Kev Rowland

Kev Rowland
MMA Special Collaborator · Errors & Omissions Team
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 15 days ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

658 reviews/ratings
ENSLAVED - RIITIIR Progressive Metal | review permalink
SYLOSIS - Monolith Thrash Metal | review permalink
RIVERSIDE - Shrine of New Generation Slaves Metal Related | review permalink
SOILWORK - The Living Infinite Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
NEAL MORSE - Live Momentum Metal Related | review permalink
HYPOCRISY - End Of Disclosure Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
AVANTASIA - The Mystery of Time Heavy Metal | review permalink
DARK SERMON - In Tongues Deathcore | review permalink
SPIRITUAL BEGGARS - Earth Blues Stoner Rock | review permalink
BLACK STAR RIDERS - All Hell Breaks Loose Hard Rock | review permalink
STALA & SO. - Play Another Round Glam Metal | review permalink
VANDROYA - One Power Metal | review permalink
ORPHANED LAND - All Is One Folk Metal | review permalink
HYPOCRISY - Penetralia / Osculum Obscenum Death Metal | review permalink
8 FOOT SATIVA - The Shadow Masters Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
LINGUA MORTIS ORCHESTRA - LMO Symphonic Metal | review permalink
WE CAME AS ROMANS - Tracing Back Roots Metalcore | review permalink
WATAIN - The Wild Hunt Black Metal | review permalink
HAKEN - The Mountain Progressive Metal | review permalink
DROTTNAR - Stratum Black Metal | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Hard Rock 74 3.64
2 Progressive Metal 64 3.95
3 Death Metal 57 3.95
4 Power Metal 54 3.55
5 Heavy Metal 52 3.50
6 Black Metal 46 3.80
7 Thrash Metal 43 3.60
8 Melodic Death Metal 28 4.14
9 Alternative Metal 18 3.58
10 Technical Death Metal 17 3.97
11 Doom Metal 15 3.60
12 Folk Metal 13 3.85
13 Deathcore 13 3.77
14 Metalcore 13 3.46
15 Groove Metal 13 3.85
16 Symphonic Metal 12 3.79
17 Brutal Death Metal 10 3.90
18 Glam Metal 8 3.38
19 Hardcore Punk 8 3.44
20 Melodic Black Metal 7 3.64
21 Melodic Metalcore 7 4.07
22 Metal Related 7 4.79
23 US Power Metal 7 3.79
24 Symphonic Black Metal 6 4.42
25 Non-Metal 6 3.75
26 Atmospheric Black Metal 6 3.83
27 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 6 3.58
28 Avant-garde Metal 4 3.50
29 Crossover Thrash 4 3.38
30 Gothic Metal 4 4.00
31 Death-Doom Metal 4 4.13
32 Stoner Metal 4 3.75
33 Stoner Rock 3 4.33
34 Sludge Metal 3 2.50
35 Speed Metal 3 3.00
36 Heavy Psych 3 4.00
37 Industrial Metal 3 3.50
38 NWoBHM 2 4.00
39 Funeral Doom Metal 2 4.00
40 Grindcore 1 3.50
41 Depressive Black Metal 1 2.00
42 Cybergrind 1 3.50
43 Pagan Black Metal 1 3.00
44 Nu Metal 1 4.00
45 Mathcore 1 4.00
46 Heavy Alternative Rock 1 3.00
47 Technical Thrash Metal 1 4.00
48 Trance Metal 1 2.50

Latest Albums Reviews

DEICIDE Banished By Sin

Album · 2024 · Death Metal
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It is strange to realise that Deicide will soon be celebrating their 40th anniversary, being formed back in 1987, with bassist vocalist/Glen Benton and drummer Steve Asheim still around. There have been a few changes in guitarists over the years, but Kevin Quirion has been there on and off since 2007 although there is now a new boy in Taylor Nordberg for what is only their second album since 2013’s ‘In The Minds of Evil’. I am having troubles working out if Deicide have decidedly mellowed since I started listening to them in the early Nineties, or if I just appreciate death metal that much more than I did when I was younger, but this album feels far more mainstream and polished than what I expect from the band. Some of the material feels quite commercial, and if there was a different singer then I am sure the music would be viewed in a quite different light. Mind you, it is hard to think of anyone but Glen at the front of this band, tying his bass in with the pummelling Asheim while still producing the guttural growls we are all so used to.

