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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

Link E-mail issues / 2016-03-04 22:53

Attention users who use a Microsoft-related e-mail address, such as Hotmail.com, Live.com, Outlook.com, MSN.com, etc.

It seems that Microsoft's mail servers have decided to block e-mails coming from this site for reasons that are still unknown. I'm trying to investigate and resolve the issue, but it's unfortunately not really a simple process. In the meantime, if you wish to continue receiving MA-related e-mails, you can add our domain name to your "safe senders" list by following these steps in Outlook's web interface:

1. In your Outlook inbox, click the gear icon in the top right corner.
2. Click "Options".
3. Under "Junk email", click "Safe senders".
4. On the "Safe senders" page, type in "metal-archives.com" in the box that says "Enter a sender or domain here," then click the plus (+) icon.
5. Click the save button at the top of the page.

It should look something like this.

If you've recently registered on this site with a Microsoft e-mail and have not received an activation e-mail, you can use this page to get it resent once you have followed the above procedure.

-HellBlazer

Link New extension to the advanced search for albums / 2016-02-02 18:54

Just a quick note: You can now search within the "additional notes" of albums. With this new addition we're hoping you might be willing to help us out with some clean-up. For example, there are a lot of useless, raw URLs placed in album notes.

For more tasks involving this new addition, see this thread.

Thanks for your assistance! \m/

-Derigin

Link 16th M-A Reviews Challenge: 18th - 24th Dec 2015 / 2015-12-02 19:03

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

First hosted almost a decade ago, the Virgin Reviews Challenge is a time-honored tradition among our reviewers here. Every winter and every summer folks 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). This challenge is meant to encourage people to make reviews for albums that don't have any! 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.

The week of the challenge is from Friday December 18th @ 12:00AM EST to Thursday December 24th @ 11:59PM EST. Everyone is welcome to participate - all you have to do is submit reviews as usual.

ALSO, this year we're introducing 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. I will try to make sure that the matches reflect reviewers' genre preferences, though that is not guaranteed. 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 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).

-Azmodes

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