Ramblings of a Rabid Reviewer.

Written by: Marcel Hubregtse
Published: 12.05.2007
This is my first MS-blog of hopefully many more to come.

Why is it that nowadays even reviewers hide behind nicknames? Has it do with the anonimity of the Internet where people are somehow afraid to use their real name on forums? Okay, I know that I started posting in the forum here on Metal Storm as Ozman, so is this a case of the pot calling the kettle black? Mmm, I don't think so really, because I changed the Ozman nick to my real name after a couple of reviews. I think it is more honest towards the the artists who have put a lot of effort in their recordings that their work is reviewed by a person of flesh and blood and not just an abstract name. Because does an Internet nickname reflect the reviewer's personality? Nope, I don't think so, but then again neither does the person's real name. For that name is also only given on a whim and born into. But at least the artist can track down the person behind the name if they have any reason to.
Employing the nick Ozman I felt I could hide behind it and be different from the person who I really am if there ever was a need to. But having picked up reviewing after a lay-off of about 14 years I felt it necessary to go back to my own name for that would be more honest towards the bands and also towards the people reading the reviews.
Reviewing, what does it entail? I hear many a person ask. To put it bluntly, nothing much, you sit down listen to the cd or whatever and give your honest objective opinion on it. But is it really that simple? Mmm, not really... for first of all objectivity does not exist and will never exist. Reviewing something from scratch is also nigh to impossible for I for one always want some kind of frame of reference, where is a band coming from in comparison to their earlier work. And if it is a debut: how does band compare to other bands in the same genre? Am I hindered or helped by my broad taste in metal while reviewing? Questions, questions. Are there quick and easy answers to those questions? Maybe my mind works in mysterious ways... but NO there are no quick and easy answers. Take for exqample a broad taste in metal... it can hinder the reviewing for you won't limit yourself to just one genre and therefore will not have heard everything or near to everything in that genre thus holding you back in coparison to peers of the the reviewed band. But having a broad taste can also help you in spotting references in the music which originate from other genres.
So after having established the history of the band, their musical inspirations and references and how the latest work compares to their own back catalogue and to that of their peers within the subgenre and genre at large comes the really hard part... what bleeding rating to give the album?
And this aspect I find even harder. Okay so there are some more or less objective criteria you can judge an album by you owuld think. One of them being production I hear some of you opt. Nope... a crispy clear production with some nice heavy touches might objectively be a good production. But, and this is a very big but such a production not and will never work for bands such as Darkthrone, Xasthur, Leviathan etc. Their music works better with a very grainy almost minimal sort of production whereas that sort of production will have you run away screaming when it is used on a Dream Theater album.
So, as you can see from this simple example.... objectivity is far and away here too, for it also has to do with personal preferences. Even an overal rating is obscured by how one views a band and their work of art and if one knwos the band members personally or if one wants to promote a certain scene.
I for one am almost a bit biased towards thrash, death and doom bands, and especially if they are from The Netherlands. So, if you see a review by me of such a bandd from The Netherlands I think it would be safe to subtract about half a point to get a fairer (more objective?) view of the album.


This about wraps up my ramblings for today.

Don't be shy to comment objectively, subjectively, or flame me on these raving rabid ramblings.
Or pm me with something you want to knwo more about and would want to read about in a future blog of mine.


Cheerz,
Marcel


 




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Baz Anderson - 12.05.2007 at 20:50  
well I have always gone by my real name, like you are now.. Baz (or Barry) Anderson and not many others seem to do that.. surname as well.. so hopefully I have never been seen to have been 'hiding'.. but have only started reviewing for the front page since the end of February wheras you will have for longer..
ha - but yeh, of course I am going to lean a little towards English bands like you are bands from the Netherlands.. haha
Carrion - 12.05.2007 at 21:04  
I don't have my real name as nick, but if go see my profile you can see my real first name there.. Maybe I should add last name too.. But hell, I haven't even done any reviews, but maybe someday It's true that it is almost impossible to be objective while reviewing a bands work, especially when you're talking about a really well-known band like Metallica or Dream Theater.. I myself usually am more critic for finnish bands when I'm asked of what I'm thinking of their albums. It's like this thing in football for ex. If the son of the trainer is in the team, he will probably have to face harder comments than the others.
BreadGod - 12.05.2007 at 21:26  
If you wanted to find out a person's real name, why not look at their profile? Or better yet, why not ask them by PM?

