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Corwin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Corwin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2010 at 19:58

Hello everyone. I'm new to this forum. I have to admit I joined up because I was so baffled with all the one-star reviews, and then this specific thread, that I felt I should respond with my two cents.

I might be new here (at least as a member, I've used the site many times in the past) but I've written hundreds of reviews, both for fanzines and professional magazines/sites and have been a fan of progressive rock for some 20 years or so.

First of all I would like to tell JLocke that he should not feel guilty. He was harsh, yes, but a review should always voice your honest thoughts as objectively as possible. It can sometimes be difficult, especially when you are reviewing an album you do not like from a band you usually DO like... that's the toughest, and even moreso when you know the band members!

However, I was quite startled by some of the reviews... and, actually, mainly those by JLocke. Not really because of the opinion (to each his own) but rather because of the given reasons.

First off, track length. Some of the reviews come off sounding like "the songs are short, so the songs are bad." So in other words, just because it's prog the songs should be long? I do enjoy lengthy epic pieces when they are well done, but I feel a song should be long if and only if the material justifies it. Length for the sake of length is NOT a good thing... I'll take good short songs any day over some awful, long, boring pieces I've heard (Thieves Kitchen comes to mind *shudders*) Besides, following this logic, Echolyn's "As the world" would have to be deemed a horrible horrible album, considering its longest piece is slightly under 8 minutes and that only three out of 16 tracks go beyond 6 minutes. Personally, I think it's a masterpiece (and apparently other PA members share my sentiments on this one, considering the reviews posted here). Oh and besides, one track on Maxt's second album clocks at slightly over 10 minutes and one could say that their latest two are really made of 5 and 4 long pieces respectively (since the track listings are divided into chapters, as one can see on their website)... so I guess that would make them amazingly good albums? ;-)

Secondly, there's the bit about the influences, how they sound so much like this band or that band... No, seriously? In case you hadn't noticed, *every* band has influences. Heck, Marillion was accused of sounding like Genesis, IQ and Pendragon of sounding like Marillion and so on and so forth. I actually think Maxt does a pretty good job at blending their influences and going beyond them to create a fairly personal sound. Now you like that sound or you don't, that's another issue, but let's not diss them just because they happen to like a lot of the same bands we do, heh.

As far as the lyrics go, though, I can see how that could bother some. I'm a Christian myself so I don't really mind -- though I do cringe when the lyrics get too "in your face". To be honest, I don't know if this is the case here as I haven't really paid much attention to the words. That's a thing with me though, as I've found that if I listen to the lyrics I tend to focus on them too much afterward, so I try to take everything as a whole, at least in the beginning.

Also, I would like to clarify a few things. I came across the band's website by accident, listened to the samples, liked what I heard, came to PA to check for more info on them and... BAM! Wow. Those scathing reviews... So totally the opposite of how I felt after what I'd heard.

So I downloaded the three albums available for free through the band's website. I've listened to the first two so far, which I really enjoyed. I'll listen to the third tomorrow and will definitely order their latest soon from cdbaby.

At first I thought I'd write a review to balance things out a bit, but it felt like my review would be more of a response to the other reviews than a real review, so I figured I'd post in this thread instead, more appropriate. Though I might still write a review at some point. Will have to think it through.

Well anyway, that's all I have to say for now :-)

Oh, and sorry I resurrected the thread! LOL.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JLocke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2010 at 20:18
Originally posted by Corwin Corwin wrote:


Hello everyone. I'm new to this forum. I have to admit I joined up because I was so baffled with all the one-star reviews, and then this specific thread, that I felt I should respond with my two cents.

I might be new here (at least as a member, I've used the site many times in the past) but I've written hundreds of reviews, both for fanzines and professional magazines/sites and have been a fan of progressive rock for some 20 years or so.

First of all I would like to tell JLocke that he should not feel guilty. He was harsh, yes, but a review should always voice your honest thoughts as objectively as possible. It can sometimes be difficult, especially when you are reviewing an album you do not like from a band you usually DO like... that's the toughest, and even moreso when you know the band members!

