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Collaborator's Handbook Released

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    Posted: 17 Jul 2016 at 5:31am
Handbook revision 2.2 has been uploaded. Like 2.1 this version corrects the sub-genre details to accommodate the most recent wave of new sub-genres. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2016 at 1:34pm
Handbook revision 2.1 has been uploaded.

This version updates the sections relevant to the newly added sub-genres. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2016 at 4:47am
A new version of the Collaborator's Handbook has been released. This version is a PDF file. Get the download link from the new Handbook thread here: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=11025&title=the-collaborators-handbook
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2015 at 2:07pm
The Collab Handbook has been updated to version 1.7. Mostly this update deals with changes brought about by new sub-genres being added, but there's also some re-wording here and there as well as a couple of policy changes in the Metal Related Genres (MRG) sub-genre tree. 


Firstly, though we did for a time decide against it, the admin team have reconsidered our stance on allowing influential artists to metal music being given a place on MMA. They are now permitted, though it is with certain conditions that are detailed in the guide. The short of it is that influential artists have to have inspired metal to go in a new direction, in order to be added, but it's more complicated than that. We'll only be allowing artists whose style influenced the direction of the metal elements in the music, not the inclusion of other elements that forms a hybrid genre. It would simply be too messy to do it otherwise. The fully policy is included in this section of the Handbook: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=9900&PID=107022&title=collaborators-handbook-v17#107022

We've also decided that there will be some harder considerations on 100% Non-Metal (previously Type 1 MR) acts being added. As such, we've put the final say on such acts back in the hands of the admin team. We haven't done this because anyone did anything wrong (they didn't), but because we felt that, like Metal Related (or previous Type 2 MR), having such artists here could affect the site's credibility. With that said not much has changed in how such acts will be selected, we've kept the four question checklist for collabs to use, but collabs are now expected to use those questions to decide whether its worth suggesting the artist to the admins, rather than using them as an automatic go-ahead for addition. You can read the full Non-Metal policy here: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=9900&PID=107028&title=collaborators-handbook-v17#107028
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2015 at 2:39pm
Handbook updated to V1.6

This is a major update as it implements a new guideline that we've talked about for a long time, a cut-off for NWoBHM. This is detailed in a new Timed Genres section (to be more precise the section is called 'Inclusive Genres, Hybrid Genres & Timed Genres'), which also includes the existing proto-metal policy and how the two relate.

I'm copying in the new section below as well:

Timed Genres:

Certain sub-genres on MMA are time sensitive. This section explains them and also how they relate to each other and other sub-genres.

Proto-metal

The cut-off year for proto-metal on MMA is 1976. This does not mean that every release on the site that came out in 1975 or earlier is automatically proto-metal. The first true metal releases are generally considered to have appeared in 1970, with credit most often going to Black Sabbath's self-titled debut. While such releases were indeed metal and still considered such by today's standards the genre was still developing towards what we now think of as traditional heavy metal. So even though metal releases existed in 1970, other early 70's records may still have been pushing towards metal without actually being metal. A key example would be the Judas Priest debut Rocka Rolla from 1974, which is still more of a hard rock album overall, with the band becoming fully-fledged metal with Sad Wings of Destiny in 1976. In other words the 1976 cut-off represents the point at which MMA considers traditional metal to have fully developed, which paved the way for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWoBHM) in 1977 along with the many subsequent sub-genres of metal that have developed since.

Exceptions to the proto-metal policy are made for archival/live releases. It's more accurate to say that the policy applies to recording dates, rather than release dates. Albums released in 1976 but recorded in 1975 can still be proto-metal, for example.

As many proto-metal releases could also be placed under hard rock on MMA, being valid for proto takes precedent over placement in hard rock.

NWoBHM

On MMA we consider the New Wave of British Heavy Metal to have begun in 1977 and lasted until 1985. Like with proto-metal the dates refer to the recording date of the material, opposed to the release date. Releases by NWoBHM acts recorded after the 1985 cut-off are placed in traditional heavy metal, or elsewhere if the artist later changed style.  

There are a few other rules that need to be kept in mind when dealing with NWoBHM entries on MMA. The foremost thing to remember is that NWoBHM was a movement, and most rules that MMA uses derive directly from the name.