As for this blog post of yours, I could not understand a damn thing. To me, it was just a wall of incoherent text. It's sort of strange considering you're reading this comment which was made by the master of incoherency.
Susan - 12.05.2007 at 21:30  
<-- hides behind an alias

Great insight into reviewing. As I delve further into reviewing for MS I have been asking myself a lot of these same questions. If I review a band's 5th album, should I have heard the first 4 in order to write a good review? Is it better that I have NOT heard the first 4? Lots of things like that give me trouble... but at the end of the day you gotta just give your opinion positive and negative. It's nice to see what other reviewers worry about/consider before publishing.
Marcel Hubregtse - 12.05.2007 at 21:31  
Written by BreadGod on 12.05.2007 at 21:26

If you wanted to find out a person's real name, why not look at their profile? Or better yet, why not ask them by PM?

As for this blog post of yours, I could not understand a damn thing. To me, it was just a wall of incoherent text. It's sort of strange considering you're reading this comment which was made by the master of incoherency.


For real names in the profiles... most people don't use them there either. And that is besides the point I was trying to make. Read again and try to understand the point I was making as to why to use your real name when reviewing ;-)

As to you considering it an incoherent text... check out the title of this blog... Ramblings of a Rabid Reviewer.
Herzebeth - 12.05.2007 at 21:34  
shall I change Herzebeth for Francisco Eguiza???
Marcel Hubregtse - 12.05.2007 at 21:37  
Written by Herzebeth on 12.05.2007 at 21:34

shall I change Herzebeth for Francisco Eguiza???


I am not saying anyone must... it is up to the individual. I wanted to give people something to think about

Another reason for me to change my nick to my real name was that I felt like a stupid kid when introducing myself to some band members as "Hi I am Ozman of Metal Storm." when meeting them face to face.
BreadGod - 12.05.2007 at 22:00  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 12.05.2007 at 21:37

Written by Herzebeth on 12.05.2007 at 21:34

shall I change Herzebeth for Francisco Eguiza???


I am not saying anyone must... it is up to the individual. I wanted to give people something to think about

Another reason for me to change my nick to my real name was that I felt like a stupid kid when introducing myself to some band members as "Hi I am Ozman of Metal Storm." when meeting them face to face.


Actually, I liked your nickname of Ozman. It reminded me of Osman I, the founder of the Ottoman Empire. Is the reason why you changed your nickname because you no longer wanted to be associated with a figure from medieval history?
GT - 12.05.2007 at 22:05  
Nice insight on reviewing and some very good arguments against the use of internet-nicks when reviewing. Seems like you've been thinking about the before mentioned subjects for quite some time.
Personally have nothing against internet-nicks...if people fell more comfortable using one then fine. I use my initials and well my real name is in my profile
Marcel Hubregtse - 12.05.2007 at 22:06  
Written by BreadGod on 12.05.2007 at 22:00

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 12.05.2007 at 21:37

Written by Herzebeth on 12.05.2007 at 21:34

shall I change Herzebeth for Francisco Eguiza???


I am not saying anyone must... it is up to the individual. I wanted to give people something to think about

Another reason for me to change my nick to my real name was that I felt like a stupid kid when introducing myself to some band members as "Hi I am Ozman of Metal Storm." when meeting them face to face.


Actually, I liked your nickname of Ozman. It reminded me of Osman I, the founder of the Ottoman Empire. Is the reason why you changed your nickname because you no longer wanted to be associated with a figure from medieval history?


Nope, the reason I switched from my nickname to my real name is given in the rambling blog post of mine....
BreadGod - 12.05.2007 at 22:15  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 12.05.2007 at 22:06

Written by BreadGod on 12.05.2007 at 22:00

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 12.05.2007 at 21:37

Written by Herzebeth on 12.05.2007 at 21:34

shall I change Herzebeth for Francisco Eguiza???


I am not saying anyone must... it is up to the individual. I wanted to give people something to think about

Another reason for me to change my nick to my real name was that I felt like a stupid kid when introducing myself to some band members as "Hi I am Ozman of Metal Storm." when meeting them face to face.


Actually, I liked your nickname of Ozman. It reminded me of Osman I, the founder of the Ottoman Empire. Is the reason why you changed your nickname because you no longer wanted to be associated with a figure from medieval history?


Nope, the reason I switched from my nickname to my real name is given in the rambling blog post of mine....


