02/08/2016
28/06/2016
05/01/2015
25/05/2014

1. An introduction to BestBlackMetalAlbums.com

BestBlackMetalAlbums.com or "BBMA" is, as the name suggests, dedicated primarily to Black Metal, currently featuring 33,132 albums by 13,929 bands from 119 different countries.

1.1. Origins & purpose

BestBlackMetalAlbums.com was conceived and created in 2011. Initially, the site consisted of little more than a list of 100 albums with a few search filters, and the purpose of the site was simply for us to have somewhere to keep track of our favourite albums. As time progressed, it soon became apparent that the site needed to be completely redesigned and restructured, not only to cope with all of the albums in our growing collection, but also because we realized that BestBlackMetalAlbums.com had the potential for something much bigger.

Over the years BestBlackMetalAlbums.com has gradually evolved into what it is today, one of Earth's most prominent sites dedicated to Black Metal, with an ever-increasing number of users from all over the world that use the site on a regular basis for discovering albums, both old and new.

1.2. How to use the site

The idea behind the site's navigation and layout is to make it easy for the user to discover new albums based on their stylisic preferences, which is why the structure of BestBlackMetalAlbums.com is mainly album-oriented as opposed to band-oriented like the majority of sites.

We encourage users to leave comments and give ratings for albums, and everyone is welcome to use the contribution form to submit albums for inclusion on the site. This process is explained in detail further down.

1.3. Content & copyright notice

All original content on this site, such as text, graphic design, logos, and also the selection, arrangement, and presentation of all materials is property of BestBlackMetalAlbums.com and protected by international copyright laws. All other content that is not owned by BestBlackMetalAlbums.com that appears on this site is the property of their respective owners.

2. User interaction

User interaction forms a fundamental part of the site, and although everything is pretty much straightforward, there are a couple of points to expand upon.

2.1. Registration

BestBlackMetalAlbums.com does not currently require registration. Everyone can access all of the site's content and features without the need to perform any kind of registration process. In future versions of the site, we may incorporate optional registration so that users can access a forum and/or advanced features.

2.2. Comments & posting guidelines

Comments are an important feature of the site, and all users are encouraged to provide their own opinions on albums and news items alike. Registration is not required in order to post comments, so there are a number of basic guidelines and limitations set in place in order to prevent abuse and to keep things running smoothly.

Although there is no comment approval process, all comments are eventually reviewed by a site admin. Site admins reserve the right to delete any comment which they consider as excessively off-topic or unnecessarily abusive. Likewise, we have a zero-tolerance policy towards spam, advertising, trolling or any attempt at user impersonation or score manipulation, and there are a number of measures in place to automatically deal with these issues in addition to the manual admin review. The comment system does not support HTML tags, and they will be automatically removed from the comment before being posted. Also, BestBlackMetalAlbums.com is an English language website, therefore comments posted in other languages may be deleted.

It goes without saying that the opinions and views expressed by the site's users through their comments do not reflect the opinions or views of BestBlackMetalAlbums.com.

2.3. Contributions

User contributions play a vital role in the growth of the site, allowing us to include albums and news on the site which we would have otherwise possibly never heard of. The contribution form is very straightforward, allowing contributors to provide the details in their own style rather than having to fill out an endless form with dozens of fields. This freedom also means that a minimum level of professionalism must be adhered to in order for us to take any contribution into consideration.

Firstly, we ask that all contributors first make sure that the news or albums in question are not already included in the site, as this saves time for everyone involved.

Secondly, we ask that all contributors provide as much detail as possible while also being brief and concise, including URLs where applicable. Submissions which consist of just a copy-pasted promotional wall of text will probably be ignored. In some cases, if we feel that we require further information, we may contact you via the e-mail address that you have provided.

We also reserve the right to reject submissions at our own discretion. We will not contact you to give you a reason why the submission was rejected, and neither will we send you a confirmation if we do accept your submission.

Lastly, and most importantly, please understand that up to several months may pass from the moment a submission is received until it is included in the site's database and/or reviewed.

2.4. Cookies & privacy notice

There are certain features on BestBlackMetalAlbums.com which use cookies, such as the AddThis sharing tool, the Poll voting system, and the Themes. In the future we hope to eventually implement workarounds that do not require cookies and will render BestBlackMetalAlbums.com cookie-free.

