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Soom : Джєбарс 
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endemoniada_88 wrote:
this relentlessly critical approach to various Doom outings...


I know what Mike is talking about. It's the main reason I stopped visiting the Forum for a while. I came back recently, disappointingly observing the same tired negativity towards certain bands and genres.
I dunno, maybe I 'm not cult enough, or perhaps I'm just not clever enough to see all the bad music we write up, but I do quite like the idea of supporting the music we review and the people who make it. I don't do it regardless of perceived merit. I've written up some stinkers in my time, but In how ever many years its been I can count on one hand (three fingers to be precise) the number of times I've truly gone for the jugular, and not necessarily because the music was "shit" to my ears. One in particular was perfectly well executed but it offered nothing either new or remotely interesting to the scene and had some turgid beatles cover on it. I forget the name of the band. In any case it was Mike's fault giving me a Gothic Doom album to write up! But in another life I had some experience writing and recording music so unless you're sending in a recording of your farts, you've pretty much got three points before I've pressed play, especially if the artwork's good.
I love all this talk of subjectivity followed by comments along the lines of its all shit. Doesn't make much sense really. I also really appreciate the numerous thinly-veiled digs at many of the reviewers' competence and ability to score appropriately or write up a decent review of the correct length or content. Again, I thought it was all subjective opinion.
If I can bring Soom into the discussion, seeing as it was this album that sparked all this off. Djebars was quite well received by the Sludge and Stoner community. Hitting most scores around the 70% mark. Some lower, some higher. I do agree that it is not an easy listen, even for me, and I think I alluded to as much in the review. But if it's not even your thing, why rubbish it?
As to the notion that over familiarity breeding contempt, I don't buy it. Doom's been a part of my musical landscape since 1987 and it still gets me off the way it used to, and I have this site to thank for widening the horizon ever more so.
I've said it before but give a Doom fan a Doom album and the chances are he'll like it. Sometimes, round here though, I wonder...I really do...

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Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:50 am
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It's all subjective... :angel: I never say something is "shit", just that it's not my cup of tea, but then I've lived in the UK for over 30 years now... :p

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Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:32 am
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Post Re: Soom : Джєбарс

Merchant of Doom wrote:
It's all subjective... :angel: I never says something is "shit", just that it's not my cup of tea, but then I've lived in the UK for over 30 years now... :p



mh, I'm pretty sure you used that word as a comment once... but I guess it was shit indeed! :D (bits of irony here)

Seriously, this discussion thread is indeed an occasion to give a new try to this Soom album; I must say I see where they come from and what they're trying to achieve - a kind of experimental, primitive anti-fashoniable musical happening... to put it in a nutshell. Okay; it makes sense. But I guess it's a radicality that doesn't fit at all with neither my aesthetics nor my overall expectancies.

I remember one guy from The Nihilistic Front, Gaz is the name, admitting, and I quote ('cause I kept this mail!): " to be honest I find the music we create to be difficult to listen to as well! It's more of a purge for us I guess."
So yes, what is a purge for one can't be expected to be pleasing for the other. Not implying Soom is purging anything but hey, we're no reviewers! as random listeners not expected to deliver a thoughtful review, we're reacting more emotionally... It would become very grating if it was a habit, a mindset of sort, but I don't think it is. Most of the time the few of us who comment would do it in a respectful and even sometimes constructive manner, or am I completly wrong?

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Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:47 am
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Post Re: Soom : Джєбарс

(from the perspective of a simple fan of this site, uninvolved in its politics)

The most valuable aspect of this site is and has always been the critical aspect of its reviews. There are so many reviewing sites online that function more like promotional channels with cheaply written positive reviews that do not bring any benefit whatsoever.

"give a Doom fan a Doom album and the chances are he'll like it" - sorry but no - the scene is flooded by music coming out and good criticism is the only way to discover quality music as nobody has the time to try out every single album coming out.