Unfortunately, I couldn't find any of the reasons as detailed in your blog post because the text is all compact together and it is hard for me to figure out when a sentence ends and another begins. Perhaps if you put it into an easily readable paragraph form, then maybe I will be able to understand whatever it is you're trying to get across. Until then, I'm clueless.
Marcel Hubregtse - 12.05.2007 at 22:23  
Written by BreadGod on 12.05.2007 at 22:15

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 12.05.2007 at 22:06

Written by BreadGod on 12.05.2007 at 22:00

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 12.05.2007 at 21:37

Written by Herzebeth on 12.05.2007 at 21:34

shall I change Herzebeth for Francisco Eguiza???


I am not saying anyone must... it is up to the individual. I wanted to give people something to think about

Another reason for me to change my nick to my real name was that I felt like a stupid kid when introducing myself to some band members as "Hi I am Ozman of Metal Storm." when meeting them face to face.


Actually, I liked your nickname of Ozman. It reminded me of Osman I, the founder of the Ottoman Empire. Is the reason why you changed your nickname because you no longer wanted to be associated with a figure from medieval history?


Nope, the reason I switched from my nickname to my real name is given in the rambling blog post of mine....


Unfortunately, I couldn't find any of the reasons as detailed in your blog post because the text is all compact together and it is hard for me to figure out when a sentence ends and another begins. Perhaps if you put it into an easily readable paragraph form, then maybe I will be able to understand whatever it is you're trying to get across. Until then, I'm clueless.



I am not editing my text for it to become more readable. Sentences do start and end there as well ;-)
I am not dumbing it down :-0
Ever heard of stream-of-consciousness, well my blog is nothing compared to that. Try James Joyce's Ulysses and you'll really be left behind stumped.

O btw, paragraphs ARE used in my text.
BreadGod - 12.05.2007 at 22:29  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 12.05.2007 at 22:23

Written by BreadGod on 12.05.2007 at 22:15

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 12.05.2007 at 22:06

Written by BreadGod on 12.05.2007 at 22:00

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 12.05.2007 at 21:37

Written by Herzebeth on 12.05.2007 at 21:34

shall I change Herzebeth for Francisco Eguiza???


I am not saying anyone must... it is up to the individual. I wanted to give people something to think about

Another reason for me to change my nick to my real name was that I felt like a stupid kid when introducing myself to some band members as "Hi I am Ozman of Metal Storm." when meeting them face to face.


Actually, I liked your nickname of Ozman. It reminded me of Osman I, the founder of the Ottoman Empire. Is the reason why you changed your nickname because you no longer wanted to be associated with a figure from medieval history?


Nope, the reason I switched from my nickname to my real name is given in the rambling blog post of mine....


Unfortunately, I couldn't find any of the reasons as detailed in your blog post because the text is all compact together and it is hard for me to figure out when a sentence ends and another begins. Perhaps if you put it into an easily readable paragraph form, then maybe I will be able to understand whatever it is you're trying to get across. Until then, I'm clueless.



I am not editing my text for it to become more readable. Sentences do start and end there as well ;-)
I am not dumbing it down :-0
Ever heard of stream-of-consciousness, well my blog is nothing compared to that. Try James Joyce's Ulysses and you'll really be left behind stumped.

O btw, paragraphs ARE used in my text.


I read James Joyce's Ulysses and I could understand it perfectly. If you want incoherent, I'll be incoherent. Case in point:

Incoherent spells 1992 upside down Bob Newhart. Bottled fluid milk, yogurts, Red Rock Ginger Ale, vitamin D buttermilk and when did the slippery Yankees subtraction mastery. But grandma failed because my toy train went swimming in the piano. And pixie combs has been in the hands of Brenton James' combs from 2002 to 2006. Pixie sits in the little bed & sits with Kyle from South Park. It may contain references to human history, your mom, Dick Cheney and the speaker system I recently installed in my baby water bottle.
Markku - 12.05.2007 at 22:39  
Hello there. this sounds lame and all but I really agree with most of the things you sayed there. About the names, its cool if people real names in the forum but all of us might not feel comfortable with displaying our name in a forum full of strangers, anyways respect for all who do.(Btw my real name is as displayed at the upper left of this post)

About reviewing, I've puzzled with the same questions. Being objective, well its just like flipping a coin and hoping it will land on the rim. I stopped writing reviews after I asked myself the same questions which you're discussing here, a tricky busniess indeed.


