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Archive: Site Updates

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Metalunderground.com Experiencing Email Issues

We've had intermittent email issues for a few months, here at Metalunderground.com. Over the holidays I thought possibly email traffic was just THAT low, but it turns out our email server is dying and we're simply not getting most of our email in the first place (we normally get a LOT of email).

We'll be working on resolving this situation in the next few days to a week and I'll post an update when it is resolved and when it's safe to re-send any emails of interest that you may have sent since the holidays. Thanks for your patience in this matter.

82 Comments - Discuss

Ask Brendon Small Your Best Dethklok Questions

Following up on our previous interview with Bendon Small (Dethklok co-creator, live vocalist and guitarist), we're giving you, Metalunderground.com readers the chance to ask Brendon your own questions. While we tried to stay out of Dethklok geekdom a little bit with the previous interview, you are free to leave no stone unturned in this one.

Simply post your question in the comments below and we'll pick the best/most interesting ones to go forward to him at the end of next week (August 31).

(Please leave only questions in the comments on this article. All commentary or side conversations will be deleted.)

98 Comments - Discuss

Member Sign Up Fixed

For everyone who tried to sign up or register an account with Metalunderground.com in the past week, you probably got errors or a message that the username was already taken. The error was a side effect of changes made in code cleanup after the hacking attacks. Rest assured that your registration(s) DID go through despite the error message.

The issue has now been fixed. I offer my sincerest apologies for the inconvenience.

(Thanks to Rose for alerting me to this issue)

37 Comments - Discuss

Metalunderground.com Gets "Hacked"

A software exploit has resulted in serious issues for Metalunderground.com late last week. The culprit was very difficult to track down, but we think we have it isolated and are now back up and running in full force with only minor data loss (a day or two of news and comments, etc). In the meantime, some links and site functions may not work, as we are rolling out sections of the site at a time.

While I'm really disappointed at the extended down time and how hard it was to troubleshoot this issue, I'm glad the data loss was minimal. It's always a learning experience and I hope to be better prepared for it next time.

Due to the nature of the attacks, I would highly recommend everyone updating their passwords on Metalunderground.com, as that info may have been compromised.

Also, if you happened to send us any emails from Thursday night through the weekend, please resend them.

Thanks for your patience. Tell your friends and fellow metalheads that Metalunderground.com is back!

311 Comments - Discuss

Avatars Now Supported On Profiles and Comments

Metalunderground.com now supports avatars for registered/logged in members of the site. The implementation is achieved using a third party service called Gravatar.com, which stands for Globally Recognized Avatar. So in order to have your avatar appear on metalunderground.com, you need to do these things:


  • To avoid any inconsistencies, it is recommended to type you email address in both Metalunderground.com and Gravatar in all lowercase.
  • Your email address is still never exposed within the HTML of Metalunderground.com or Gravatar. It is matched by comparing an MD5 hash of your email address, which is an irreversible encryption that generates a fixed-length string.
  • It may take some time for your avatar to show up on Metalunderground.com due to caching issues, so please be patient. If your avatar is showing up in your profile page, but not on comments after a day or two, please leave a comment about it here.
  • Pornographic avatars are strictly forbidden. They should not be allowed by the system, but if you do happen to get one to show up here, it is grounds fro instant revokation of your account and banning.

Avatars are a great way for our members to express themselves and to identify each other, so add yours today!

390 Comments - Discuss

Metalunderground.com Relaunches Membership Feature

Like many things here, when I launched the member sign up, it was a quick and dirty job to allow for users to 1) reserve their username and 2) register for a couple of giveaways I had lined up.

Finally, I've completed some of the essential functions that go with a membership site, such as the ability to view and edit user profiles, as well as a "forgot password" and "forgot username" functions.

I have heard the comments about users too lazy to login to comment in the past. I would highly encourage all users with existing accounts to login and update their information. I have some things in store that will make your member accounts more valuable - as was always the intent - and those who have been around here for a very long time may even get some added bonuses. At some point I will also have to "clean up" (i.e. delete) unused accounts, so please go log in to your account today.

One very minor but important addition to profiles is the ability to mark them private. So as to not expose anyone's personal information without their knowledge or consent, all existing profiles have been set to private by default. You can uncheck this box when you edit your profile information. Profiles set to private will not show any personal information, but may show some sorts of site interaction, yet to be determined (such as favorite bands or rated albums, if any).

Currently, registered members get the following benefits when logged in: More...

Read more...  |  47 Comments - Discuss

Metalunderground.com Code Clean Up

I wouldn't bill this as a "new design" per se, but I've been cleaning up a lot of old code (remember, this site is over seven years old, and a lot of the code running it shows its age, unfortunately) in the past few weeks and am currently pushing these changes to the live site. Please pardon any issues you experience in the next couple of days. I should have them ironed out fairly quickly, as a lot of the issues I am already seeing just do not show up on my staged testing server.