And since we are mixing official reviews and forum comments lets separate it a bit.

The forum is a forum, I have not noticed anyone impolite or disrespectful since a long time here and I'm amazed that showing negativity towards music in a forum focused on discussing music can drive somebody away. This is exactly what it should be about - sharing opinions. And a good opinion is a raw opinion without filters.

As for official reviews - if a review is well grounded it should receive the mark it deserves. Personally I've struggled a lot giving a bad mark for an album from a band I love, knowing the artist will probably read it. It's always tempting and easier to flatter, but reviewers should have responsibilities towards their readers to deliver the truth.

Most importantly - fake positive feedback DEVALUES the actual feedback. And when an album really deserves a high mark it does not mean anything any more.

I'll take truth over plastic ungrounded politeness any day.


Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:54 am
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baphomet wrote:
Merchant of Doom wrote:
It's all subjective... :angel: I never says something is "shit", just that it's not my cup of tea, but then I've lived in the UK for over 30 years now... :p



mh, I'm pretty sure you used that word as a comment once... but I guess it was shit indeed! :D (bits of irony here)



ok, almost never... :laugh:

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Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:26 pm
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Yeah, well it's not just the music that cops it. The reviews themselves get crticised.

I'd be very interested to know how a review can convey some ultimate TRUTH about the music in question when reviews are simply opinion. Which,quite rightly, and as we can clearly see, all differ greatly from one person to the next. Opinion is not fact, contrary to the popular millenial belief. It is simply one persons subjective perception given at any one time through their own peculiar reality tunnel. Music holds no real truth other than what it meant for the composer and the myriad reactions it elicits from the listeners at the time it's being listened to. Otherwise you're back in the playground screaming "I'm right, I'm right!".

No, the issue here is with rubbishing oranges when you want everything to taste like pineapple. It's non-sensical and pointless and, I would argue, somewhat detrimental to the overall good nature of a site for so called enthusiasts. I'd take a good natured, constructive and supportive environment for the scene over what Mike described as "ring-fenced, ideologically pure Doom cred" ANY day of the week. I could add "jaded" to that too.
Which I do. I spend my time on other media outlets which offer that as well.

For me good criticism is not the only way to discover quality music as the so called "quality" in question will be for me to judge. I often write with that in mind and most of the time I think the score I give is irrelevant because each individual reader will simply judge for themselves. All we really need to do is put the albums the bands send us out there for people with a bit about what we thought. We are not the custodians of some Doom TRUTH. It doesn't exist I'm afraid, and my own responsibility when writing extends as far as my own reaction and interpretation of what I heard at the time I heard it. No further. Which is what each one of my reviews are. There's nothing fake or plastic about that.

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Mon Dec 16, 2019 7:42 pm
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Post Re: Soom : Джєбарс

I do not think anyone is writing from an ideological, purist or whatever perspective. The debate was sparked as to whether the opinions expressed should be honest or not (which is what I meant by truth=)


Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:09 am
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Post Re: Soom : Джєбарс

Well, first off, this:
baphomet wrote:
Most of the time the few of us who comment would do it in a respectful and even sometimes constructive manner, or am I completly wrong?

Nope, you're completely right. I did say that in my previous comment, but it's worth repeating. The level of commentary here is generally high-quality, thought-out and well-argued. I don't always agree with it, but I quite frequently pick up new angles, insights and comparison bands that I wouldn't have connected myself.
Which is exactly why some of the more brusquely dismissive comments are quite so...disappointing...when they do turn up.

baphomet wrote:
Yes, it's the famous "don't say it's bad, say I don't like it" my father used to drill us in the head at each new culinary discovery. Sometimes though, he was surer than us that it was good indeed!

