Metal Storm logo
FAQ: Forum and members

1.3 - The rules of album ratings

Acknowledging that the whole concept of an album rating is something ephemeral and subjective that can never be empirically nailed down to a correct answer, we want users to feel like our database is a helpful tool for discovering bands and albums. We want the data aggregated from all these votes to provide a firm basis from which to draw conclusions about trends, preferences, and artistic progression. We want to look at our ranking of the top 200 albums and believe that it represents the honest collective opinions of as many metalheads as we could gather. That's why we display all of this information in the first place.

For all of that to work, we need users to exercise some rational consideration in their appraisals.

  • Please give realistic ratings: your vote should reflect your genuine opinion of the album's quality and it should not take into account the votes of other users, the current average score of the album, where the album sits on the charts, or any other irrelevant information. Voting just to manipulate an album's position, be that positively or negatively, is one of the definitions of rating abuse.

  • Listen to the entire album before settling on a rating: skimming samples or checking out the singles does not constitute adequate engagement with the work. Give it a fair shot or just don't rate it.

  • Remember that a 6/10 is a positive score and not a damning punishment. Don't be afraid of modesty.

  • If your band is featured on Metal Storm, please don't tell all your friends and family to register just to shower you with 10s; we'll figure it out eventually, and looking tacky often does the opposite of attracting fans.

    Metal Storm has a clearly delineated system, with each score of 1 through 10 assigned a meaning - 1 being "worst ever" and 10 being "perfect". Follow the guidelines of that system. A 10/10 is a masterpiece, an album that changed the way we listen to music nowadays, something that stays with you your entire life. It's Ashes Against The Grain, Panopticon, and Sad Wings Of Destiny. It's not for every album, EP, single, and DVD released by your favorite band, it's not for something you passively enjoyed and will forget next week, it's not just to mark that you listened to something. Similarly, a 1/10 is a travesty, an album so appallingly unbearable that it's surprising you even lasted one full listen on the basis of which to rate the album. It's Dedicated To Chaos, Graveyard Classics, and... well, frankly, very few albums are that bad.

    We know that this is a highly subjective process, that it's often hard to distinguish firmly what qualifies as good-faith or bad-faith rating, and that some of this sounds silly when you try to enforce it. Of course we know that; we listen to music, too, you know. But our rating feature, like any other feature of Metal Storm, relies on each of us being considerate members of the community. If you want ratings to mean something (and if you want to retain your own ability to use them), please approach them thoughtfully.