Part of me thinks Deicide are somewhat going through the same old styles, knowing the fans will enjoy it so they do not have to put too much thought into it (like apparently using AI to generate the cover image which is way too clean), while the rest of me thinks Deicide have found their groove and are continuing to go down the path they helped create all those years ago. It may not be as raw and vital as it once was, but Benton and Asheim are in their fifties now, and most people do change somewhat as they get older, but even though this has a commercial angle and is far smoother than one might expect, it is still incredible heavy and wonderfully brutal. Hopefully the next album won’t take as long as this one, and they can bed Taylor in on the road so they come back even heavier.

MESHUGGAH Chaosphere

Album · 1998 · Progressive Metal
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It is difficult to realise that ‘Chaosphere’ is now 25 years old, how did that happen? When Swedish band Meshuggah released their third album back in 1993 they probably did not realise that their new experimental move into polyrhythms and away from the more thrash exploits of their first two albums would create the inspiration for a whole new genre, djent. To celebrate the 25th anniversary it is has now been remastered by Thomas Eberger and Sofia Von Hage at Stockholm Mastering, the with the result being that everything is that much crisper and somehow even more poundingly heavy than it was all that time ago.

I came to the band later, so didn’t hear this when it was initially released, but the impact on the metal scene was intense and hearing it again all these years later it still sounds fresh and very current. If this was released as a brand-new album today it would not sound out of place in the current market, as this style of music is now something many appreciate and understand, but when this first came out the impact would have been devastating. Somehow, throughout all the chaos the band stay in 4/4, but such is the complexity and offshoots of music that one often thinks there are in 5/8 or 7/8, but the head knows what is going on as it moves uncontrollably to the groove.

The intensity is off the scale, and any movement of volume must only ever be up, which means there is a real risk to eardrums with this one. Everyone who knows metal will be fully aware of this band, and will probably own some of their albums, but now is the time to revisit ‘Chaosphere’ in all its heavy beauty and mark at the birth of a movement.

ABORTED Vault Of Horrors

Album · 2024 · Brutal Death Metal
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The Belgian death metal act are back with their twelfth album, and they have taken a somewhat unusual approach to this one in that singer Sven de Caluwé, who has been at the helm since the band’s formation in 1995, has brought in some mates to perform with him on each track so we get brutal duets with the likes of Alex Erian (Despised Icon) to Johnny Ciardullo (Carcosa/ Angelmaker), Ben Duerr (Shadow Of Intent), Francesco Paoli (Fleshgod Apocalypse) and others. Ken Bedene (drums), Ian Jekelis (guitars), Daniel Máni Konráðsson (guitars), and Stefano Franceschini (bass) have combined with Sven to create an album which is brutal in its style, intensity and delivery and then added to this with the addition of the singers.

It is a very clean sounding album, and in some way I think this would have been improved by some muddiness as in many ways there is too much separation and it comes across as quite clinical in places as opposed to a group of guys creating a maelstrom of blood and carnage in the studio. If there had been more of a focus on feel and less on getting it sounding quite so perfect, then the end result would have been more natural and less contrived. Blastbeats, grindcore influences and hardcore vocals among the death growls make this an interesting release which fans of the genre will enjoy even if it is not quite essential.

CHILDREN OF BODOM A Chapter Called Children Of Bodom: The Final Show in Helsinki Ice Hall 2019

Live album · 2023 · Melodic Death Metal
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On 15th December 2019, Children Of Bodom, which at the time consisted of Alexi Laiho (lead guitar, lead vocals), Jaska Raatikainen (drums), Henkka Seppälä (bass), Janne Wirman (keyboard), and Daniel Freyberg (rhythm guitar), held their last concert in Helsinki named, 'A Chapter Called Children of Bodom', before dissolving the band. In 2020, Laiho and Freyberg carried on as Bodom After Midnight, but Laiho was dead before the year was out. Obviously, this album has quite some importance given it is a recording of the last ever performance of one of Finland’s greatest ever metal acts, containing one of metal’s new breed of frontmen and shredders, but putting all the emotion to one side is this as good as one wants it to be?

