Let's be honest. I said some things during my review of the Dark Design album Prey For The Future, that I wouldn't want to wind up tarnishing my reputation as a reviewer. These things were ten kinds of unprofessional. Even if you don't like someone else's standpoint on a disc, it's never alright in a professional setting to critique them as a human being. Though I sometimes wander off into rants on conspiracy and other inapplicable matters, I've always used this page as the place where I can do those sorts of things. Rarely will I mention those sorts of topics in my New Noise Magazine reviews, and if I do; they're only hinted at. But I do like to keep some level of professionalism and honesty on this page because you have to remember that I am getting press releases from professional labels like Relapse Records, Century Media Records, Napalm Records, Season Of Mist Records, Candlelight Records and several others that have graciously given me the ability to review as an established member of the press.
Now I don't know much about Tepedelen as a person, but I do know that he's a widely respected professional reviewer and interviewer who does the same work as myself, along with writing (his new book Decibel Presents: Brewtal Truth Guide To Extreme Beers releases in November and is put out by Lyons Press) about something in which he drives a great deal of passion. I once befriended a man who was also a beer connoisseur and would talk about different varieties of beer for hours, eventually bringing over some imported German stuff which I found quite superior to American brew (most of the stuff you'll find in Wal-Mart) forever changing my mind about beer in general. (Before, my old drummer used to buy Steel Reserve and that's what I practiced on. Legend has it that it's the stuff at the bottom of the barrel and is akin to drinking piss.)
But this isn't a "I'm going to kiss ass to one of the writers at Decibel" sort of thing, it's rather about integrity. There's not much of that left these days and I don't want people to think that I'm bereft of it. I'll admit that I've been more than displeased with some of the Decibel reviews and have cross-referenced those with other sites like Metal Archives and Metalstorm.net, for example - but I don't think that making fun of a man's birth-given name and being a total dick to him is the right way to go about criticizing another standpoint on the album. You see, I'd like to continue doing this kind of work and eventually turn it into some sort of profession. I enjoy it and have no problem promoting these acts, especially the ones who might get passed by on other pages. We have an "accept everything" policy, which means that it doesn't matter how bad it is, I've sat through worse and I'll review it just as I think it deserves to be reviewed. When I get a Haulix submission or any other, I usually download everything that is sent to me and review the material on either this page, New Noise, or a combination of the two. I sometimes wind up with tinnitus because I'm constantly listening to music and yes, my ears do feel a bit of pain from time to time - but that's just part of the job and I wouldn't change it. This is something that I love to do, so my reputation in this work means a great deal to me. I appreciate every one of my fans and will continue doing this work as long as I am able.
I'll let you know that I have listened to every single album that has been reviewed on this website in it's entirety. Even if my head wasn't in it, the album still started on the first track and ended on the last track. That's a guarantee. If you even want to guess how many albums I've listened to a day, I'd say that the total can be anywhere from 3-8 albums, with 8 on very good days. You provide the soundtrack for my life as it were; so I don't regret any one second of it. Sure, I've heard some terrible records and even some terrible records from what are normally really good bands, (it happens) but they file into my memory banks somewhere, further expanding the musical jukebox that is in my head. I'm not really sure if there's anyone else out there like me who can wait a week and pop out thirty album reviews, (it used to be like that all the time when I wasn't working) though I'll admit that there have been times where I wouldn't want to sit down and review music at all. But as soon as I sat down, the words came out, and by the time I knew it; time flew by and my once fresh sheet of electronic paper was now filled with reviews. Obviously, if my head wasn't in the game, then this wouldn't have happened. I would have given up and started working on my fourth novel, or started playing a game, maybe even crawled over into the living room to watch the cesspool tube. But that's not the case, so there's certainly an innate passion in me to do this kind of work. We're not the prettiest site around but we get the job done and speak the truth, which at the end of the day, is what I care about most.
So, Adem Tepedelen; I'm not asking you to accept my apology for what could be constituted as defamation of character, but I'm putting it out there so that you'll understand that I do respect your work and only ask that you would respect mine. I do subscribe to Decibel as well as other magazines that deal with metal and rock music, so I appreciate the work that your team does; even if I admit that I don't agree with some of the reviews. Writing a review is never easy, especially if you're doing it for a professional magazine. It has to be easy to follow and has to highlight your opinion, whatever it might be. I may criticize your reviews, or even your musical taste - but I won't criticize you, or anyone else's character. It's not professional, it looks bad on one's reputation and most importantly; it reflects back on the bands and the labels.
But don't worry, because we're not going to change our tactics here at The Grim Tower. I still believe that I'd rather have my penis lobbed off than to have to listen to that New Year's Day album, and I still think that the new Satyricon record is akin to fucking Ambien. That's just the way I make my calls here and I feel that I'm entitled to say such things within the context of this page. I also still think that someone needs to rent a bulldozer and tear down the "Doomsday Castle" because I don't feel that a group of people should be living in a fortress filled with weapons and armor, surely there's regulations on that? Right?
At any rate, I hope that you and the rest of the crew at Decibel, Outburn, Revolver, Metal Hammer, New Noise and all other magazines that I don't know about will continue to look at the hard work that I'm doing here. I do the best that I can to promote these bands, because I strongly believe that information about good music needs to be shared throughout the world. Horns up!
Eric May A.K.A. The Fallen Alchemist
I will add that the other 8 reviews have been postponed to next week, but will include 2-4 extra reviews to make a full set of 10-12 albums. Thanks you for your patience. The holidays are kicking in at my day job, so reviews might take a while longer than normal during the coming winter season.