P.S
Mr. Pink Think Tank, why don't you aim you guns to something more constructive than killing your time here.
BreadGod - 12.05.2007 at 22:46  
Written by Markku on 12.05.2007 at 22:39

P.S
Mr. Pink Think Tank, why don't you aim you guns to something more constructive than killing your time here.

Was this comment directed at me?
Bas - 12.05.2007 at 22:49  
of course reviews are subjective, yet (in most cases of course ) they are written by people who gave the music a chance and who actually know what they're talking about when they describe how something sounds

and i think thats what a reviewer is supposed to do, to not only tell how he likes an album but also to be able to convey how a piece of music sounds in text

just my two cents


and Insi, i didnt have any problems with reading Marcel's blog
Markku - 12.05.2007 at 22:52  
Written by BreadGod on 12.05.2007 at 22:46

Written by Markku on 12.05.2007 at 22:39

P.S
Mr. Pink Think Tank, why don't you aim you guns to something more constructive than killing your time here.

Was this comment directed at me?


Yes.
BreadGod - 12.05.2007 at 22:57  
@Bas: Well, you might have read it well, but I have a problem when people write and I can't seem to see the paragraphs. For me, a paragraph may be seen with either a half-inch indention or there needs to be one empty line between each paragraph in order for me to read it easily, sort of like what you do. You add one empty line between each paragraph, giving me an easier time to read it. I just wanted to read the blog post without feeling daunted by a thick wall of text.

@Markku: In regards to your comment, no, I am not leaving until I get a cookie.
Marcel Hubregtse - 12.05.2007 at 23:00  
Written by BreadGod on 12.05.2007 at 22:57

@Bas: Well, you might have read it well, but I have a problem when people write and I can't seem to see the paragraphs. For me, a paragraph may be seen with either a half-inch indention or there needs to be one empty line between each paragraph in order for me to read it easily, sort of like what you do. You add one empty line between each paragraph, giving me an easier time to read it. I just wanted to read the blog post without feeling daunted by a thick wall of text.



The paragraphs are clearly defined though, maybe not for your eyes but they are there. The indentation is at the END of the paragraph (also a very common way to do it)
BreadGod - 12.05.2007 at 23:04  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 12.05.2007 at 23:00


The paragraphs are clearly defined though, maybe not for your eyes but they are there.

In this case, it must be a difference in the way I see things, isn't it?
wrathchild - 12.05.2007 at 23:24  
I understood everything, and I must say this is exactly what I expect from those "blogs"

I could relate to many of the things you wrote here. Since I don't really consider myself a reviewer, I'm keeping my nickname, but if I was to review more albums and more varied albums (say, more black, death or industrial albums) I would consider using my name (or at least my first name) instead of "wrathchild."
I understand it may remind the bands and readers of Iron Maiden too much (especially since my avatar is also taken from IM). The fact is that I'm not so much into Iron Maiden now, but I've been using it for so long that I made it my own, without considering its original meaning.
Eddie - 13.05.2007 at 00:32  
Reviews will always be subjective, no changing that. Ofcourse finding a balance between subjectivity and objectivity is key, but that matter has been discussed a million times before. A little bit of national pride in your reviews won't hurt Just try to find a balance I would suggest, but that comes from a person that doesnt do reviews

Nicknames, you have a point Marcel, but its still just a nickname, if people would behave differently cause of just their nickname Id call them just a lil tiny bit strange and not honest to yourself, but well nonetheless they still roam around haha.

So well, ramble away
Raiden - 13.05.2007 at 18:27  
Written by Susan on 12.05.2007 at 21:30

<-- hides behind an alias

Great insight into reviewing. As I delve further into reviewing for MS I have been asking myself a lot of these same questions. If I review a band's 5th album, should I have heard the first 4 in order to write a good review? Is it better that I have NOT heard the first 4? Lots of things like that give me trouble... but at the end of the day you gotta just give your opinion positive and negative. It's nice to see what other reviewers worry about/consider before publishing.


Well I suppose I've never really thought about the whole nickname thing. To me it's not really hiding my name or anything. I'd imagine people would know my name is Will by now (well, some I hope ). I guess usernames provide more of a "nickname" that the user can name themselves by. Not as much of a screen, but a self chosen name that one likes. A nickname could make a person feel good, if they have a powerful type of name. But some people just think it's just boring to have their given name. But like I said I haven't thought too much about it (until now ) though it's an interesting point to bring up.

