Wednesday, February 27, 2013

... Reflections of a Doomed Blogger !!!

I'm increasingly confronted to "cases of conscience"  (I enlarge the line voluntarily) ... why ? For several reasons that I'm gonna try to explain and give me the opportunity to express  ideas about how I see the evolution of my blog !!!
Those frustration and questions find their origins with different kind of stuff which I'm not really into but that I get more and more in the mail lately.
T.o.P. is basically (or was ? that's the question , hahaha !) a DOOM webzine or blog or whatever you want to call it; but, first by taste, stoner/sludge/psyche bands were naturally featured in addition with an occasional DM band too, then over the  past months bands and labels from less-close genres like Black Metal, modern DM, Post Metal or Grunge started to submit their stuff too...

More and more submissions means more and more dispensable stuff... that's a sad but logical reality, this is also something true for our styles of predilection but not a real problem in itself like it is for those genres that are NOT done of DOOM;
I'm sorry but what I want and need are those heavy downtuned sounds filled either with  sorrow, crushingess, psychedelism, pain, violence, weed, blues, filthiness, bleakness... not an introspective one-man band into romanticblacksomething or a band that is supposed to be a mix of postpsychedoomemoshoegaze with a modern sound !!!

There can always be some unexpected exceptions but then what shall I do with the rest now ? ignore most of them... ? limit the support only to bands I'm really into ? having this policy as basis would imply to post more sporadically (like in the first year) and loose inevitably some readers gained in-between ! or, more positively in the spirit and respectful,  when  the bands evokes nothing special at all - then just inform, spread the word through a short presentative post - let's say it : just relay a band's promotion words ? that's finally what I'm gonna do...

Nothing at all against those pre-mentioned styles, we aren't kids anymore who spite at everything different but I'm not excited at all by some of those bands (not to say most), not comfortable with others, neither are contributors who just like me don't have time to spend on bands that are simply not their cup of tea.
I'm not doing a blog to say that X or Y bores me to death, it's just that... it's not cause there's two or three HEAVY and/or BLEAK moments in your album that it makes your band related to DOOM (that's cool if you said that you like the blog but think about it twice before submiting your stuff if you expect exclusively a proper review) !!!  

So, from now on , in this type of situation - I'll just post some infos written directly from the band about their stuff  and the link to their music;  interpret it as you want but most essentially I hope you'll still give it a listen, if it's posted that's because I think some people could be interested - even if just a very few !
but on the other hand it's true that I don't want T.o.P. to become a lame blog with just copy/paste stuff like an addition of promotion for tons of bands; as I already said, a thing that I've more and more difficulties to manage is to prepare interviews with all those submissions for reviews to deal with and that definitely sux ! As almost everyone involved in the scene, I've a full-time job, a family, etc... I can definitely NOT assume to review stuff that do not arouse anything positive to me, I'm really sorry if you don't understand this, but anyway if you do  then thanx for your comprehension.

It would be ridiculous to complain seriously  about anything concerning the fact of doing a blog, but believe me this is not always an  easy task ! you've got several hundred readers everyday but very few reactions, comments, suggestions, encouragements, critics... how do you consider the evolution of the blog ? What do you expect from it ? Do you regret the fact that there's less interviews than about one year ago ? etc... lots of questions without answers !

At one point, at least for me, choices must be done; mine are maybe not definitive, I never see too far but one thing I fuckin' know is that I need to keep on this feeling of doing it for the pleasure, otherwise this will not last long anymore...

I take the opportunity to remind that I'm still looking for some contribution from anyone interested in bringing writings to the blog (reviews, interviews, live-reports...)  !



  1. Well, I discovered T.o.P a few month ago so I'm not in position to compare if it was better before...
    I can just say that I love to follow your blog because it's 99% stoner/doom or affiliated and I'd love it to follow that line.
    But in the end, it's YOURS! So if you decide to open your door to other styles (argh, what a fucking horible word to describe music), well, I won't blame you! Maybe I won't read everything, but I won't let down ToP.

    Cheers from France! \m/

    1. Thanx a lot for the supportive words ! maybe the 99% will dicrease but just of a few percents ;)

  2. I had the same existential crisis at first with my blog and I would agonize for days about what to say to the band when something was sent to me that I didn't like. I wanted to just post the bio and a link for bands I didn't like, but I didn't want to insult anyone.

    In the end though I get to know the music and it almost always has some redeeming quality to it and I take writing the review as a challenge.

    I get so many label news emails that I just want to ignore them no matter what they say and yeah, I don't want to make my blog into a myspace wall for labels either.

    I know exactly how you feel and I sympathize.

    Keep doing a great job Steph

    1. thanx :) that's a positive and comforting opinion... your blog is really cool, I've added it on the blogroll of T.o.P. and will contact you for your end-of year list if you're interested ! all the best

  3. From the position of someone who sends stuff(even though not very often) to blogs like yours - what you do is voluntary, you don't owe any one an explanation or excuse.

    As someone who thinks of you as a friend - again, you don't owe any one an explanation or excuse. If they can't take it, they don't deserve your support anyway.

    I'd say keep TOP the way you want and enjoy to see it, everything else is irrelevant. I wish I had more time to read it and contribute, hope such moment will come at some point.

    Keep your spirits up Steph!

  4. I have stopped taking submissions for a while - I need a breather to catch up but even though I had put a list of genres I did not want to review, they still kept being sent in - if bands cannot be bothered to at least take a look at what my blog is about, it hardly makes me want to spend time reviewing. I know where you are coming from re: cut'n'paste and I have decided that it is not why I started. In the end, do what you want man, it's all been good!

    Black Insect Laughter

    1. Thanx Tony ! I didn't knew your blog before, pretty interesting stuff here, congrats ;) I have added it on the blogroll of T.o.P., would be cool from you to do the same... cheers

    2. Of course blog brother - you are now blogrolled back!

  5. I like when people send me stuff for review (for my blog Blasting days), but I definitely can't review everything. I review just what I really like. blogs that post everyting have some utility but are not the best blogs. I think you'de better just review what you really like. better for you, better for those reading your blog.

  6. Steph - I think you're being too kind. The fact is we're drowning in a sea of shite these days, to the point where the term DOOM has lost almost all meaning. Now anyone can play their no-talent post-indie-avant-hardcore bullshit slower, heavier, louder, with more distortion, and as a result think they know something about DOOM and M-E-T-A-L. As a bonus, when you play it that way it sounds kinda cool, and maybe even a bit profound. The problem is perpetuated through people's fear of appearing uncool or stupid, or simply through their ignorance. In other words, the so-called "doom" "scene" these days is almost entirely an immense hipster circle-jerk. Anyway, as soon as everyone starts being driven by the false sense of community the internet fosters, they begin to think they're an "artist", or "critics" at least, certainly not just humble fans, so that the very thing they profess to like (apart from their iPhones and other crap) becomes emptied out to drain away to nothing. Haha, blogs like this are half the problem! Thank Crom that our glorious M-E-T-A-L still lives and is mighty: HAIL THE DARK GODS!!!