However, I was quite startled by some of the reviews... and, actually, mainly those by JLocke. Not really because of the opinion (to each his own) but rather because of the given reasons.

First off, track length. Some of the reviews come off sounding like "the songs are short, so the songs are bad." So in other words, just because it's prog the songs should be long? I do enjoy lengthy epic pieces when they are well done, but I feel a song should be long if and only if the material justifies it. Length for the sake of length is NOT a good thing... I'll take good short songs any day over some awful, long, boring pieces I've heard (Thieves Kitchen comes to mind *shudders*) Besides, following this logic, Echolyn's "As the world" would have to be deemed a horrible horrible album, considering its longest piece is slightly under 8 minutes and that only three out of 16 tracks go beyond 6 minutes. Personally, I think it's a masterpiece (and apparently other PA members share my sentiments on this one, considering the reviews posted here). Oh and besides, one track on Maxt's second album clocks at slightly over 10 minutes and one could say that their latest two are really made of 5 and 4 long pieces respectively (since the track listings are divided into chapters, as one can see on their website)... so I guess that would make them amazingly good albums? ;-)

Secondly, there's the bit about the influences, how they sound so much like this band or that band... No, seriously? In case you hadn't noticed, *every* band has influences. Heck, Marillion was accused of sounding like Genesis, IQ and Pendragon of sounding like Marillion and so on and so forth. I actually think Maxt does a pretty good job at blending their influences and going beyond them to create a fairly personal sound. Now you like that sound or you don't, that's another issue, but let's not diss them just because they happen to like a lot of the same bands we do, heh.

As far as the lyrics go, though, I can see how that could bother some. I'm a Christian myself so I don't really mind -- though I do cringe when the lyrics get too "in your face". To be honest, I don't know if this is the case here as I haven't really paid much attention to the words. That's a thing with me though, as I've found that if I listen to the lyrics I tend to focus on them too much afterward, so I try to take everything as a whole, at least in the beginning.

Also, I would like to clarify a few things. I came across the band's website by accident, listened to the samples, liked what I heard, came to PA to check for more info on them and... BAM! Wow. Those scathing reviews... So totally the opposite of how I felt after what I'd heard.

So I downloaded the three albums available for free through the band's website. I've listened to the first two so far, which I really enjoyed. I'll listen to the third tomorrow and will definitely order their latest soon from cdbaby.

At first I thought I'd write a review to balance things out a bit, but it felt like my review would be more of a response to the other reviews than a real review, so I figured I'd post in this thread instead, more appropriate. Though I might still write a review at some point. Will have to think it through.

Well anyway, that's all I have to say for now :-)

Oh, and sorry I resurrected the thread! LOL.


My complaints about track length was not that they were short in length. They just sound unfinished and cut short at times in structure and approach. There is a difference. If a song is fully fleshed out and self-contained in a way that pleases me, I could care less if it's ten minutes or ten seconds. I'm sick of the ''epic'' approach so many prog bands take in music nowadays because it's so trite and predictable. Just thought I would clarify.

I'm well aware that all bands have influences. The way I see it, good bands take the inspiration from those influences and attempt to do something just as fresh and exciting on their own. Bad bands mimic the exact sound of what they like to listen to. 

Hopefully that helps further explain my reasoning behind the bad ratings. Having influences and writing sort songs are things every band has in common. The underlying causes and effects of those elements just weren't all that impressive to me in this particular case. Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progpositivity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 22 2010 at 19:09
Originally posted by Mellotron Storm Mellotron Storm wrote:

 
Gnosis2000 has lots of reviews that i agree with.In fact if we looked at Gnosis rating of Torman Maxt's albums i bet they rate them all very low.Checking right now...
 
I didn't notice the results of this research ever getting posted.  So I looked it up. 
 
Although ratings for Torman Maxt albums at Gnosis are neither stellar nor abysmal, they are appreciably higher than on PA.  The ratings indicate a trend of moderate improvement over the years. 
 
Although the sample size is small, I did not use the Gnosis modified averages (which tends to moderate scores for albums with fewer reviews - and which in this case would have raised the scores).  I am providing the actual averages which 'tells it like it is" as of 11/22/2010.
 