Sort of - that sounds very familiar, though it was my mother who did all the cooking :D ! But not quite so proscriptive - her rule was that if it really was bad, and we could tell her (politely! She had very little truck with bad manners of any sort) exactly why, that was fair enough. Otherwise, yep, it was very much "...then say you don't like it"!

baphomet wrote:
I think that we can't always be asked to think of the people behind any new project having put their heart in it etc. and being always very diplomatic. Once in a while a strong "I hate it!" will come out and it's just a slighlty provocative heartfelt appeal, nothing backed up by any political, dogmatic vision at any rate.

Which is a fair point. As mentioned above, I was always taught to prize good manners (and, let's be fair, there's a good reason it's a stereotype that the English value politeness and diplomacy over plain-speaking...), so I personally do try to consider whether my venting "I hate" is going to add anything. There again, it's also actually quite rare that I completely hate any music here - at least, within my chosen genre preferences: there's plenty of stuff outside of those which I cannot bear - so it's not often I'd drop too much below indifference and into active dislike anyway.

klamerin wrote:
I do not think anyone is writing from an ideological, purist or whatever perspective. The debate was sparked as to whether the opinions expressed should be honest or not (which is what I meant by truth=)

I don't think that's quite correct - my original point said nothing about honesty. I sort of take that for granted from everyone who contributes to the site: whether anyone agrees or disagrees with any particular piece they've written, I have no doubt whatsoever that what you're getting is absolutely their honest and detailed opinion. I preferred your earlier statement
klamerin wrote:
The most valuable aspect of this site is and has always been the critical aspect of its reviews.

and I trust you have absolutely no reason to have changed that standpoint!
But this is where it gets a little bit murky for me. Honesty is neither a synonym nor an excuse for rudeness, and there are any number of ways in which the Emperor may be informed he has no clothes, if that is one's contention.
Again, not to make this personal, but purely as an example. Soom, being Ukrainian and long-since disbanded, perhaps don't care so much about odd post-facto reviews. Nonetheless, they did put this album together, presumably with some musical design in mind, and the idea it might not be completely shit. There's a review of it which pretty much tells you exactly what to expect, a reviewer (who happens to be a bit of a specialist in that field) giving you their genuine thoughts on it, and a score at the end that pretty much ties in exactly with the written text.
Now, it may be a sort of honesty, albeit far short of an actual criticism (in its dictionary definiition) to respond to that with something like
klamerin wrote:
I know i do not appreciate this genre in general but this is simply terrible garbage music, unlistenable...

but what it's actually doing, under the hood, is offering precisely nothing except a personal bias which in no way engages with any of the ideas of the band, the content of the album, or the detail of the review. And I would have thought it's fairly obvious why that sort of thing is actually quite insultingly dismissive and, ultimately, disillusioning to everyone involved. And in some cases, you could come right back with "well, who takes the unfounded opinion of some random on the internet seriously?", but I don't know that's quite so valid on a site that bills itself as "the meeting place for doom metal fans", and quite clearly is home to a small but very dedicated cadre of not-so-random-at-all 'net denizens. This is why I was drawing parallels with the recent bruisingly abrasive period of UK politics, which has slipped so far into vitriol and schism that even without a "millennial snowflake" gene in my body I am actually bone-weary of people being needlessly unpleasant to each other. And the stupid thing about that - it's been all about what people don't like or want, not about what they do. It may be "honest", but it isn't, in any sense "community". (I'd be curious to learn if any of other UK residents here feel the same on that, it's certainly been a weird and surprisingly difficult ride, imo).
But to get back to the point, elsewhere here it was said
baphomet wrote:
Seriously, this discussion thread is indeed an occasion to give a new try to this Soom album; I must say I see where they come from and what they're trying to achieve - a kind of experimental, primitive anti-fashoniable musical happening... to put it in a nutshell. Okay; it makes sense. But I guess it's a radicality that doesn't fit at all with neither my aesthetics nor my overall expectancies.