You make a good point about reviewers, though I suppose it isn't that hard to find information about them. Although having your own name puts more of a "stamp" on your review, making it more "signed" by you.

This same kind of topic can be applied to band members though. Why do band members "hide" behind aliases? They probably have more reason for their names to be out their than reviewers, but why do they do it too? It's different even from the offline to online world, so why do they do it?
Richard - 13.05.2007 at 19:03  
Written by Raiden on 13.05.2007 at 18:27

This same kind of topic can be applied to band members though. Why do band members "hide" behind aliases? They probably have more reason for their names to be out their than reviewers, but why do they do it too? It's different even from the offline to online world, so why do they do it?


I suppose it's more of a theatrical thing for certain bands, to help cultivate a certain image to associate with the music. It tends to be Black Metal bands that use aliases more than other genres - and I guess if a guy's real name is Jeremy Pants, then he might think Lord Baphomet may seem more appropriate..!
BreadGod - 13.05.2007 at 20:32  
Written by Richard on 13.05.2007 at 19:03

Written by Raiden on 13.05.2007 at 18:27

This same kind of topic can be applied to band members though. Why do band members "hide" behind aliases? They probably have more reason for their names to be out their than reviewers, but why do they do it too? It's different even from the offline to online world, so why do they do it?


I suppose it's more of a theatrical thing for certain bands, to help cultivate a certain image to associate with the music. It tends to be Black Metal bands that use aliases more than other genres - and I guess if a guy's real name is Jeremy Pants, then he might think Lord Baphomet may seem more appropriate..!


Oh come on, that's an awesome name for a person!

To be truthful, I do use my real name when it comes to writing things such as articles for Metal Storm, but I always place my nickname in between my first and last name, and in quotation marks. My real name is Ethan Mittel, and my nickname is Insineratehymn, so it would appear as Ethan "Insineratehymn" Mittel. This way, people will recognize me if they have seen me on a certain website.
Lucas - 14.05.2007 at 17:39  
Written by Richard on 13.05.2007 at 19:03

Written by Raiden on 13.05.2007 at 18:27

This same kind of topic can be applied to band members though. Why do band members "hide" behind aliases? They probably have more reason for their names to be out their than reviewers, but why do they do it too? It's different even from the offline to online world, so why do they do it?


I suppose it's more of a theatrical thing for certain bands, to help cultivate a certain image to associate with the music. It tends to be Black Metal bands that use aliases more than other genres - and I guess if a guy's real name is Jeremy Pants, then he might think Lord Baphomet may seem more appropriate..!


And I suppose some members with jobs don't want to be known as a bandmember. Would you want to have the guitarist of Dark Funeral as your dentist? Don't think so!
Sunioj - 15.05.2007 at 00:28  
Quote:
Their music works better with a very grainy almost minimal sort of production whereas that sort of production will have you run away screaming when it is used on a Dream Theater album.


Best quote I heard about production in awhile
jupitreas - 15.05.2007 at 02:27  
There is no universally good way of producing an album, there are just appropriate ways of doing it. Basically, I agree with what Marcel is saying but I wouldn't call Darkthrone's production crappy, since it isn't. Its actually brilliant production since it is 100% appropriate to the music.
Doc Godin - 15.05.2007 at 05:13  
I can see where your coming from on the reviews type thing. Luckily I only review old albums and Im not staff, but if I was to ever become a staff member doing reviews Id probably follow your example, very honorable not hiding behind a nickname.
Dane Train - 16.05.2007 at 22:35  
Written by jupitreas on 15.05.2007 at 02:27

There is no universally good way of producing an album, there are just appropriate ways of doing it. Basically, I agree with what Marcel is saying but I wouldn't call Darkthrone's production crappy, since it isn't. Its actually brilliant production since it is 100% appropriate to the music.


Darkthrone is not crappy production, it is Lo-Fi production.
Lucas - 16.05.2007 at 22:53  
He didn't say what that it is crappy. Others say it.

@jupitreas, you surely make a good point. Appropriate is the right word.
Marcel Hubregtse - 17.05.2007 at 12:56  
At everyone... I didn't call the darkthrone, Xasthur, Leviathan production crappy... (like Nervel also said)
I actually called it a very grainy almost minimal sort of production
dismaleuphony - 18.05.2007 at 07:56  
I must admit, I'm kind of disappointed at the misinterpretations some people have about your comments in the production areas of music, it makes total sense to me.