Gnosis ratings
 
Just Talking About the Universe... So Far - 1994
Average rating = 6 (1 rating)
This is the equivalent of a 2+ (two plus) at PA
 
The Foolishness of God - 2001
Average rating = 7.33 (3 ratings)
This is the equivalent of a "3-" (three minus) at PA
 
The Problem of Pain Vol. 1 USA 2007
Average rating =8.0 (1 rating)
This is the equivalent of a solid "3" at PA (three with no 'plus' or 'minus')
Positively the best Prog and Fusion 24/7!
http://www.progpositivity.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Conor Fynes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 23 2010 at 16:05
The album has some cool guitar parts, it's definately not a 'horrible album'. One gripe i have with it though is that it feels like it repeats itself; the second half of the album is essentially a repeat of the first half...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Queen By-Tor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2017 at 14:31
LOL I'm "problematic".

That was in 2008! My worst era was 2011-2013. Funnily enough I don't recall him "getting in touch with me" or "smoothing things over" but that was almost 10 years ago so maybe memory is hazy. I quite enjoyed reading this (somehow I had missed it until now). I still stand by my review.

Much respect for an architect with a wife and three kids, but I still don't like his music.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2017 at 15:01
hahaha..... god bless Torman Maxt.

back when this site was truly great. Correct me if I'm wrong but it was Russel's review that really started teh sh*tstorm wasn't it. He left the site over the whole saga.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Queen By-Tor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2017 at 15:50
Originally posted by micky micky wrote:

hahaha..... god bless Torman Maxt.

back when this site was truly great. Correct me if I'm wrong but it was Russel's review that really started teh sh*tstorm wasn't it. He left the site over the whole saga.


Really? Guess I wasn't the only one then. My review was pulled down as well until one of the Bald gals pulled it from the archived site and it was eventually put back up again.

Aww man! I wanted to be legendary CryLOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2017 at 15:55
nope...  I do recall it was Russel's that set off the storm. The one the group saw first and requested be taken down, of course it was, and Russel lost his sh*t and left the site.. never to return. A shame.. he was a smart and sharp reviewer and forumite.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2017 at 15:58
Originally posted by Queen By-Tor Queen By-Tor wrote:


Aww man! I wanted to be legendary CryLOL


ahhh... I don't think you have to worry about that darling....Heart As I told you before... as long as the old guard are still around.. your legend and exploits will never be forgotten
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Queen By-Tor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2017 at 16:02
Heart aww Micky,

it's peeps like you that keep me coming back Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2017 at 16:04
EmbarrassedHeart  just know that when Raff finally tires of my bullsh*t.. I'm coming for you...LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Queen By-Tor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2017 at 16:06
Originally posted by micky micky wrote:

EmbarrassedHeart  just know that when Raff finally tires of my bullsh*t.. I'm coming for you...LOL


LOL hope you haven't heard enough BOC!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2017 at 16:07
hahah.. fat chance of that.. one can never hear enough BOC.  It is our #1 most played group here!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Queen By-Tor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2017 at 16:27
it's been a while, but I still love 'em. Cultosaurus is probably my most played. But I was talking Rock operas with my boyfriend the other day and I was tempted to fire up Imaginos Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2017 at 16:33
great choice.....Thumbs Up  Secret Treaties still gets the nod for favorite..Me262 is still the go to song for blasting on Monday mornings on the way to work to shake out the cobwebs... but man alive they all are eminently listenable. Spectres has really moved up my list of favs in the last few years though..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Catcher10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 17 2017 at 12:45
Man I just re-read thru this thread, can't believe it has been that long, and agree Micky when the site was truly great and no captcha!! LOL SOB!