Regarding user privacy, some features on this site request the user's e-mail address. This information is treated with confidentiality and is used exclusively for contacting with the user (if required) within the context of the feature in question, and under no circumstances will the user's e-mail address be provided to another person, entity or third party, and neither will it be used to send the user promotional messages or any other message unrelated to the context in question.

3. Album database & news

The album database and the news section are of course the lifeblood of the site, some elements of which could benefit from further clarification.

3.1. Reviews & ratings

Album reviews are written entirely by ourselves. We decide which albums to review, and when to review them. Likewise, the ratings that we assign to albums are decided by ourselves, based on our own criteria. In other words, the reviews and ratings on this site represent our own personal opinions and preferences.

You are welcome to request that we write a review for your album, and all such requests are noted, however due to time constraints we cannot guarantee if or when your album will be reviewed.

3.2. Genres

For the sake of simplicity, BestBlackMetalAlbums.com uses a highly simplified (and perhaps unconventional) genre classification system, effectively grouping a wide array of different sub-genres into just a handful of labels or "styles". As a result of this, there may be some scenarios where specific albums appear under a certain genre classification which you would never have normally associated them with, however this should not present any issues, and complaints regarding this classification method have been practically inexistent to date.

3.3. News

The news that appears on the site is gathered from a variety of sources, ranging from news posts on official sites to bands and publishers who have submitted the news to us directly. We always try to include a link to the official source where possible. Occasionally we will include news articles which are not strictly related to Black Metal because we feel they will be of interest to our userbase.

3.4. Accuracy

We cannot guarantee that the information on this site is 100% accurate. Sometimes we may have made an error, such as a spelling mistake, a grammar mistake, a factual mistake, or even an error in the code itself. If you detect anything that you feel needs to be corrected, by all means contact us and we will look into it.

4. Frequently asked questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions which we receive from our users.

4.1. Who is behind BestBlackMetalAlbums.com? Where are you based?

A handful of music lovers, somewhere in Europe.

4.2. How was the site designed? What CMS do you use?

We are proud to say that BestBlackMetalAlbums.com was created from a single blank folder, line by line, file by file. Likewise, the CMS that we use was also built from scratch at the same time. We believe that building a website from scratch is the only way to have complete control and ensure that everything is working exactly as intended. It also guarantees that there is no unnecessary or obsolete code bloating the site.

4.3. Can I register on the site? Is there a forum?

No. BestBlackMetalAlbums.com does not currently require regisration, and neither is there a forum available, however this may change in the future.

4.4. Can I advertise on the site?

No. BestBlackMetalAlbums.com is free of adverts and we intend to keep it that way.

4.5. Can I write reviews for the site?

No. We really appreciate everyone who has kindly offered to contribute reviews to the site, however we intend to keep the reviews to ourselves.

4.6. Can I do anything to support the site?

Yes. Simply by using the site regularly, posting comments, rating albums, submitting contributions and recommending us to your friends, you are giving us the best kind of support that we could ask for.

In addition to this, you can also bookmark our affiliate links and use them whenever you do your online shopping. We receive a small percentage for every sale at no extra cost to you (even if you don't actually buy any Black Metal albums), and this helps to pay towards keeping the site online.

4.7. Why is / isn't X band / album included on the site?

If you feel that a specific album is missing from our site and should be included, the most likely explanation is that we simply haven't been made aware of it yet. Feel free to use the contribution form to submit albums for inclusion on the site. This process is explained in detail above.

In some cases you may come across specific albums which are included on the site which are not strictly Black Metal albums. These albums are included on the site because we feel they are either historically important, related in some way to Black Metal, or otherwise of interest to our userbase.

4.8. Why haven't you included the bands / albums which I submitted?

As explained above, up to several months may pass from the moment a submission is received until it is included in the site's database. We also reserve the right to reject submissions at our own discretion. We will not contact you to give you a reason why the submission was rejected, and neither will we send you a confirmation if we do accept your submission.

4.9. Why hasn't there been any news posted recently?

BestBlackMetalAlbums.com is currently undergoing a period of extended inactivity, meaning that we don't have the time to post regular news updates. That said, we do continue to work on the site behind the scenes, periodically updating the code, adding new features and uploading new albums. We'll be back.

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