The good news is that these updates should make adding some new features easier, as the old code base was really hindering progress in some ways. I'll have more frequent site updates over the next couple of weeks as things progress.

Thanks again for your patience while we clean up around here.

78 Comments - Discuss

Metalunderground.com Turns 7

Where do the years go? Metalunderground.com is yet another year older. We have now been supporting metal and the underground for over seven years. I started Metalunderground.com back in 2001. I had been working on it since 2000 and launched a beta version before embarking on a trip overseas to get married. Upon my return in mid-April, I launched the site officially and began posting news and continuing development.

Each year I've been amazed by the growth of the site and our readership, especially in light of the fact that this is not my full time job and there's so much more I want to do with the site, both in terms of features and promotion. A lot of people have helped Metalunderground.com grow to the point it's at today, but I have to say that this year we absolutely have the best, most well-rounded staff ever, and I am truly excited to see where we're headed in the coming years.

In the past year:

  • The site moved to a new web host and server

  • The comment spam issue was resolved (it only takes me two minutes a day to delete all the spam and you don't have to see it at all)

  • We've improved the amount and stability of our news coverage

  • We've got more quality interviews with bands

  • We've added a couple more photographers and

  • We are finally hitting our stride with the reviews section with the addition of numerous quality writers and reviewers, several from our very own community.

Since the site's inception, we've posted over 35,000 news posts and covered more than 6,000 bands that are in our database. We currently serve well over 500,000 page views per month to over 200,000 visitors.

Many thanks to all of our contributors and all of our readers, especially those who have made Metalunderground.com their primary place to get their metal news and those who contribute to civilized discussions on a regular basis. In addition, I want to thank all of the bands, labels and PR folks who have supported us over the years and the chaotic times when we were stretched thin.

Spread the word and let's make the next seven years even better!

110 Comments - Discuss

April Fools! Did We Fool You?

In long-standing Metalunderground.com tradition, as every year, for the past six years, we've devoted April 1 this year only to posting fake/prank stories (so as to not confuse anyone more than necessary). It's hard to believe that this is the sixth year we've done this. It's definitely hard to fool you guys (our readers) any more. I enjoy doing this each year as a break from the usual news and hope that some of you have enjoyed it as well.

If you happened to fall for any of them, then we apologize. If you weren't tricked, then hopefully you were still entertained. If you missed the stories, you can still read them all here. (Note the date on each story, however, to determine which ones are April Fools stories.)

You can also check out our archives for past years' April Fools articles:

Perhaps next year, the Metalunderground.com veterans can wait for some newbies to bite before calling out "April Fools" :-)

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming of Real MetalTM news. Thanks for reading.

PS - no offense is meant to either the people or bands discussed in the April Fools stories or to those whom we've attributed fake quotes. As is often the case in life, the bands we like most are the ones that get "picked on" in these stories.

34 Comments - Discuss

Full RSS Feeds Anyone?

Metalunderground.com has built up a solid subscriber list for its RSS news feed, and now I would like to hear from those users. When I originally set up the RSS feed and self-hosted it, I made it a partial feeds with only a blurb of each post due to bandwidth concerns. Now there's no reason to not post the full articles except for my concern about the overall length of the feed entries and daily digest emails.

I would like to hear if there is there any preference from our readership. Would you like full articles in the RSS feeds or to keep things as they are - partial articles with a link to click to Metalunderground.com to read the full article and comment on it?

If you're totally clueless about what RSS is, here's a blurb from Feedburner (who hosts Metalunderground.com's feed now): More...

Read more...  |  15 Comments - Discuss

Win Ozzy, Rob Zombie Tickets For Worcester, MA

Update: Contest is over. Congratulations to Carolyn Timmons, who won two tickets to see Ozzy Osbourne and Rob Zombie!

Metalunderground.com in conjuction with AEG Live are giving away two tickets to one lucky winner for the Ozzy Osbourne and Rob Zombie concert on Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA.

All you have to do to enter to win the tickets is send an email to winozzytix@metalunderground.com and include your first and last name (needed to claim the tickets), your email address, and a phone number so we can contact you. A winner will be randomly drawn from all entries received between now (December 19, 2007) and through January 1, 2008. The winner will be contacted on January 2, 2008 and tickets will be held at the venue's will call, where they can be picked up by presenting valid ID.

You can view the remaining tour dates and buy tickets for the Ozzy/Rob Zombie tour here.

(Please note: We hate spam too and assure you that all email entries will be deleted after this contest has expired.)