It was cool to see members of by gone days.....Cry


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 17 2017 at 16:09
yeah... those were the good old days..  lots of smart ones.. lots of bad ones... random drive by shootings... senseless violence.. gratuitous sex... personal feuds.. character assinations.. oh we had so much fun and yeah.. NO CAPTCHA's...  Torman Maxt was a bit of an insurections against the evil hand of [email protected] and his admin flunkies enforcing his bullsh*t. The more so since we offered to help pay for the site and were shot down. Which meant this was all about making money.. not 'supporting the site'. We did have a few leave the site over that crap. Good times.. as usual.. the real fun was behind the scenes.   If there had been pitchforkds and torches we would have burned out the entire admin team.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tapfret Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 17 2017 at 21:48
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 18 2017 at 01:05
Originally posted by micky micky wrote:

yeah... those were the good old days..  lots of smart ones.. lots of bad ones... random drive by shootings... senseless violence.. gratuitous sex... personal feuds.. character assinations.. oh we had so much fun and yeah.. NO CAPTCHA's...  Torman Maxt was a bit of an insurections against the evil hand of [email protected] and his admin flunkies enforcing his bullsh*t. The more so since we offered to help pay for the site and were shot down. Which meant this was all about making money.. not 'supporting the site'. We did have a few leave the site over that crap. Good times.. as usual.. the real fun was behind the scenes.   If there had been pitchforkds and torches we would have burned out the entire admin team.
LOL Your fantasy world must be a great place to live, well, if it wasn't for having to wade through all the horse, bull and buffalo sh*t.

Some of your Alternative Facts are in need of some gentle realignment:

Russell is spelt with two Ls. Most Russell's I know are pretty particular about that.

He did not leave the site over Torman Maxt debacle, he continued reviewing and posting for another 6Ĺ years after that storm in a portapotty died down.

No one else left the site because of that either, not even you.

"We" did not offer to pay for the site, it was just "you". "You" were not shot down, "you" made a single donation using the [Donate] button, which was happily received but it didn't pay for the site.
Covering the running costs of this site requires a regular, reliable income that one-off donations cannot provide. Donations made periodically are called subscriptions, but this is not a subscriber service, nor could it ever be - a subscriber-only review site is untenable and pretty pointless. The whole ethos of this site is that it is a free review site that anyone can contribute a review to with the minimum of editorial control. Note here that is "minimum of" not "free from".

As a collaborator I was more than happy to donate my time and energy for free but I was not prepared to pay for the privilege. While there is a faint possibility that I am alone in this view, I suspect if we took a straw poll the number of people who are willing to pay to use this site can be counted on Django Reinhart's left hand.

No one likes the Google Adverts, but they are the only viable and practical solution to keeping this site subscription-free. As far as I am aware the Ad revenue just about keeps this site running at break-even but it certainly isn't the cash-cow you seem to think it is. Ads guarantee a regular income that sporadic donations never can.

Band sponsorship was a bad idea poorly executed, if Max had asked the "Admins flunkies" they would have advised against it, but he didn't. Instead he left us to run damage-limitations, which we did - it wasn't mob-rule and public opinion that changed his mind, it was Tony and the rest of us "Admin flunkies" working behind the scenes.

Nine years after this Torman Maxt incident I feel that rather than drag this up every couple of years so you can vent at Max and his "Admin flunkies", it's time to man-up and accept that mistakes were made all round and punishing a band for being a little naive has gone on long enough.

The key draw of this site is the reviews are published with the minimum of editorial control. As long as the review guidelines are followed in the spirit with which they are intended then any one can write anything they like. Max forgot that and he was chastised for it at the time. 

The same is true of the Forum - as long as you play by the spirit of the f*cking guidelines you can post whatever the hell you like. If you want to call the Admin team "flunkies" you go a head. But remember this: freedom to say it as you see it does not mean you can post with impunity. 

Bob, Tony, Jody and Jim aren't around to defend themselves and Guigo seldom ventures out of JFF (and Angelo is busy elsewhere) but I'm still here and will gladly address any concerns and misunderstandings you may have regarding this or any other issue from back then. While I no longer have access to the AZ to get the facts, I have the memory of an elephant and can easily remember where the bodies are buried. 


Edited by Dean - April 18 2017 at 01:44
"You know what uranium is, right?
Itís this thing called nuclear weapons.
And other things.
Like lots of things are done with uranium.
Including some bad things.
But nobody talks about that."
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