The short answer is “Yes”, as that night the band were on fire. While no-one realised quite how ill Laiho was, this was planned to be the last ever show for the melodic death metallers and they were determined to go out on a high. I first came across the band at the time of their fourth album ‘Hate Crew Deathroll’ after I saw the video for “Needled 24/7” and loved their hugely complex approach with intense note density and complicated melodies which combined shredding with powerful keyboard lines which were far more than just background, since when I followed their releases with interest, and while I enjoyed their other live releases, this takes it to a whole new level. the band were determined to put on a show to remember, reaching all their way to their debut album from 1997 to ensure they provided fans with a great setlist. “Needled 24/7” will probably always be my favourite CoB number, and here it is gets blasted with the whole band putting their heads down to smash it with incredible intensity, yet also with the lightness and interplay one expects.

Children of Bodom cannot exist without Laiho, so there will never be a reunion, but fans will relish in this wonderful performance being captured for all, and I am sure it will also attract new aficionados who will seek out the back catalogue. Here we have a band captured at the height of their live powers and is a fitting tribute and reminder of just what a great guitarist and frontman Alex Laiho was.

CADAVER The Age of the Offended

Album · 2023 · Death Metal
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It may have taken Cadaver 16 years to return with their fifth album, but the same line-up of Neddo (vocals, guitar, bass) and Dirk Verbeuren (drums) have produced the sixth after only three. I was quite a fan of ‘Edder & Bile’ and was intrigued to hear what the latest one would be like, and I was not disappointed. One of the joys of Cadaver is that while they are renowned for being a death metal band, formed some 35 years ago by Neddo and others, they are always looking to do something quite different. This time around they commence with “Sycophants Swing” which is what a jazz band would sound like if they were trapped in an asylum and forced to play the same tune for 20 or 30 years, and one can only wonder what will come next.

That next is “Postapocalyptic Grinding” where Dirk shows he can blast as well as anyone and they straddle the boundaries of death and grind, yet when they come to tracks such as “Dissolving Chaos” the result is something that is far slower and almost power metal in its approach but with some black metal overtones. This is an extreme metal album which refuses to sit solidly within just one genre and instead keeps showing what they are capable of, with their cover of “Deadly Metal” being pure thrash from beginning to end. Norwegian metal legend Ronni Le Tekrø, guitarist with old school heroes TNT, can be heard shredding like a madman all over the album. He originally came in just to play a blistering solo on that track but had so much fun he stayed! It is also interesting to note that double-bass maestro Eilert Solstad, who performed on Cadaver’s second album, 1992’s ‘....In Pains’, returns on the murderous ‘Scum Of The Earth’, adding scabrous textures and subterranean tones.

Neddo recently fought cancer and came out the other side, and has used that experience to motivate himself even more, the result being an exciting album from a band who are pointedly refusing to rest on their laurels but instead are out to show there is plenty of life in them yet.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Band Member Revision
    Done 
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in My error on Whitesnake
    Removed as requested - no problem 
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Ministry 'Work for love' and other things
    [QUOTE=UMUR]You are welcome to retag and move those releases to where you think they fit best. I´m not that familiar with that part of Ministry´s disco. Normally I would ask such a question in the relevant sub genre team thread. [/QUOTE]This is an example of where MMA and PA are quite different, in that in PA the band itself is tagged as being a specific sub genre so therefore all albums have to go under that genre, whether they 'fit' or not. To move a band from one sub to another, the 'holding' sub has to vote and agree that they should be moved, and then the 'receiving' sub has to vote to take them in. If they refuse then they stay where they are.This means that MMA has an advantage in that a band and their output can be more correctly tagged, but it can lead to complications. I would personally always post in the relevant sub genre before moving a band, just to check that the team were happy with it. I remember being mortified to see that Thunder were shown as a glam band, but still asked permission before I moved it.Thanks for moving all the Ministry albums - I just went to do that.Jonas - thanks for the TSOS reviews. I was with the band a couple of nights ago and they are really stoked with them, and said wonderful things about you as a writer as well! 

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