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MMA Review and Rating Guidelines

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    Posted: 02 Dec 2017 at 2:32pm
MMA Review and Rating Guidelines


Metal Music Archives is an open platform for our members to submit reviews to, with no moderation system. Reviews on the website are split into two groups: Specialists/Collaborators and Members. Anyone with an account on MMA can submit, at minimum, a Member review. To get a review submitted under Specialists/Collaborators, one must join the MMA Collaborators or be awarded a Metal Reviewer post. While the Collaborators are free to join for anyone willing to help us grow as a site, Metal Reviewer is a tag that is typically offered after you've submitted several quality Member reviews. Once given, all previously reviews will be upgraded to Specialists/Collaborator reviews. Being a Metal Reviewer or a Collaborator comes with the benefit of increasing weight of the rating when determining a release's average score on the site, and your review will also be shared online via the MMA Facebook and Google+ accounts.

What Can Be Reviewed?

Anything in the MMA database can be reviewed, regardless of release type (most reviews will typically be for full-length albums, however) or sub-genre placement. It's okay to review releases tagged as Non-Metal, but consider not making too much of a habit of it – this is a metal site after all and people will be looking for reviews of the others genres, including Hard Rock, Proto-Metal and Hardcore & Crust, before they are Non-Metal reviews and a flood of them is likely to put visitors to the site off.

Writing the Review – Some Pointers

Regardless of whether you're submitting for a Member or Specialists/Collaborators review, we expect reviews submitted to MMA to keep to a few certain standards, as follows.


All reviews must be written in English. Regretfully, we cannot accept reviews in other languages and any that are posted will be removed. The use of an online translator is possible and not forbidden, but be warned that this is unlikely to do justice to your efforts – your review may be removed if it doesn't make sense in English.

Reviews must additionally be written using proper language, meaning no textspeak or other abbreviations. BLOCK CAPITALS LIKE THIS are also disallowed. They make it look like you're shouting. Don't use them even a little bit. Always check your review for spelling and grammar before you submit it. Don't be too worried if something does slip through, it can always be edited afterwards.

Try to avoid excessive use of profanity in a review. It's okay to swear – this is metal after all – but you should be using it as a tool for emphasis. Saying something like 'this album fucking sucks' only makes you come across as hostile at best and juvenile at worst, both of which damage your credibility as a reviewer. There's no reason why you can't give an album a trashing review in a calm and collected manner.

Your review must be a minimum length of 100 words in order to count as a review, otherwise it will be marked as a rating only. Preferably reviews submitted, especially those by Collaborators and Metal Reviewers, will be of substantially more words. There is no maximum, we're not a print magazine where space is an issue after all, but it's also best to not go overboard. People are unlikely no read your review if it is too long.


Write primarily about the music and your personal perception of it. An often misunderstood fact about reviewing is that all any review can be is one person's opinion, so do not be too concerned about the concept of objectivity when considering your score – it must reflect what you think, not what others tell you that you should think. Additionally your rating should not be altered in an attempt to push the average of the release closest to what you think it should be. Please also think hard before you use the 0.5 and 5.0 star options. Even the worst releases usually have a few redeeming qualities and the best ones a few faults. However at the end of the day review text is always more important than score, though your score should reflect what you're written. It looks odd if you say nothing but good things about a release and then award it 3.0 stars.

Keep the review focussed on the release actually being reviewed. It's okay to reference the artist's other work and that of others, but don't make the assumption that your reader is already familiar with the artist or any other you mention. Describe what the release itself sounds like, mentioning things like, as a few examples, what genre it belongs to, any other influences that have crept in, what the production quality is like, the performances of the musicians and of course if the song-writing itself is up to scratch. It's best if you've listened to the release a few times prior to reviewing it to get the most accurate experience of it that you. In short, your review must be informative about the music on that release, but you are otherwise free to structure it as you see fit. It's okay to mention other things, such as album history, so long as the bulk of it is about the actual music.

Additionally try to write your reviews with the long term in mind, not just that they'll be featured on the MMA home page for a time after you first post it (true of reviews for both new albums and older ones). Your review should still makes sense years down the line, as it'll still be featured on the release page long after it has been replaced on the home page.

