As to clear up a few things and to serve a reminder to readers and writers alike, we’ve decided to detail the inner workings of our ratings system!
We score albums on what I like to call “a pseudo five point scale”; albums receive a score from 0-5 points in intervals of half a point, which means we technically work on a 10 point scale. If that’s the case, then why don’t we just use a 10-point system? There are a couple of reasons.
It’s much easier to make a design that is easier on the eyes when dealing with five points, as you’ll see below. From the birth of the site, I wanted a mascot or logo to give Heavy Blog a face, and Crunchy ended up being that face. When we started running reviews, I wanted to use Crunchy instead of generic stars as ratings as to give the site a bit of character that tied the content to the design. It’s as simple as that, and I probably shouldn’t have had to explain it.
And using a 10 point scale, to me, always brought the idea of a 100 point “high school grading” system to mind, where everything five or below is bad, which isn’t the case here at all. Our scale works on the idea that the middle ground is average, as it should be. There’s also the misconception that a 5/5 score should be perfect or left to a truly classic album. Here at Heavy Blog, that isn’t the case. As you’ll see below, we designed the scale in mind so that giving albums 5 points more possible. Keep in mind that just because an album gets a full score doesn’t mean we think it’s perfect.
Without further ado, here is the scoring breakdown for whole-numbered ratings from 1-5. I’m not going to explain the differences in decimal points below, as they just simply bridge the gaps. You’re smart people; fill in the blanks!
1/5 – Terrible
Don’t bother giving this one a listen; avoid at whatever cost, as it is the worst album we’ve bothered listening to in a long time. We rarely give out reviews this low because it’s a pain in the ass to review an album we think is this terrible, but it can happen.
None recent, but I’d recommend my series of posts, “5 Reasons Why Deathcore Is Total Shit.”
2/5 – Poor/Boring/Disappointing
Some bands are bad, but not so bad that you get pissed off at the thought of them. Sometimes a band that was once respectable at some level decided to change sound and then suddenly you’re up to your neck in unwanted angst and watered down music. This is where those albums lie.
3/5 – Average
These are your run of the mill albums. Not good, but not bad either. If you’re a fan, you’ll probably dig it, though! If you’re not typically into the genre, don’t bother with it.
4 – Good – Great
The description for the 4/5 rating is a bit of a gap, we know; this is where the decimal points come into real use, with good to great scores ranging from 3.5-4.5, with a solid 4 denoting albums that are pretty good and recommendable.
We give out too many of these, I’m told—but as we aren’t professionals and we like to work on our own time, we all find it much easier to review and talk about albums we enjoy. People wouldn’t bother putting effort into reviewing terrible records unless they were getting paid or they were terribly butthurt. We’ll try to work on this in the future, but for now, most albums tend to get between 3 – 5 points.
5 – Excellent/Best of the Year/Potentially Classic
These are our favorite albums which we highly recommend. Like I said above, this score isn’t meant to be a “perfect score.” Albums with some flaws may still receive a 5/5.
That’s all there is to it! Hopefully this shed some light on our logic behind the ratings we give albums.