Regarding your use of your own name, personally, I would do the same as yourself, because I think the internet can create too much of a feeling of distance as it is. Any way to cut down the anonymity is the best route, particularly when it comes to things that are as integral to a band's career as reviews on a major website such as MS. Outside of concerns of personal security, using one's real name (and at least a picture available) would be more than enough if I were reading a review of my own work

I also think bias in review is not only respectable, but (for me) desirable to a point. If a get to know a reviewer's taste very well and I know I usually like his/her taste in music, then I know that I can gamble and buy some music I'm unfamiliar with just based on their words. If someone is too objective/neutral, it's sometimes difficult to know if I personally will like the music (s)he gives high marks to. The same goes for movie reviews as well: I can tell if I'll like a movie based on the few reviewers I follow because I know their bias and I like it! (or conversely - hate it!)
BitterCOld - 13.07.2007 at 03:00  
Good long ramble there. I do want to try my hand at more reviews - it's just that i need to carve out the time to do some. I do take them seriously and want to do as thorough a job as possible, which requires a familiarity with the artist and music in question. Sometimes my first impression of an album is far from my lasting one.

As for names - frankly, I want to retain a great bit of anonymity on the internet in pretty much every forum I post on. This one is no different. As a bitter old man with caustic opinions, the last thing I want is my wife finding crap in the mailbox or whatever for inflammatory remarks I make here.

Exemptions exist the case of individual posters whom I connect with.

In the case of reviews, I would maintain my MS moniker for the public listing. If a band member or the label of the reviewed piece were to attempt to contact me directly through my MS profile, or via MS Staff, I would be willing to introduce myself on a more personal level - regardless as to whether the artist approves or disagrees heartily with my remarks.

In the case of interviews, I have only done one - an email interview (thanks again for those that helped set it up) - and given the format I just submitted questions. In retrospect, I wish I had included both my real name and MS chop in the introductory portion of the Q&A. Going forward, I will be sure to do so.

Essentially, what it boils down to is that in any contact directly from the artist/label, I am definitely highly in favor of pushing the human level of contact to as close to real as it can get.

In the case of dealing with you sick, twisted miscreants, I wish to remain at arms length. Or further.
Spyroid - 22.06.2008 at 15:57  
I'm to lazy to read through all the post, and I see somebody has already commented about the production ratings. But I instantly came to think of this - when rating production, it's not about a scale of perfection, and rating it after how crystal clear it is, right?
When I rate productions I only think of how 'good' it is - in an 'objective' way. Darkthrone's production is of course good if you like that kind of metal! So I don't see what's extra hard when it comes to rating productions, I simply rate it after how good it works on that specific album.

Otherwise nice reading, your language is great (which it should be, thinking of your job , and I agree with you on most points.

7.8/10
Markku - 06.07.2008 at 01:36  
Aye, reviewers, here's something to discuss.

My stance towards certain albums has changed and will most probably continue to do so in time, I doubt I'm unique so this probably applies to you too. The music I cherish the most has been lying dormant in my computer/on the shelf for some time before I have "discovered" their excellence. I've, at first, even disliked the music.

So, when is the right time to review an album? After the first listen, after ten consecutive spins on the player or after letting it sink, say a couple of months first hearing it. And it must be a a rather unpleasant feeling to discover that you destroyed an album in your review which you apparently like now.

Do tell me if I'm the only to encounter the described phenomena, I'll delete this post if it is so.
Lucas - 06.07.2008 at 23:14  
Written by Markku on 06.07.2008 at 01:36

Aye, reviewers, here's something to discuss.

My stance towards certain albums has changed and will most probably continue to do so in time, I doubt I'm unique so this probably applies to you too. The music I cherish the most has been lying dormant in my computer/on the shelf for some time before I have "discovered" their excellence. I've, at first, even disliked the music.

So, when is the right time to review an album? After the first listen, after ten consecutive spins on the player or after letting it sink, say a couple of months first hearing it. And it must be a a rather unpleasant feeling to discover that you destroyed an album in your review which you apparently like now.

Do tell me if I'm the only to encounter the described phenomena, I'll delete this post if it is so.


You ask about the right time to review an album. I think that you cannot bluntly say "x weeks", or "x days", as that is different for each album.