Your review should not voice general opinions on matters such as whether you think the artist should be included on the Metal Music Archives website or if a particular release is filed under an incorrect sub-genre. If you feel an artist doesn't belong in our database at all it's best to report them to the site collaborators via the MMA forum and not write a review, you'll have wasted your time if the artist is later deleted. Likewise, we'll appreciate it if you are able to flag an incorrectly placed album.

A review is also not the place to state whether you agree with things like the star rating system employed by MMA or most importantly, the reviews written by others. We welcome all points of view, and the reviews submitted by others are just as valid as your own. It's best to avoid commenting on anyone else's review completely, even if you're saying nice things about it, because you shouldn't assume your reader has read the other review.

Review and Rating Weighting Guide

These values are subject to change at any time.

Ratings without a review carry a value of 1.

Member reviews carry a value 10.

Specialists/Collaborator reviews and ratings carry a value of 20.

Metal Music Archives Rating Guide

This system is only a guideline. You are encouraged to score your reviews based on your own system. The only system that is outright disallowed is a so called 'Positive Rating Model' where all scores bar 0.5 stars are considered positive in some way and 0.5 itself means anything from terrible to average. This is forbidden as such a system would completely throw off the MMA charts. You should not be giving a good album 1.0 stars.

0.5/1 Stars - Poor, Only for Completionists

1.5/2 Stars - Collectors/Fans Only

2.5/3 Stars - Good, but Non-Essential

3.5/4 Stars - Excellent addition to any metal music collection

4.5/5 Stars - Essential: A masterpiece of metal music

About Cross-Posting

Cross-posting, which is the act of publishing a review in multiple locations, is permitted on MMA. We respect that the individual author retains the rights to their own writing and that we may or may not be the first place that a review is posted.

While it is not a strict requirement, we would however politely request that if you do write a review for MMA first and then wish to post it elsewhere, that you acknowledge the original post. On most websites this can be done in the form of pasting the URL to the original post at the end of the review. This creates a backlink to MMA and helps to advertise the site.

Likewise, we do prefer to know when a review that has been previously published elsewhere if also posted on MMA. Reviews posted on MMA are shared via social media and another website may not take kindly to MMA appearing to pass a review off as its own, even if it allows cross-posting. Again, not a strict requirement, but it is in the best interests for all involved if you take a couple of seconds to reference the original URL.

In either situation it is your responsibility to make sure that any other website you post reviews to allows cross-posting. Not every site does, so do not take it for granted.

There is one exception to all of the above, which is what we're calling an MMA branded reviewing event, such as certain versions of the Reviewer's Challenge that we run. Some Reviewer's Challenges, such as the ones where the community gets together to review the same previously unreviewed album, are designed to try to create interest in MMA. So respectfully, we request that reviews written for such events are exclusive to MMA for a short time, rather than immediately posted to other websites. A Reviewer's Challenge terms will state when this is applicable and how long the exclusivity is required to last.

Review Posting Etiquette

At present, the MMA home page can show a total of five New Release Reviews and ten Older Release Reviews at any one time. With this in mind please be considerate of others when you are ready to submit a review. Do not write a bunch of reviews and submit them in one go, otherwise known as flooding the home page. Everyone's work has the right of exposure there. For new release reviews, we politely request that each reviewer only post one in any given 24 hour period and for older release reviews, a total of three. While it does sometimes happen that more people choose the same day to post, this has to be put down as bad luck and is not frowned upon like home page hogging.

Final Disclaimers

All reviews submitted to MMA are the opinion of the author and do not reflect the views of the website owners, admins, collaborators and other members.

It is important that you write your review in a word processor such as Microsoft Office Word and not directly into the submission form. This is the Internet, so things can go wrong that may result in your review being lost during submission. MMA is not liable for loss of your review in such an event. Neither is the site liable if we deem your review to be in breach of these guidelines and remove it. It is your responsibility to have backed it up.

It is against the site rules to rate any release without actually listening to it. Members who show patterns of adding 0.5 star ratings to large numbers of releases will be investigated by the site admins.

Artists are requested to not rate and/or review their own work. It is impossible to judge your own work without at least some bias and could be considered a manipulation of the MMA charts.

Edited by 666sharon666 - 01 Feb 2019 at 11:42am
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