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Link Digital discography entries / 2015-11-26 08:03

Some pointers regarding digital releases:

  • A digital release must be available for full download in order to be added as a fully-fledged entry to the discography section. Do not add streaming-only releases, such as Youtube uploads, Spotify releases or SoundCloud/Bandcamp/etc. streams without a download option.

  • Be careful with adding digital singles. They are a somewhat complicated and invidious affair and when they should or should not be added as their own entries is not something that comes with one clear answer. Please check this post (and the thread/subforum in general) for more details and make sure to ask there (or contact a staffer) before adding anything you're not sure about.

  • Do not add video singles uploaded to Youtube (or elsewhere) as single entries with the release category "Video". This ties in with the first point.

  • Be wary of digital release dates, even (or rather especially) if given by the band themselves. Many times the "release dates" either are the date something was first recorded (resulting in download releases from 1988 and other absurdities), reflect the release date of a later (or earlier), "more official" physical release, are more or less random or constitute some other kind of misleading info. Be particularly careful with Bandcamp dates. Of course, that doesn't mean that the official given date is always wrong, but it serves to not always take it at face value. For our purposes, a digital album's release date is when it was first made available for official, public, complete download. If you can't be reasonably certain, simply omit the date (this is only possible for version entries connected to a main album), broaden it (i.e. omit month and/or day if you're sure about the year) or keep the album to the additional notes only (with a note about the unknown/uncertain release date).


Link Maintenance / 2015-11-14 04:05

The site will be down for maintenance starting at 6 am EST / 11 am UTC. I'm told this should take about 30-60 minutes.

EDIT: It's done. Let me know if there are any issues.


Link Submission of non-metal side-projects and similar / 2015-09-15 10:15

As some of you may have noticed, over the past few years we have significantly tightened our policy on accepting non-metal exceptions, particularly side-projects. Our previous approach to this was increasingly viewed as having degenerated into something overly mechanistic and inclusive, contrasting starkly with what one might call the spirit behind allowing them in the first place. Essentially, far too many arguably irrelevant entries were "lawyered" into the site based on criteria that seem too broad for the purposes of a heavy metal encyclopedia and as such largely unconcerned with the intrinsic notability of the project. We have been trying to flesh out more reasonable parameters for such entries, but unsurprisingly these guidelines are tricky to put down definitively and continue to be a point of (external as well as internal) contention. Nevertheless, we have been slowly, but steadily, going over/re-evaluating all the accepted side-projects/other exceptions and while many of the more egregious entries have been deleted already, this process is still ongoing. It's a work in progress, but one thing that can be said for certain is that it's always going to come down to case-by-case treatment in some way or another.

In any case, as a consequence of this higher level of scrutiny (and the ongoing clean-up), we have decided that the addition of exceptions of any kind is to be restricted to staffers only, so that we can better manage and gauge (and contain) this ancillary, delicate part of the database.

So again, while the written rules have described it as "discouraged [for regular users]" for a long time already, submission of non-metal side-projects or other potential exceptions is now 100% off-limits for non-staff. Metal only, please. Side-project submissions have been comparably rare, but they do trickle in and in order to save time and effort for both users and mods please desist from submitting them.

Thank you.


Link Digipak vs. Digipack / 2015-08-28 17:12

Minor detail: "digipak" is the preferred (and technically correct/patented) spelling, NOT "digipack". Please try to stick to the former as a single standard. That is all.


Link "Disputed" band status and "Collaboration" release type / 2015-07-10 21:23

A number of you might have already noticed that we've added new options to the "status" field for band pages and the "release type" field for album pages. These new options, "Disputed" for band status, and "Collaboration" for release type were introduced to help clarify some issues with bands and albums:

Disputed should be used when it's known that band members disagree about the status of the band. There are numerous situations where this status would be useful: when a band is currently undergoing a legal dispute over who owns the band (ex. formerly Gorgoroth, Queensrÿche); when band members go separate ways but still lay claim to the band (ex. Tank, English Dogs); when band members decide to continue or revive a band against the wishes of other members who have claims to the band (ex. Pungent Stench, Black Death); and when it's known that band members can't make up their mind whether their band is active, on hold, changed name or split-up. Unlike the unknown status, disputed should only be used when it's known that there's a disagreement among band members.

