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Post Reply - Adam's Blog #3: On Reviewing

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Topic - Adam's Blog #3: On Reviewing
Posted: 06 Apr 2016 at 1:39am By adg211288
Originally posted by Vim Fuego Vim Fuego wrote:

I used to get promos when I worked for the paper and for a now defunct website. I got a few goodies, but I generally found it was hardly worth the effort. Yes, I reviewed everything, but a lot of it wasn't worth keeping. And I always felt bad about writing a really scathing review of something if I had been given a promo, especially one a band had sent me directly, and not via a label.

You know I think this may be the sort of thing as to why my review always veered towards a higher mark (I'm more critical now, though). I didn't want to upset anyone if I didn't like a release. Usually I just wouldn't review it if I didn't like it that much but sometimes I felt obligated to do some negative reviews to balance out what I was putting out. 

Originally posted by Vim Fuego Vim Fuego wrote:

I suppose I got the tail end of the physical releases. Most came in cardboard slipcases, or had the full artwork, often with the barcode punched, and no case at all. As a result, I have hundreds of slipcases, both cardboard and plastic, full of all sorts of random music! CD-rs were a godsend for bands too, because they were cheap and easy to produce and post. The only time I came across something like watermarking was with Earache Records. They needn't have bothered- it was an Adema album... Each song was cut into about 10 files. It basically wrecked what wasn't much of a listening experience in the first place, because some CD players (mine!) have a minute pause before each track, which chopped the songs to bits. It made for a weird random play experience too...

That Adema promo sounds horrible.

I've only ever received one physical promo which came direct from the artist. They were a death metal band called Unbreakable Hatred. It was just a CD-R disc but it did include the full CD inserts and a proper case. I haven't ever revisited the album since the review even though I did quite like it, but it does sit on my shelf with my main collection. 

I also got a physical from Haiduk for his first album but he actually sent me a retail CD for the review, which was a pleasant surprise. 

Originally posted by Vim Fuego Vim Fuego wrote:

I love reviewing music, as long as it's not wretched pop music, but had a long time offline where it was a bit pointless. That's why I love this site. I know my reviews are going to be read by at least a few other people who are knowledgeable about metal, and isn't going to get lost in an avalanche of ignorance (as used to happen on Metal Archives), or get completely ignored because no one looks at them (as on I suppose it's a bit vain, and a bit of an ego booster, but it's my own vanity, and as one of the paper's sub-editors used to say to me when I submitted reviews of stuff like Deicide and Nile, "If you listen to it, there's bound to be other people who do too, and will want to read about it".

I got my start writing for EM. They were tough on me regarding their acceptance rules but it did help me become a better reviewer. I left them though due to disagreeing with their band acceptance rules. I started my own site Heavy Metal Haven shortly afterwards which is the point where I first realised that I could get promos if I just asked, though it was actually the keyboardist of black metal act Saille who got me on his label's promo list (my first), as he was a member of the site who came to us to promote his band. I started cross-posting to MMA eventually. When Haven got too much of a chore to manage I made the shift to MMA full-time. The system here is so much easier than trying to do everything based off a forum platform. LOL

It's always nice when you see someone acknowledge your review. Whether that is through a comment here on the site or by the artist or label sharing the link to it. I did manage to get the MMA name on someone's banner ad once:

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