Some albums need to sink in, very true, but in 99% of the cases I know that already with the first spin. You do not yet have the feeling of "totally awesome", but you do realize this is something unique (as "sink" albums usually are unique in a sense) and has something going on. Then it's just a matter of waiting till it reveals itself, of course through multiple listens.

Some albums are just music. Nothing more nothing less. That doesn't say anything about the quality. But you just hear what the musicians do, and you are almost immediately able to tell if you like it or not.

I have changed my opinion about a couple of albums, but usually not much. I haven't encountered the total (dis)like for an album you used to love(/hate), yet. If I will, I guess I will see what my review says about them. Perhaps I'll be able to make a few minor changes, as sound descriptions stay the same, or I'll write another review. (Though I don't know what MetalStorm's policy is about writing two reviews for the same album.) If I can't do that, I'll probably delete the first one and just write a long new one, in which I state my initial love for the album, and why I changed my mind.
jupitreas - 07.07.2008 at 02:00  
No need to delete your old review if you change your mind. A review is a subjective view of a music listener. The only thing that sets the professional reviewer apart from any other music listener is that he should be able to back up his claims with some kind of rational argument. Otherwise, the review is posted at a particular date and particularly with new albums, it is obvious that the reviewer didnt have a very long time to completely digest everything that a record has to offer. If my mind about an album changes after a while, I'd just add an addendum to the existing review. This is not unprofessional. It reveals the reviewers voice and identifies him as a human being, instead of some sort of superhuman arbiter of taste.
Lokomotiv - 16.09.2008 at 18:46  
Written by jupitreas on 07.07.2008 at 02:00

No need to delete your old review if you change your mind. A review is a subjective view of a music listener. The only thing that sets the professional reviewer apart from any other music listener is that he should be able to back up his claims with some kind of rational argument. Otherwise, the review is posted at a particular date and particularly with new albums, it is obvious that the reviewer didnt have a very long time to completely digest everything that a record has to offer. If my mind about an album changes after a while, I'd just add an addendum to the existing review. This is not unprofessional. It reveals the reviewers voice and identifies him as a human being, instead of some sort of superhuman arbiter of taste.


But you had deleted reviews yourself! doesn't the ghost of that hypocrisy's self-titled torment your nights?
jupitreas - 17.09.2008 at 19:44  
Yeah, I did delete that one review (actually, I didnt upload it after it got lost in an MS update).
So what? I make mistakes and fail to practice what I preach sometimes. Here's to being human!
Stuart - 04.10.2008 at 01:54  
Written by jupitreas on 17.09.2008 at 19:44

Yeah, I did delete that one review (actually, I didnt upload it after it got lost in an MS update).
So what? I make mistakes and fail to practice what I preach sometimes. Here's to being human!

No! Being human is totally unacceptable!
Slayer666 - 12.01.2009 at 21:37  
Written by Lucas on 06.07.2008 at 23:14

Written by Markku on 06.07.2008 at 01:36

Aye, reviewers, here's something to discuss.

My stance towards certain albums has changed and will most probably continue to do so in time, I doubt I'm unique so this probably applies to you too. The music I cherish the most has been lying dormant in my computer/on the shelf for some time before I have "discovered" their excellence. I've, at first, even disliked the music.

So, when is the right time to review an album? After the first listen, after ten consecutive spins on the player or after letting it sink, say a couple of months first hearing it. And it must be a a rather unpleasant feeling to discover that you destroyed an album in your review which you apparently like now.

Do tell me if I'm the only to encounter the described phenomena, I'll delete this post if it is so.


You ask about the right time to review an album. I think that you cannot bluntly say "x weeks", or "x days", as that is different for each album.

Some albums need to sink in, very true, but in 99% of the cases I know that already with the first spin. You do not yet have the feeling of "totally awesome", but you do realize this is something unique (as "sink" albums usually are unique in a sense) and has something going on. Then it's just a matter of waiting till it reveals itself, of course through multiple listens.

Some albums are just music. Nothing more nothing less. That doesn't say anything about the quality. But you just hear what the musicians do, and you are almost immediately able to tell if you like it or not.

I have changed my opinion about a couple of albums, but usually not much. I haven't encountered the total (dis)like for an album you used to love(/hate), yet. If I will, I guess I will see what my review says about them. Perhaps I'll be able to make a few minor changes, as sound descriptions stay the same, or I'll write another review. (Though I don't know what MetalStorm's policy is about writing two reviews for the same album.) If I can't do that, I'll probably delete the first one and just write a long new one, in which I state my initial love for the album, and why I changed my mind.

