|PILGRIM WORLD is the website featuring reviews of prog metal/rock, melodic metal, atmospheric
metal, heavy rock, etc. We welcomed cd submissions for review from various
artists and bands in the recent past. Nevertheless, at this time I'm not looking for new cd submissions (except for a few labels and artists who have kept in touch with PILGRIM
WORLD before). I said "at this time", because my recent working
schedule and some assignments in recent months do not allow me to delve
into review works in regular basis. Whenever the time-conflicting situation
and some obligations of mine could be solved, then I hope I'll make new
announcement for cd submissions and review policy. Well, it won't happen
very soon though. Until making new statement for review guide, please bear
with me. Therefore, please be patient to hear good news in the future....thanks.
Speaking of Review articles:
Since the late December of 1999, PILGRIM WORLD enthusiastically has introduced and reviewed prog-metal bands and melodic metal bands that intrigue me and visitors as well. The albums that I mostly have reviewed are purchased cds. Later on, I slowly received cd submissions from new contacts (thanks for a big help). Besides the review of purchased items, our website also includes the review of submitted materials that sound curious to my ears. Indeed, some submitted cds are surprisingly good and quality ones. Eventually, PILGRIM WORLD features the reviews of both purchased cds and some submitted albums from progressive metal/rock bands and artists nowadays.
Review style of Pilgrim World:
Usually, it takes several spins and plenty of hours to digest music for writing. You know the prog metal/rock genre is not easy to absorb through only a few spins. Otherwise, some cds require the reviewer to spend a few weeks or a month before writing initial thoughts. Once having fully experienced the music, then I go work on general review. In that way, it's much comfortable for me to write down articles step by step. Bottom line of my review writing is:
(no.1) I try to be open mind for any music I review.
(no.2) I provide you my honest thoughts and observations.
(no.3) The review I post typically points out what I enjoyed, notices of sound production, genre/style, musicianship...and so on.
In other words, the focus of review writing is honesty and fairness toward what bands/musicians have presented on their musical contents. As you notice reading my review articles, sometimes I give detailed observations through my listening experience. I hope some visitors would enjoy my review style for that reason. As I've mentioned above, I try to be informative and fair toward any purchased albums and submitted cds for review. I avoid writing a unnecessarily favorable review.
Answers to concens and doubts on reviewed cds:
Okay, I have pretty much posted general information about review policy. From here, I would like to mention a few things about concerns and a kind of complaints that I heard. These include harsh ones from a few group of Japanese prog rock/metal enthusiasts. I had never received any complaints and arguments by other parties until a few years ago. But, unfortunately and sadly I heard these people seemed having serious arguments and doubts of my review style and its attitude. Honestly, what I've heard surprised me: at the same time I have to defend myself about the aim and purpose of PILGRIM WORLD website.
<Some possible reasons they've been confused>
(no.1) Some people from my country casts doubts that PILGRIM WORLD might have been asking all cds free from everyone, some artists and labels. (In other words, taking advantage of something?) Behind the backs of Japanese visitors, PILGRIM WORLD conceals the fact of getting promo cds (although the info of cd submission has been stated on English page).
(Answer to question no.1):
As for promo cds, I've never asked anyone directly to send me items unless someone who is responsible about music and products contacted me and sent a message of the review consideration. I do not deny I've posted "About Material Submission" page before. Through this page, PILGRIM WORLD informed that "If you are interested in being reviewed on the page, please let me know and contact PILGRIM WORLD before you submit cd." until a few years ago. But mind you, you see that it does not mean that all reviewed cds on PILGRIM WORLD are promo/submitted items. The main intention of review is to introduce and give a visitor my thoughts and how I felt and what I exactly heard from both purchased items and submitted cds the artists kindly have submitted previously. Well, I should have better posted review guideline and info on both English and Japanese page much earlier, before I included the review articles of submitted cds and promo. If I had included such information on both pages, then this kind of confusion and doubts would have neither been argued nor had problems. Speaking of promo cd submission, I assume that a very few Japanese visitors might have thought that I take advantage of getting all cds free, but it is not definitely true. On the other hand, one of my big mistakes to confuse some visitors from Japan is that I did not place the information page of Japanese language (again I already posted the information of cd submission on English page), What if I confused these Japanese fellows about that, I would have to apologize for the matter.Therefore, It does not mean I conceal the fact that I've got the cd submissions from various artists toward Japanese visitors.
(no.2) PILGRIM WORLD tends to give a favorable review of cd submissions which some label and artists have sent. On the other hand, the reviewer of this website gives harsh comments on the other reviewed cd that he purchased from record stores.
(Answer to question no.2):
The impression you got after having read my review may be very different from mine. My aim of review is to be honest and fair; I think my observation of review is basically straightforward. If I enjoy some album quite a lot, then I give the reason why I really liked. On the other hand, some cds I listened did not grab me enough after all. However, it does not mean I give only a favorable review of cd submitted. Perhaps, someone might have misunderstood or misread. Everyone has a different musical taste, so you be the judge for the music you like or not.
(no.3) The reviewer of PILGRIM WORLD must get some kind of benefits or money; that's why this PILGRIM WORLD guy gives a favorable view on certain labels and artists.
(Answer to question no.3):
I could answer this question straightforward and simple: I promise I have NEVER ever received such offerings and requests. No such thing is happening; No one ever do that. For the honor of the artists and labels, I would say that no one has dared that they ask me to write a favorable view on the cd. No Way!!. As you see that, our website never cheated behind someone's back. It's a quite hurting bad rumour I've ever heard! I do not mind what if someone critically put down and badmouth PILGRIM WORLD. If you do not like the way I review, I do not care. It's up to you who enjoy PILGRIM WORLD or not. But please do not spread wrong rumours about some labels offering some benefit or bribe to pilgrimworld; it's not totally true, believe me. It would hurt the name and activity of labels. Those artists and labels are always very hard working and being very honest for their music activity. To be honest with you, I suspect that someone who mentioned such thing may be trying to hurt the name and character of PILGRIM WORLD (Well, I hope not). Once again, I have to defend myself; I never take advantage of anything at all from anyone. To me, writing review is solely my honest views and thoughts. If the product I hear is good, that is good. If the product I heard does not convince me enough, I'll write down "it has nothing to do with me". All written reviews come from my honest thoughts and what I heard.
Well, that's all for some complaints and confusion I received. Besides three points I mentioned above, there are not many serious ones that hurt me very much. Therefore, I better stop here. Whenever I find out and notice about frequently asked questions about the page and review policy, then I'll post some answers as early as possible. Anyway, thanks for reading information of review policy and some arguments I received. I hope some concerns would be understood for everyone, esp. from the visitors of my country. Again, thanks for your support and kind words.
Any thoughts and questions?
e-mail address: pilgrimmonk at yahoo dot co dot jp