11 Comments - Discuss

Win A 30 GB Zune and/or Chevelle's New Album

Epic Records and Metalunderground.com are giving you the chance to win a 30 GB Zune (mp3 player) and/or a copy of Chevelle's latest album, "Vena Sera." You must register by November 25 to be eliigible to win. The contest is open only to US residents ages 13 and older. You can read more about the rules and eligability here.

Again, the prizes are:

  • One (1) Grand Prize consisting of a 30 GB ZUNE Player and a copy of Chevelle’s Album "Vena Sera"

  • Five (5) Runner Up Prizes consisting of the album "Vena Sera"

You can also check out Chevelle's latest single "I Get It" on the registration page.

14 Comments - Discuss

A Note on Banner Ads on Metal Underground.com

I just wanted to make a brief note about the advertising here on metalunderground.com. I've made some changes that should mean you all see a lot more relevant metal ads rather than the usual minimally relevant ads that are often seen on here and other sites. Upon implementing this new system, I also wanted to ask that if anyone experiences any problems - especially a file download dialogue - to let me know about it. If something like that happens, it's not adware or spyware or anything, but likely a snippet of HTML code downloading as plain text.

I think the ads will not only be well-received by our readers (you), but will also compliment the site design a lot better than the "other" kinds of ads we've run in the past. Lastly, I know many people would prefer not to see any ads on Metalunderground.com, but the advertising helps pay for the costs associated with running this site including hardware, hosting fees, other services and a tiny bit of advertising as well.

1 Comment - Discuss

We've Moved!

After a nearly day-long effort of migrating our massive database (over 6 years of data; 27,000+ news posts and articles, 5000+ bands and more) and getting things up and running, Metalunderground.com has moved to a new, more powerful server and new web host. This should mean all-around faster site responsiveness, even at peak times where the old server and bandwidth were barely capable.

This move has been a long time coming and I will be tweaking things for additional performance improvements in the weeks to come.

It may take a day or two for the DNS to propagate worldwide to the new server, so please don't bookmark the temporary URL if it does not read http://www.metalunderground.com - the temporary URL will not remain valid after this week.

If you do see any intermittent errors, please post a comment in this thread, as the email portion of our contact form may not be working properly for a few days as well.

Thanks for reading and for your time and patience in this matter. My apolgies for the down-time, but it should be worth it. Hopefully we'll all have a much improved experience here.

Back to the regularly scheduled metal news. \m/

21 Comments - Discuss

Spam Prevention and Comment Moderation

Comment spam plagues the web and as Metalunderground.com has grown in popularity, it has become more prevalent here. I don't know WHY anyone would post comment spam here, as it is clearly stated that HTML will be removed. There are no links allowed, so no search engine value, no pagerank value, and I've even isolated comments from the page content so that they do not influence the Google Adsense ads (there were a bunch of pharmacy ads showing due to the spam).

I could go on a major rant about comment spam - because deleting spam and coding preventative measures takes up time that I could be doing more interesting things and improving Metalunderground.com. But it suffices to say that I've put measures in place to prevent (or at least curb) comment spam from showing up. Behind the scenes, there is a moderation queue. Only flagged messages require moderation. The goal is for 99% of legitimate comments to be posted immediately. Those comments containing links or URLs are the most likely to require moderation. Once our admins have viewed those comments flagged for moderation, they will approve the legitimate comments (and delete the spam), and those comments will show up within the thread based on the time they were submitted.

There is also a level at which a comment may be rejected outright (if it is SO obviously spam), in order to save us some time by moderating fewer comments.

I'm sure there will be some fine-tuning to do on the algorithm as well as the user-feedback, so please bear with us. I just wanted to make you all aware of the measures in place so you can be extra aware of any error messaged that might show up in the comment form once you've submitted your comment (I know the page does not scroll down there to see them immediately).

You should be able to go about posting comments as usual and be relatively unaffected. If you do run into problems, please send an email via our contact form. My goal, as always, is to minimize the impact of such efforts on legitimate participants. (The CAPTCHA I implemented for a short while last year was pulled because it sucked for commenters).

OK, enough of the technical talk, and back to the metal news, spam-free I hope. \m/

PS - as I fine-tune the spam filters, I will also be adding an auto-ban feature, so please don't "play" with the anti-spam features or otherwise waste our time. We enjoy bringing you metal news, not administering b.s.

37 Comments - Discuss

April Fools, Did We Get You?

Having done the April Fools thing for four years in a row now - this year makes five - it's getting kind of tough to fool you guys. As each of the previous four years, we devoted April 1 this year only to posting fake/gag stories (so as to not confuse anyone more than necessary). I enjoy doing this each year as a break from the usual news and hope that some of you have enjoyed it as well.