Collaborations are albums comprised of material that is mutually developed jointly by multiple, often unaffiliated artists. Unlike a split album, or a various artist compilation, a collaboration doesn't normally have tracks that belong to one artist/band or another. Nearly all tracks in a collaboration have been produced in tandem by all contributing artists/bands; essentially, the album "belongs" to both artists/bands. Please be careful when judging whether an album is a collaboration or not. If the album is marketed as a joint effort by multiple artists/bands, it is likely a collaboration (for example, the Metallica/Lou Reed album "Lulu"). On the other hand, if the album features an unaffiliated artist, and the album is marketed as belonging only to one artist/band, that's not a collaboration. That's a regular album with a guest invited to play on it. It can be a bit tricky, but hopefully that makes sense and seems sensible.

A note about collaborations: Like with split albums, if a collaboration features a band that's not on the site, or an artist without a solo-project, you can still add the band or artist as an "unlisted band" to the collaboration. If a contributing artist is already listed on the site, please add him or her under the appropriate band in the collaboration album's line-up.

Thanks again for your understanding! \m/


Link Crediting artists for specific songs on releases / 2015-06-30 13:47

A recent decision has been made to streamline the manner in which track-specific contributions are added to album lineups. Some of the userbase has adopted a procedure wherein the track titles are spelled out in full:

Bruce Dickinson - Vocals (on "The Trooper," "Flight of Icarus," "Aces High")

It goes without saying that this becomes very messy and difficult to navigate as more artists/credits get added, let alone the erratic nature in which the syntax is interpreted. In order to retain readability and consistency, please add/modify the relevant credits based on their position in the track order. So the aforementioned example would become:

Bruce Dickinson - Vocals (tracks 1, 3, 5)

For credits involving tracks that are not present in the regular (parent) entry of the album like bonus material, additional credits can be added on album child entries under "additional lineup;" follow the above-mentioned protocol for these as well.

Thank you for your comprehension.




Link On the use of the formats "Other" and "CD" / 2015-04-12 10:18

We have seen contributors use the "Other" format category for discography entries as the equivalent of "I don't know, but I have to select something". However, that's NOT what that option is for. It is intended for comparably rare and "exotic" formats not covered by the usual categories, like for example 8-track cartridges or USB sticks. As such, releases categorised as "Other" should always include additional information in the version description field (and optionally the additional notes for yet further details), specifying what exactly this "other" is. Example. Again, it is not to be used for when the format is simply unknown to the user. If the format is not known or not reasonably certain, the entry shouldn't be added. The format is -along with the title, release year and complete tracklist- a minimum requirement for a discography entry. If one of those things is missing, use the additional info field on band pages. Example.

On a related note, I have observed an alarming number of cases where people select "CD" for entirely digital releases. While plain old laziness or error is obviously not to be ruled out, I assume that this is at least partly based on the practise of referring to any sort of release as a "(demo/full-length/etc.-)CD" in casual speech. While that is hardly a surprising phenomenon in natural language use, for the purposes of this site, when we say "CD", we mean an actual compact disc. Be specific and literal. Otherwise the whole release categorisation becomes a misleading mess.


Link April Fools / 2015-04-02 00:07

Looks like the announcement below scared a few people. :) Don't worry, as many others have surmised, it was just an April Fools prank. Rest assured, you will never have to pay to view the site, and we will never sell off site privileges.

Thanks for some amusing reactions, everyone.


