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Upcoming albums
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

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.

-HellBlazer

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.

-Azmodes

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.

-Azmodes

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/

-Derigin

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.

-Diamhea

&

-Azmodes

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.

-Azmodes

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.

-HellBlazer

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