I think I was a little too obvious with the My Chemical Romance on Ozzfest post first thing in the morning. :-) If you happened to fall for any of them, then we apologize. If you weren't tricked, then hopefully you were still entertained. If you missed the stories, you can still read them all here. (Note the date on each story, however, to determine which ones are April Fools stories.)

You can also check out our archives for past years' April Fools articles:

Perhaps next year, the Metalunderground.com veterans can wait for some newbies to bite before calling out "April Fools" :-)

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming of Real MetalTM news. Thanks for reading.

PS - no offense is meant to either the people or bands discussed in the April Fools stories or to those whom we've attributed fake quotes. As is often the case in life, the bands we like most are the ones that get "picked on" in these stories.

PPS - except My Chemical Romance.

43 Comments - Discuss

Metalunderground.com Celebrates Five Years

Before the year is over, I wanted to mention that in 2006 we celebrated our fifth anniversary bringing you all metal news. I've just been too busy running the site and with family matters (and the birth of my second son) to properly announce this earlier.

2006 was a banner year for heavy metal with loads of landmark albums released - across the board by the leaders of the NWOAHM as well as by metal stalwarts from almost every metal genre.

2007 looks very promising on the tour front already as well as some more big releases scheduled. We look forward to bringing you more metal news, reviews, interviews and more in the coming year! Have a safe and metal new year!

29 Comments - Discuss

A Follow-up On Social Networks

MetalUnderground.com recently surpassed 1000 friends on MySpace. Thanks to everyone who has made us your MySpace friends. It's always interesting to put some faces to names.

While I'm talking about social networks and since I introduced Last.fm with MySpace previously, we'd still like to get more readers in our Metal Underground Last.fm group. Last.fm recently rolled out an upgraded site with a flash music player (so you don't need to install their player anymore), an event notification system (e.g. concerts), more social features, and free MP3 downloads, so if you haven't already, check them out.

13 Comments - Discuss

Who Says Metal is Anti-Social?

Metalheads are often seens as the black sheep. Often misunderstood and seen as unapproachable, or both, many metalheads are perceived as anti social and are attributed anti-social behavior.

In the new millenium, there are a lot more social aspects of the internet. Social networking sites are the latest craze - from social networking to social bookmarks, calendars and photo sharing. Sites like MySpace (despite its flaws) and Last.fm have gone the extra mile to make social networking work for musicians and music fans alike.

While possibly not truely "social" in the context used above these sites make it much easier than ever before to discover new metal music. Sharing experiences and tastes in music help us [at metalunderground.com] achieve our goals of helping readers discover new and underground metal as well.

Metalunderground.com has opened up accounts on both MySpace and Last.fm and are now formally inviting you to "be our friends."

You can check out Metalunderground.com's MySpace profile at myspace.com/metalunderground. There we have posted some general info about the site and my very own "top played" (on the computer) list from Last.fm as well as the usual MySpace features of comments (moderated) and blog. We've been pretty inactive on the MySpace profile in the past, but plan to change that. Many of our contributors are on MySpace as well and Rocket has made quite a name for himself with The Metal Den on MySpace before joining the Metalunderground.com team. So go and add us to your friends list here.

Last.fm has more collaborative social features such as groups (with collaborative journals and top play lists, recommended radio and bands. Everyone knows Myspace, but what is Last.fm you ask?

Once you've signed up and downloaded Last.fm, just listen to music through your computer's music player – as you do every day. The name of each song you play will be automatically sent to our servers and saved in your musical profile. We call this "scrobbling," and it's the basis of everything we do at Last.fm, from personalised recommendations to radio, music charts to musical neighbours, and much more.

I have a personal account on Last.fm but have also started a Metal Underground group. If you have a Last.fm account, you can join this group and we will be able to make our own charts (after reaching 15 members) to see what Metalunderground.com readers and contributors are listening to.

Furthermore, if you use one or more of the dozens of social bookmarking sites such as digg.com, del.icio.us or others, we'll be integrating features related to them a little more in the future as well.

In today's internet age - as opposed to 1995 when I was scouring the newsgroups (aka USENET) for any word of interesting bands I'd never heard of - discovering new metal music could not be any easier.

PS - It also makes me feel better having many "friends" as I sit at my computer working on Metalunderground.com into the wee hours of the night

PPS - We're not going to sign up for every social network out there, but it you have recommendations in the area of metal/music-oriented social networking sites, please feel free to let us know in the comments.

95 Comments - Discuss

Metalunderground.com Power Outages

As the remnants from Tropical Storm Ernesto approach the Washington, DC area we're expecting flooding and have already experienced some power outages. Please bear with us during the next couple of days while we try to keep things up and running as best we can.


33 Comments - Discuss

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