Reflecting On My “Metal Edge” Magazine Tenure (2006-2007)

Hey there Metal Legions and any of you who have somehow just happened by while surfing the web and decided to read some of our musings. This narrative is a bit of a reflection about my tenure as a freelance writer for the mighty Metal Edge magazine. It was about a month ago that I shared the sad news about the publications folding up and ceasing operations. If you missed that post, please click on THIS LINK to review it when time allows.

This part of my writing world comes with a little bit of a backstory about how it came to pass and very simply I made this connection thanks to some positive cross-networking that I did at an area show. When the Editor at the time found me to be someone with a keen observational view on the existing Metal scene of the day, we sat down and discussed what they needed and how I could help them out if I was interested in doing so. Like many magazines, you had your feature articles and interviews and then ever so informative reviews section. In Metal Edge, it was broken up into two areas by product type and had their DVD reviews in one part of the magazine and the CD reviews a few pages later. I don’t think that the DVD section had any official title but that didn’t matter in the overall scheme of things. What mattered was that they needed four DVD pieces each month and for a few months I would have the run of the column unless another writer submitted a pitch that was something that Editorial wanted to feature. This would be my first time in “official print” even though I had been a web-based journalist for about three years at the time. The benefits were not only having a couple of magazines to give out to close friends or family but that it was a paid gig. The DVD reviews generally needed to be at least “400” words and that came at a certain price. I had to admit that it looked rather nice when I held the finished issue in my hands.

For most of 2006 I ended up doing pieces for this section and would soon be asked to tackle some of the stacking up CD reviews that needed to get done as well. They called the section “Hear Us Out” and I jumped at the task when I learned that I would not only be doing the releases that were assigned from editorial but would also be able to steer some of the amazing artists that I was reviewing for into the pages of the magazine. I felt that this allowed me to succeed on two media fronts for the forces of Heavy Metal music.

The CD review process would be different than what I was used to and unlike the small amount of reviews that the DVD section had would be three or four pages. Most of the album reviews were only “100” words in length and I must admit that this would take some getting used to since website writing allows your page to be virtual and hence no real constraints on the space. “Hear Us Out” had several different writers offering up their views and that made this a great section to be a part of. Sometimes editorial would allow a major release to have a little more which meant the writer had a little more leeway with his copy. For the most part my CD Reviews were left at “100” words but there were times when I was asked to compose a “200” word piece”. Since this was a paying bit of work more words meant more money so I never argued with the editor wanted some more. The CD reviews in “Hear Us Out” didn’t feature a numeric rating or the song titles. Instead we posted the artist, the album or film title and what company released it. One could mention a song or two, but it was ill-advised since you always had to deal with a specific word count on these reviews and this was to properly space them in the physical magazine and leave the necessary room for those advertisers. It was tricky though at first because I was really used to writing these epic pieces so I really enjoyed the chance to get right to the point. Every submission was an education and I feel very fortunate for being a part of the magazine for the tenure I had. When all was said and done there were “29” DVD reviews and “108” CD reviews. So why am I telling you all of this?

With the magazine being done and gone and back issues a likely impossibility to find unless you wander through the basements of whatever record shops are even left for one to explore, there was no way to celebrate my time with the magazine – until now. I wanted to show people how different reviews in print were from that of the web and the best way to do that was by using the website to feature them and let them remain here forever. My plan is to start posting these reviews in the format that they were written under a common title premise and group a few reviews into each posting. I think this will allow it to be a specialized feature that pays homage to this time in my creative career and I’ll begin the narratives with the DVD pieces. Once those are finished I will attend to the CD reviews and I should mention a very interesting point about those. There was a small group of CD pieces that while requested never saw themselves placed into a publication but since it was an assignment I was taken care of just the same. Using the website as the new home to these works of text was going to be a lot easier than scanning each and every review. Maybe for art sake I will scan a couple of them but let’s see how the time goes for that since there are SO many. During my tenure I also did a couple of interviews but they were edited down quite a bit. The full interviews now live in that section as our own content so those were not used in these revisits.

These posts will start manifesting on the website every three days or so until our supply of them runs out. Many of these albums and videos have expanded reviews of their own on the PiercingMetal site but I do think this is an interesting offering and I hope that you readers will agree with me on this. Please stay tuned for those posts and I will see you next time.

Revisiting “Metal Edge” Magazine Posts DVD and CD Reviews: Click Me

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