New Wave. This means NWoBHM acts were new bands on the scene, not pre-existing bands who influenced the movement, such as Judas Priest. Acts would have released their first albums or EP's within the 1977 - 1985 timeframe. Allowances are made for acts who had demo's before 1977, to still be considered part of the movement, but artists releasing albums beforehand are considered pre-cursor acts and are to be tagged as traditional heavy metal on MMA.

British. The movement happened in Great Britain, so this is where the artists placed in NWoBHM should be from. Though exceptions are made sometimes, such as the case with Swedish act E F Band, who relocated to the UK are were genuinely included as part of the movement despite being Swedish. Such exceptions are carefully researched and approved by the NWoBHM team.

Heavy Metal. The music of NWoBHM acts must be primarily traditional heavy metal, in other words releases that, if we didn't have a dedicated NWoBHM section on MMA, we would put under the traditional heavy metal sub-genre. This is not only because of the movement's name, but the way the site is structured. All NWoBHM tagged releases on MMA are also in traditional heavy metal, by virtue of the child sub-genre system. Stuff that was closer to doom metal, such as Pagan Altar, is placed under doom metal, for example. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jun 2015 at 11:42am
Handbook updated to V1.5.1

No rule/guidelines changes in this version, just a few rewrites and extensions for better clarification.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2015 at 9:18am
Handbook updated to V1.5. This is a fairly major update as we've overhauled how the Metal Related sub-genre works, as the admins did not feel that it had been properly understood. Existing collabs will soon find a more detailed explanation in the Collab Zone, regarding the Metal Related changes. 

Otherwise some sections of the Handbook have been merged and clarified. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Feb 2015 at 7:19am
Handbook V1.4 is out. The updates are small for the most part but I did extend 'What to put on release entries' into 'What to put on artist and release entries' to clarify a couple of blanks. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2014 at 10:33am
Handbook Update v1.2.2

Added a note to point out the need to check and double check before adding an artist to the site to make sure that they are not here in order to avoid duplication. Many collabs have been tripped up by this in the past.

Also pointed out that solo artists are often listed under their surnames and to search for that first. Same Applies to artists whose names start with The. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Oct 2014 at 1:06pm
Handbook updates come faster than anticipated but here goes, version 1.2:

  • Introduction of Various Artists releases to the MMA database.
  • New how-to, what to do when a release redirects you to somewhere you weren't expecting. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2014 at 10:44am
Handbook v1.1.1 released.

As discussed, as few clarifications on release types put in. Hopefully I didn't miss anything.

Other updates apply only to the MR sections:

  • Changed Limits on Type 1 Artists to Limitations on Metal Related Additions. Now covers Type 2 acts. It dawned on me after Bartosz suggested his project that it's impossible to really evaluate for Type 2 without sufficient material available. Therefore the guideline is either at least one studio album or a few EP's before the MR voting for an artist will take place. 
  • Partly re-wrote the addition procedure for all MR types in an attempt to make it both clearer and more to the point.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pekka Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 2014 at 4:38am
One interesting thing I noticed is that Uriah Heep has apparently re-recorded their old songs twice, the official discography lists the first one (Remasters - Official Anthology) as a compilation and the second one (Celebration) as a full length album. So that's how I've put them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bosh66 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 2014 at 1:32am
Lol, yes that's right. It was late when I suggested that issue LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 2014 at 1:28am
That's true about demo's but it's a lesser issue as those releases are put in the same place anyway. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bosh66 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Sep 2014 at 4:31pm
Just another thought. Care should also be taken with promos. A promo is usually issued to give away say in in magazines, or to radio stations and record shops or as an album taster. Not metal, but Marrillion sells its promos for a nominal amount as a band sampler. Often what are called promos (2009 Promo or Promo 1999 for example) are in reality demo recordings. Not always apparent though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Sep 2014 at 4:29pm
We could probably make this clearer, yes.

Of course we should always check what an artist lists a release as. Failing that it cannot hurt to try other sites like wikipedia, EM, RYM etc to see what they list something as. There should be some clear cut rules laid down if all that fails though.

Regarding Live EP's, split DVD's etc then yes, I agree that the latter marker is best used to tag them. That should be a rule even if an artist likes to group a live EP with a live album for example. 

