How We Review

The Review Process/Rules for Review

Let’s face the facts: getting traction as a newer metal band is tough work. It’s tough to get your foot in the door and get ears on your music. Here’s where UncannyMetal comes in.

For unsigned bands and bands on independent labels:

Your album will be reviewed without a numerical score and categorized under Music Reviews. It’s difficult, and can be disheartening to see a number associated to an album. While we like to offer a score out of 10, sometimes a 6 can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. We don’t want that here. We want to have open discourse with our reviews. We want reviews which newer bands can learn from and reviews audiences will have to read. We want the review to be considered as a whole – not stigmatized by a value out of 10.

Because of this, albums from unsigned bands or on independent labels will not be subjected to a score, unless they have asked for one.

We wish to promote growth and sustainability within the metal community here. While not all independent albums will be great, it’s an easier pill to swallow – and there will be less damage done – if there isn’t a number to focus on.

For signed bands on labels:

Your album will be subjected to a numerical score and categorized under Honest Reviews. These reviews may be more critical than reviews of independent bands.

While it may seem unfair when compared to the independents, there’s just more wiggle room for honesty. Bands like Kreator, Haken, or Amorphis will be significantly less likely to disband or give up if their album gets a 4/10 here.

“Hold on. Amorphis is currently signed to Nuclear Blast and that’s an independent record label!”

You’re absolutely right – so how does a band like Amorphis not get a pass? To be honest, it’s going to be circumstantial. Not every band on the Nuclear Blast label is as big as Amorphis and Amorphis isn’t as big as other signed bands. However, Amorphis headlined Wacken Open Air in 2015 alongside Judas Priest and Trans-Siberian Orchestra – so that’s enough to convince us that they’re more than just an independent band.

We’ll do our best to review what we feel is the “right call.” Things we will consider is the band’s history, previous labels, and general feel to where the band is recognized in the grand scheme of the metal scene. As a band grows, we’ll consider where to categorize them. However, a good rule of thumb is if there’s a good chance you’ll recognize the band’s name the band will probably get a score.

About our scoring:

Our numerical scores are static – however, they are subject to change over the course of time. The scores are based on our relatively-immediate reactions and feelings towards the music being presented. Reviews are not written with scores in mind, but decided after the review has been written and reflected upon.

Our review scale:

A score of 10 is the highest recommendation we can give. It represents a triumph in song writing, production (based on the subgenre), and innovation.
A score of 9 is an album which is absolutely astounding, but doesn’t necessarily break any new ground. It’s still an impressive album.
8 is a great album bearing in mind there’s a few minor nitpicks with it ie. Every song is great except one, some memorable moments, etc.
A score of 7 are “this album is great, but…” with few issues such as production value and variety.
6’s are good albums, but missing out on some key things such as memorable songs, workmanship, and/or production.
A score of 5 presents an album that underwhelms but has some good ideas in mind. Consider the album “mediocre.”
4 means there’s something severely lacking with the album, but there are glimmers of hope in some of the songs. It may be worth your time.
An album with a 3 fails to bring anything decent to the table – poor production, poor song writing, poor musicianship – nothing to excite the listener.
A score of 2 means the album has one or two different things that could potentially salvage an already poor performance.
A score of 1 means the staff does not recommend the album to anyone. The music and production is so awful, it’s not worth your time (and wasn’t worth ours).