G’day – here’s a round up of all the press I received for ‘The Floating World’ that I’m aware of. If I’ve missed anything anywhere, let me know. This will be the last repository for press for this album….it’s time to get to work on the next one!
Reviews: (score shown when available)
Ave Noctum 8/10
The Joyful Gadfly
Metal As Fuck
No Bollocks Brutal Reviews 5/10
Flight of Pegasus (Greece)
RockCor magazine (Russia) 4/5
Chaos Vault (Poland) 4/10
Crossfire (Germany) 5/10
Concrete Web (Belgium) 70/100
LEGACY magazine issue 85 (Germany) 12/12
MetalHead (Italy) 8/10
MusikReviews (Germany) 10/15
1 user review on Amazon (5 stars)
*note: Zero Tolerance magazine didn’t review the album in issue 52 as notified. Should be in current issue (56?) but haven’t received confirmation
Metal Hammer july 2013, mention in ‘Thunder From Down Under: 5 Modern Aussie Greats You Need To Check Out’
TripleJ THE RACKET (Australia)
Three D Radio (Australia)
WORT Moshpit Radio (USA)
Mention on SMNnews
NME TV (Walk – unmixed)
‘Amazing Pain’ played on PlanetMetal
In Our Hearts (the floating world)
Walk – unmixed version (the floating world)
The Senseless rehearsal video with Leon Macey and Sam
Vacation (In the Realm of the Senseless)
Happy Ever After (In The Realm of the Senseless)
After Happy Ever (In The Realm of the Senseless)
Lastly, a bit of analysis:
Next to none were apparent. Europe had way more reviews than anywhere else. UK and the US tended to ignore it. This was reflected in the sales to the US but not in the UK, which had the greatest sales by far. Web media embraced it, traditional print ignored it except for a couple of noble exceptions (even mags where friends were getting greased up with promo). The majority of reviews were very positive, but in the last three months of the promo cycle they were uniformly negative.
I hired PR to pimp the album out after doing some work myself. This included making a digital promo available to worldwide reviewers. Although I received increased press, this actually proved detrimental in a few ways…reviews were coming from people who were unaware of extreme metal (with complaints about speed, vocals too soft/too hard, music too complex). The BIG problem though was that suddenly, dozens and dozens of torrent sites carried my album and album sales stopped almost immediately.
Lessons – what to do better next time
I totally shot myself in the foot with this album in terms of how it was released. There was press build-up in 2010, and that was left to percolate way too long before the album was released.
The worst way to release an album is to digitally release it, then start promoting it, then release a physical CD a year later. …which is what I did. Feedback from print media was that they couldn’t run an interview or review, because the CD simply wasn’t new. The best way to court the media is to give them exclusive access to your stuff before the hoi polloi. I kind of already knew this, but had sat on the album for so long that I just wanted it out. Three months of promo before release is required next time…perhaps four months, to allow for hassling and re-sending lost CDs.
Torrents killed my sales, period. It’s easier to get promo by shotgunning (sending mass promo) to small random online blogs but that guarantees lots and lots of torrents. I’ve got a good collection of magazines, blogs, and writers who can be trusted not to give my stuff away and to give a fair review, and I’ll be tapping them next time. I confused quantity of press with quality.
Speaking of small blogs, I noticed that whenever I was approached by anyone with a tiny online blog or zine asking for promo to review just to get them started….I’d get at best an average score, at worst a pretty crap one. I don’t know what the deal is there! Next CD, I won’t be avoiding the starter-uppers…but I must change my approach. The small guys are a high torrent risk plus high bad-review risk for really low reward.
Media still appreciate getting sent a nice, solid physical CD. This method of approach gave the best result, by far. And I was touched by the feedback I’d get from reviewers around the world who sometimes went to the effort of getting in contact and letting me know the effort was appreciated. Next time I do a mailout, I want to spoil reviewers!
And lastly, my big fail was staying away from YouTube and not using it. That’s how EVERYONE is checking out new music these days. The next release will have a truckload of vid to go with it, even if it’s just me playing bongos with the song audio slapped on top. Well…hopefully better than that 😀