(I will say that this suggests my earlier "Krautrock for the new millennium" description wasn't all that wrong after all :D ). Broadly, though, all I'm saying is you can simply chuck out "garbage" or you can say "I don't like it because...". You can tag both as honest, from the heart, critical, whatever, but at the end of the day only one of them seems like it belongs in a community that values constructivity - and, yes, comes across as supportive of the music we say we care about. No?

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Wed Dec 18, 2019 12:09 am
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I have no problem with things getting personal at all and your point is well taken.

Maybe this is all eastern/western Europe cultural difference - here we like to say things as they are and are not too fond of sugar-coating. For me rudeness would be ad hominem or a lie. But nevermind=)


Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:33 am
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klamerin wrote:

Maybe this is all eastern/western Europe cultural difference - here we like to say things as they are and are not too fond of sugar-coating. For me rudeness would be ad hominem or a lie. But nevermind=)


I would say it's 50/50... true, there is the cultural component, but it's also down to personality... having lived in England for a long time, I have learnt to temper my Italian directness... I'm still rather impulsive, but I try to use my brain before I write or speak... on occasion (or often), it's a total failure... :p

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Wed Dec 18, 2019 1:52 pm
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endemoniada_88 wrote:
Just my personal opinion that statements in the "no, this is just shit" and "I hate x genre" category don't really do much to meaningfully advance any of that. That's not intended as a dig against anyone in particular, it's something we're all guilty of at times, and - actually - it's not even a significant minority of the comments on threads like this, most of which do contain more of a nuanced, detailed or factual opinion.


I understand your point, and I really agree with you. Maybe I'm wrong but sometimes a forum is just like a virtual pub where you are talking to your friends, drinking some beer and relaxing....it's really cool to read some great insights about the genre that we love, and this forum is the best place to find this, but sometimes we just don't want to write a monography about the album, or add something groundbreaking to the community. I just vocalized my frustration with the review since I was expecting something great, and ok, the rudeness escaped :p I will police myself so that this does not happen again and better choose the words I use.

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Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:46 pm
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Post Re: Soom : Джєбарс

I think this forum is like a pub as well. One of those where everyone is sitting at their own table. :p


Tue Dec 31, 2019 5:31 pm
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mortuus wrote:
endemoniada_88 wrote:
Just my personal opinion that statements in the "no, this is just shit" and "I hate x genre" category don't really do much to meaningfully advance any of that. That's not intended as a dig against anyone in particular, it's something we're all guilty of at times, and - actually - it's not even a significant minority of the comments on threads like this, most of which do contain more of a nuanced, detailed or factual opinion.


I understand your point, and I really agree with you. Maybe I'm wrong but sometimes a forum is just like a virtual pub where you are talking to your friends, drinking some beer and relaxing....it's really cool to read some great insights about the genre that we love, and this forum is the best place to find this, but sometimes we just don't want to write a monography about the album, or add something groundbreaking to the community. I just vocalized my frustration with the review since I was expecting something great, and ok, the rudeness escaped :p I will police myself so that this does not happen again and better choose the words I use.


I think that's a really good metaphor, to be honest. Sometimes that's exactly what it's like, especially for the more regular forum attendees who've been at home here for years, and are quite comfortable with having a laugh with their fellow old lags about differences in taste. Lord knows, I have no problem with taking the mickey over who has the daftest taste and musical opinions (though I am surprised that sometimes people incorrectly think that might be me :D ). For sure I never want to even try and be proscriptive about postings (well, there was Skoms. And that completely irritating Evoken-fixated kid whose name I forget, both of whom absolutely earned a slapdown) and I am grateful to everyone who still takes the time to do any of this old-school "forum" stuff. I just worry a little sometimes that we're trying to put stuff out there to more than just the "in-house pub regulars", and that can need a little more thoughtfulness than just sitting in with your mates...

unwashed_villager wrote:
I think this forum is like a pub as well. One of those where everyone is sitting at their own table. :p

But, yep, from my own little table and with a slightly suspicious scowl of "are you looking at my pint?"...best wishes and a happy new year to you all!

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