So very true. I only changed my opinion once. I think it was some Gorgoroth's stuff. Few listens after the initial "Oh, my God, this is so dark and brutal I LOVE IT!!!!" I realised that it's actually just some way too noisy crap that had really nothing to offer besides the "guitar grind". I wrote a review on one Blind Guardian's album with only one listen and it was more than enough. You still didn't proofread the thing though. I'm writing this at 12th of January.
JayEstonio - 19.01.2009 at 09:44  
Before I rate an album, I search for the band's information. I then check other people's reviews
and opinions. Some songs for me are growers, and a few are catchy but I've learned one thing - opinions change
from time to time. I hated so many albums at first but then ended up digging every single one of
them. I also liked many albums when I listened to them for the first time but later on, I gave them away to
my friends.

To review is different from wanting to like or wanting to hate something. It is really difficult
to rate an album objectively. The way you review things will depend on your personality, your
background and the last ingredient - your current state of mind.

The state of mind is a huge factor, if you are either listening or
making music. So, the right thing to do is find the review you made which you
consider your best and try to remember how(notice, I didn't use "what")
you were thinking back then. Now, that is the most difficult part.
Warman - 20.01.2009 at 02:48  
Written by Doc Godin on 15.05.2007 at 05:13

I can see where your coming from on the reviews type thing. Luckily I only review old albums and Im not staff, but if I was to ever become a staff member doing reviews Id probably follow your example, very honorable not hiding behind a nickname.

I think I have to agree with you here.
And it really would be a pain if everyone here had their real name as a username. It's much easier remembering a username and just imagine how many of us that must have the same name as another person?


"I agree with John on this topic".

*5 minutes later: A new notification!*

Steve quoted your message here:

Quote:
"I agree with John on this topic".

Which John are you talking about?

Quote:

Quote:
"I agree with John on this topic".

Which John are you talking about?

John F.
Doc Godin - 20.01.2009 at 03:05  
Written by Warman on 20.01.2009 at 02:48

Written by Doc Godin on 15.05.2007 at 05:13

I can see where your coming from on the reviews type thing. Luckily I only review old albums and Im not staff, but if I was to ever become a staff member doing reviews Id probably follow your example, very honorable not hiding behind a nickname.

I think I have to agree with you here.
And it really would be a pain if everyone here had their real name as a username. It's much easier remembering a username and just imagine how many of us that must have the same name as another person?

After more thought on the subject (you quoted me on quite an old post) I would probably keep my username for a number of reasons:
1. The reason you stated (hell even Lucas' name is fairly close to mine, people might get mixed up right off the bat)
2. I don't feel comfortable putting up too much information about myself to an open audience on the internet, it sounds paranoid (and maybe it is), but I don't feel comfortable with just anybody having access to my first and last name. The internet being such an open place I have no idea how far they can get on my name (possibly spam, people who take personal offence to my reviews and happen to live near by, psychotic ex-girlfriends etc.). Long story short I'd like to have some control over these types of things.
3. Identification, its a hell of a lot easier to remember someone by a brief memorable nickname than first and last name. Kind of the whole purpose of a nickname.
4. Once again, if I was ever to become staff, I would not write a meaningless bash-fest of a review that actually required a band to speak with me personally, and if that were the case I'd be happy to give out my name under controlled circumstances.
Warman - 20.01.2009 at 03:09  
Written by Doc Godin on 20.01.2009 at 03:05

After more thought on the subject (you quoted me on quite an old post) I would probably keep my username for a number of reasons:
1. The reason you stated (hell even Lucas' name is fairly close to mine, people might get mixed up right off the bat)
2. I don't feel comfortable putting up too much information about myself to an open audience on the internet, it sounds paranoid (and maybe it is), but I don't feel comfortable with just anybody having access to my first and last name. The internet being such an open place I have no idea how far they can get on my name (possibly spam, people who take personal offence to my reviews and happen to live near by, psychotic ex-girlfriends etc.). Long story short I'd like to have some control over these types of things.
3. Identification, its a hell of a lot easier to remember someone by a brief memorable nickname than first and last name. Kind of the whole purpose of a nickname.
4. Once again, if I was ever to become staff, I would not write a meaningless bash-fest of a review that actually required a band to speak with me personally, and if that were the case I'd be happy to give out my name under controlled circumstances.

Hahaha, I think I have to agree with you yet again.

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