It's the end of another month, and so it's time for the second "Reviews and Corrections" installment. This is where I condense all the albums I've reviewed over the past month into a quick and easy reference list, organized alphabetically by band name. It's also where I make any corrections to the grades of albums I reviewed in the previous month which, now that I've had more time to absorb them, I may feel I would rate differently today. At the bottom is a basic description of my rating system.
I would also like to note, briefly, that this is by far the most successful month my blog has ever had in terms of views. So, thanks to everyone who checked it out, even if you were an angry fan of a band that I gave a bad review.
Ahnengrab - Omen (pagan metal, Grade: A-)
Enthroned - Obsidium (black metal, Grade: B+)
Fister - Violence (sludge, Grade: D)
Liberteer - Better to Die on Your Feet than Live on Your Knees (grindcore, Grade: C)
Napalm Death - Utilitarian (grindcore, Grade: B+)
Pallbearer - Sorrow and Extinction (stoner/doom metal, Grade: A-)
Pharaoh - Bury the Light (power metal, Grade: B+)
Rage - 21 (heavy metal, Grade: C+)
Sigh - In Somniphobia (avant-garde metal, Grade: A)
Swallow the Sun - Emerald Forest and the Blackbird (death/doom metal, Grade: B-)
Undergang - Til Døden Os Skiller (death metal, Grade: A-)
Sphere - Homo Hereticus (death metal, change from B- to B)
(A) means I loved this album. An album does not have to be absolutely perfect to get an "A" grade from me, but it does need to really stand out as something special.
(A-) means the album was excellent, and I really enjoyed it. There are just a few flaws which stop me from giving it the top grade.
(B+) means the album was very good. Usually this grade means it was an otherwise fantastic album with one major flaw that I couldn't get past, or it was very strong but lacked the real "it factor" impact of a great album.
(B) means it was a good, solid album.
(B-) means it was a good solid album, but I have a gripe of some kind with it.
(C+) means this was an okay album, nothing worth going out of your way to get.
(C) means the album was mediocre.
(C-) means the album was weak, but not offensively bad.
(D+) means the album was pretty bad, but it had some small redeeming factor.
(D) means the album was bad.
(D-) means the album was really bad.
(F) means the album was absolutely horrible and I hated it. I would play it on a loop to torture my enemies.
I am perfectly willing to give grades anywhere on the scale. There doesn't seem to be much point in having a scale if I won't use the whole thing. I don't believe in holding "A" in reserve for only all-time classic albums, because it's difficult (if not impossible) to initially tell whether a new album deserves such a high level of recognition. Instead, I prefer to think of it the way a teacher looks at grading a class. In every class (year) there will be "A" students (albums), and that doesn't have to mean that they produced the greatest thing I've ever heard. That said, I won't just give a top grade to every album I enjoy, either.