Link Announcing upcoming premium membership services! / 2015-04-01 02:04

As many of you know, late last year Metal Archives hit the 100,000 bands milestone. Back in 2002, when the site was founded, I doubt anyone thought we would ever reach this mark. Unfortunately, these achievements come at a price - a very literal one. As the site grows bigger, requiring more and more server space, and traffic increases, requiring more and more bandwidth, the associated costs have increased as well. Back in 2002 it was no big deal to run the site for free - but now, 13 years later, the costs run hundreds a month, even after factoring in the revenue from referals and the donations of a generous few. The owners and staff aren't interested in profits, or we wouldn't have gotten this far, but when it comes to taking money out of our own pockets there's a limit. This means that unfortunately, it's just not feasible to run the site for free anymore - at least, not without making some changes.

However, as we have always tried to be open with you, our fellow metalheads, we will try to be as frank with you as possible during this transition period. The question is, how can the site best support itself? Short of selling the site entirely - and some very lucrative offers have been made - the most obvious answer is through selling adspace. There's really no way around it. Going forward, we will be introducing some unobtrusive banner ads, which won't obstruct anything important but will bring some much-needed revenue to offset costs. Don't worry, no popups!

Still, we know a lot of people hate ads, and Metal Archives has always tried to be ad-free, so in the spirit of that we will also be introducing a few compromises that we hope will keep people happy. These will come in the form of a subscription service. Before we get into the details, we would like to stress that all the basic features of Metal Archives will and always will be available for free - no paywall, now or ever! What these subscriptions will do, however, is provide an easy way for members to help support a site that provides services we all use, while also providing some conveniences they might appreciate.

Firstly, to conserve bandwidth, all non-subscribers will be limited to 15 band page views per day. This should be plenty for most people to get the information they need, while cutting down on pointless (and costly) aimless browsing. All subscription tiers meanwhile will allow for unlimited* browsing, and provide the option to hide the upcoming banner ads. All reports, reviews, and bands submitted by subscribers will be highlighted in their respective queues. Finally, all subscribers will have access to a members-only forum!

Now, on to the tiers! All prices given in USD.

Silver tier: Metal Soldier - $1.99/month
This is the basic package that provides the member services described above. A forum badge is also included, allowing you to show off your contribution!

Gold tier: Metal General - $6.66/month
This tier comes with all the basic perks, along with giving subcribers the ability to edit site info as if they had Veteran status. In addition, their reviews will be accepted automatically. As before, a special forum badge is also included, to display to the masses your love for metal!

Platinum tier: Metal Dictator - $66.60/month
This tier is reserved only for hardcore metalheads only! Along with everything the previous tiers get, this tier also gives honorary moderator status. This means you get an email address using this domain (, as well as having access to the moderation queues just like a real moderator! Finally, you'll have access to the moderator-only staff forum, giving you a chance to weigh in on all Metal Archives decisions. Does one of your favorite bands deserve to be on the Archives? This is your chance to get them in!

Bands and labels
We are also working out the details of a sponsorship system that will allow full access to edit your own data, as well as priority placement in search results, among other things. Starting at only $16.66/month!

Keep in mind that all of this is pending review and may be subject to change before it goes live. None of this is set in stone, and we're also interested in getting your feedback directly! Come discuss with us using this thread.


Link Country tags and version descriptions / 2015-03-19 16:17

We've noticed some misunderstandings with when to include a country in the "version description" field on album pages. While we're working on fleshing out the guidelines on this issue, please keep the following in mind:

Country tags should not be added to the description field unless separating two otherwise identical versions. Please do not add a country tag to every version of an album to match the label that released it. We are not Discogs. Adding a label to the album precludes the need to add the label's location in the description field. For example, it is redundant and silly to add "Mexico" to every Scarecrow Records release. Unless it's useful to distinguish identical versions of an album, it's best to leave out the country tag.

The only exception to the rule are Japanese pressings, which are consistently and markedly different enough to warrant always including that tag. When you do put down a country tag, just use the country/region name (ex. Canada, Japan, Europe, Germany). DO NOT write "Japanese" or "Japanese version." That's redundant.

Thanks again for your understanding! \m/


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