively correct (oh, goodness no!), but a single person's glimpse into an album is better than none at all. The inclusion of reviews might not be "objectively" and "neutrally" encyclopedic, but they can offer valuable information you may not find elsewhere. That's certainly better than the alternative. Sure, the 35th "Master of Puppets" review is obstensibly redundant, but that's beyond the point. We recognize as a site that reviews serve a useful, informative purpose and are here to stay.

We hope you've enjoyed this year's joke as much as we have enjoyed your reactions. \m/

-Derigin

Link IMPORTANT (AGAIN) - New Review Policy / 2016-04-01 13:05

Given the massive public outcry at our decision to no longer host user submitted reviews (not to mention the deep divides this decision has created among our own staff), as well as the amazing level of support many have shown for the reviews, we have decided to reverse our previous decision to remove reviews from The Encyclopaedia Metallum. We will be restoring all of the reviews from a previous backup of the site, so no information will be lost.

While we now realize that we underestimated the scale of support for user reviews, the reasons why we initially reached that decision remain. While it is a relatively straightforward process to moderate the veracity of information submitted to the main site (though it is admittedly time consuming), things get much more complicated when it comes to the moderation of the inherently subjective nature of user reviews. In the end, it is ultimately impossible for our staff to moderate user-submitted reviews in a way that reflects the Metal Archives' devotion to neutrality. Our increasingly strict guidelines and rules for user reviews often served as a barrier to entry for beginner writers and for those for whom English is a second language. In addition, we do not want our staff spending valuable time moderating an often contentious review queue when they could be working to help keep our database complete and accurate.

With these things in mind, we will, from this point forward, no longer be moderating user submitted reviews before they are posted to the site. All reviews will be automatically accepted. To prevent point abuse, users will no longer be able to earn site points via user submitted reviews. We instead encourage those looking to contribute and increase their ranks to work on adding new information and, if user rank is high enough, working on the report queue.

-HellBlazer

Link IMPORTANT - Concerning Reviews / 2016-04-01 02:04

The Encyclopaedia Metallum was envisioned to be, and has remained throughout its fourteen years of existence, the go-to resource for accurate, neutral information documenting the global heavy metal scene. We are proud of the work of our countless contributors and the incredible dedication of our staff to making the Metal Archives the comprehensive resource that it has become.

From the outset, the Archives were designed to be an encyclopedia - rich in factual detail but neutral in its documentation of these facts. While we recognize that the site is often used by bands and fans alike for promotional purposes, that was never our intention. Similarly, we never wanted the site to be a news outlet, webzine or review blog. While we have and have always had a discussion forum and staff-moderated user reviews, these were never meant to be defining features of The Encyclopaedia Metallum, but rather extensions of the community of staff and contributors who have given so much of their time to the main site.

The landscape of the Internet has changed since the Archives' birth, and while we have been slower to embrace things like social media and digital releases than many would have liked, we have come to the decision that, as a neutral informational database, it is vital that the Archives distance itself from the growing sphere of review blogging. For many years it has been difficult to reinforce the site's public image as a neutral database of heavy metal while simultaneously playing host to publicly available music reviews that are often the source of great controversy. Though it is clear to us that the opinions in the user reviews are those of the writers alone and do not reflect beliefs held by The Encyclopaedia Metallum or its staff, too often the site itself is judged based on the content of these reviews. This becomes particularly troublesome with regard to reviews that contain offensive materials or those which endorse recordings with controversial subject matters.

In addition to these problems, the high standards which we have forged for our review moderation process has put a heavy burden on our staff. Too often our staff members' free time is consumed moderating the review queue and getting into disagreements with users (and other staff) about the acceptability of individual reviews. We would rather our staff and our userbase spend their time maintaining the accuracy of information on the Archives itself and adding more information to the site than spending time with a tangential feature of the site and its community.

While we are incredibly thankful for the massive number of often excellent reviews submitted to our site over the years, we have reached the decision that The Encyclopaedia Metallum will no longer host reviews submitted by users or written by staff. This means that currently posted reviews will be removed, and that reviews will no longer be able to be submitted to the site. We understand that many will be disappointed by this decision, but we feel that it is the best step we can take toward maintaining our reputation as a truly neutral and unbiased source of information for all things heavy metal. We encourage our many excellent review writers to post their reviews in better venues than ours, and likewise encourage readers of reviews posted here to follow their favourite writers to whichever outlet they deem most appropriate for their music reviews.

While the reviews will be removed from the site immediately, we will be returning the text of all reviews to you via the email address listed on your account. Due to the large volume of reviews on the site, please understand that this process will take some time, but you will have your reviews returned to you.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this difficult decision.

-Morrigan

Link Reminder: Label/Merch Links / 2016-03-17 20:02

A reminder that when adding label/merch links to band pages, the links should direct to a band specific page on the site, not simply a label or merch site homepage. We are suffering from a growing issue with users simply adding redundant links en masse that serve little purpose other than facilitating point whoring. This extends beyond the realistic scope of the site, especially for bigger-name bands that have a multitude of online vendors handling their products. In the end, this results in countless broken links (at worst) or at least a convoluted disarray of largely useless links. Exercise reasonable judgement and only add links that complement the existing information on the band page. This is why the addition of Last.fm and Wikipedia links are also strongly discouraged.

Thank you for your comprehension. \m/

-Derigin

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