As Chris says, lengths are indeed a minefield. Take Hirax's Hate, Fear and Power. It is considered a full-length. It's duration? 16 minutes. Then you have A Hero for the World's On Fire, which is considered as an EP, looks like a compilation and runs for 77 and a half minutes. 

This are the rules as I use them failing finding an artist's classification:

Re-recorded -> full-length
Covers -> full-length (unless they're not from the same recording sessions, then it's a comp)
Promo single -> promos (though I kinda wish that section was on a drop down like the official singles)

I'll have a look at what I can do on the guide regarding this tomorrow. Need to catch up on some sleep now. 


Edited by adg211288 - 24 Sep 2014 at 4:30pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bosh66 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Sep 2014 at 3:30pm
Good questions there Pekka. I'll let Adam opine, but here's my two penn'orth..

"I hope the consensus is that in all these cases it's the latter marker that's the overriding type." - that's where I put them. Agreed.

On EP length, that's a minefield. A main song with two/three bonus live tracks or variants lasting 20 minutes is an extended single in my book. An 6 minute CD or 7" with three new, equally weighted tracks is an EP in my view.

A 25 minute EP could equally be an album. I guess I take the lead from the artist if available. A 74 minute EP must be an album surely (or perhaps is a Very Extended Player (VEP)) Wink


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pekka Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Sep 2014 at 2:52pm
Quote A selection of Release Type. While most cases are self explanatory, care should be taken with re-recorded albums, which some artist count among their full-lengths but others as compilations, as well as promo only singles. 

Concerning this part, there are things that overlap, like live EP's, live box sets and split DVD's, so should it be spelled out where to place them? I think in the past I've had to move them around.

I hope the consensus is that in all these cases it's the latter marker that's the overriding type.

Singles and EP's might be a tricky business as well, some bands might call a three song ten minute release an EP, some call a five song 25 minute release a single, and then there's some Metallica singles where the same five or six tracks might be called a single in the US and an EP in Japan. 

And then there is Reverend Bizarre's Harbinger of Metal, a 74 minute EP.

I suppose we try to follow what the band has called the release, but if there's no mention at all, should there be some sort of track limit between singles and EP's? (This might be such a rare problem that it's no use even thinking about it, but it popped into my head.) And Maxi-singles vs. EP's?

What about Official Bootlegs, by the way (like for example Dream Theater and Uriah Heep)? They're of course allowed, but should they be among the live albums or other releases?


Edited by Pekka - 24 Sep 2014 at 3:20pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2014 at 5:11pm
Originally posted by Pekka Pekka wrote:

Originally posted by Unitron Unitron wrote:

Even Iron Maiden has a Wikipedia bio! Shocked
Uh-oh!

Thanks Adam, works now. Regarding bios, many times it's hard enough to scrape together anything, but then there are cases like Maiden where you could write a book about it if you liked. Any recommendations on length? 

Check for example the one for Rammstein, which inspired the "read more" option back when we started. Nobody is ever going to read that thing through. 


That does look quite excessive. 

hmm...obviously the longer an artist is around and the more prolific they get the more there will be to write about them.

I wouldn't want to impose any limitations on length but personally speaking (bearing in mind that most artists I've added in recent times are new-ish) I've stuck to one or two paragraph jobs (lacking major details though because that's where time will get really soaked up). For bands I like I've written more of course. I'll throw in a few examples here.

Longer ones:

http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/artist/blind-guardian
http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/artist/anubis-gate
http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/artist/within-temptation

Shorter ones:

http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/artist/mindmaze
http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/artist/neonfly
http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/artist/lucifers-heritage
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2014 at 5:02pm
Originally posted by Unitron Unitron wrote:

Originally posted by adg211288 adg211288 wrote:

Added missing note that biographies should be factual and written in a neutral tone. 

With this in place, should previously opinionated biographies be updated as well?  

If there are any such biographies present that were written by collabs then yes, you have permission to change them (though please try to preserve anything that does meet the guidelines).

If the biographies aren't original then go ahead and rewrite as much as you like. 


Edited by adg211288 - 23 Sep 2014 at 5:03pm
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