Kev Rowland

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

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

465 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 Non-Metal | 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 Thrash 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 Progressive Metal 52 3.98
2 Hard Rock 49 3.61
3 Heavy Metal 45 3.53
4 Black Metal 39 3.78
5 Power Metal 38 3.62
6 Thrash Metal 30 3.67
7 Death Metal 29 3.98
8 Melodic Death Metal 16 4.19
9 Metalcore 14 3.57
10 Alternative Metal 14 3.43
11 Folk Metal 11 3.77
12 Technical Death Metal 11 3.86
13 Doom Metal 10 3.35
14 Brutal Death Metal 8 4.06
15 Symphonic Metal 8 3.75
16 Deathcore 7 4.07
17 Metal Related 7 4.57
18 Glam Metal 6 3.58
19 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 6 3.58
20 Melodic Black Metal 5 3.80
21 Non-Metal 5 4.00
22 Groove Metal 5 4.00
23 US Power Metal 5 3.70
24 Atmospheric Black Metal 4 4.00
25 Hardcore Punk 3 3.33
26 Melodic Metalcore 3 4.00
27 Heavy Psych 3 4.00
28 Industrial Metal 3 3.50
29 Stoner Metal 3 3.83
30 Stoner Rock 3 4.33
31 Symphonic Black Metal 3 4.83
32 NWoBHM 2 4.00
33 Sludge Metal 2 2.75
34 Speed Metal 2 3.25
35 Avant-garde Metal 2 3.50
36 Crossover Thrash 2 3.25
37 Gothic Metal 2 3.75
38 Death-Doom Metal 2 4.25
39 Depressive Black Metal 1 2.00
40 Grindcore 1 3.50
41 Funeral Doom Metal 1 4.00
42 Death 'n' Roll 1 2.50
43 Pagan Black Metal 1 3.00
44 Trance Metal 1 2.50

Latest Albums Reviews

TNT (NORWAY) Encore: Live In Milano

Live album · 2019 · Hard Rock
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‘Encore’ was recorded during TNT’s headlining set at Frontiers Rock Festival in Milan on April 30, 2017 and is currently the final live footage of the band with singer Tony Harnell. Given that this is the third time he has left the band no-one can be really sure he won’t be back, to be fair, but TNT need him as although many may think that guitarist Ronni Le Tekrø is the one who really matters, and while he and drummer Diesel Dahl have been there since the very beginning back in 1982, it is Harnell who provides the class. His voice is amazing, and he is the one who lifts the band, as to be honest most of their numbers are fairly forgettable, but when he is fronting them then he takes them to a whole new level.

I’ve lost count of how many live albums Frontiers have released recently, but you have to admire the commercial nous which got them to set up a festival just for their bands and then record all of them. Here the sound levels and production are perfect, with the right levels and mix throughout. This time around it is the lack of great songs which lets down the band, but they have been in the business for the best part of 40 years, so maybe it’s just me. I don’t think I’ll ever be a fan of TNT, but Tony Harnell? Boy, that guy can sing.

PRESSOR Weird Things

EP · 2018 · Sludge Metal
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Here we have yet another release through the Russian no name label, who have certainly been putting out some intriguing albums over the last few years (as CDs by the way, not just digital like some small labels), and Pressor are no exception. The band was formed in 2008 in Kostroma, Russia under the name Leaden Sky by guitarist, vocalist and main songwriter Stanislav ‘Zoiner’ Vasiliev along with bassist Ilya Beschastnov with whom he had already been working with for a few years, mixing together funeral doom with death metal. Stan was also in the black metal band Nocturnlands with Anton Khmelevsky, and the following year Anton joined Leaden Sky on lead guitar. They started to move more towards sludge, changed the name to Pressor, and released their first EP.

Over the years there have been a few line-up changes, but Anton and Stas are still at the helm, and this is their latest EP, released in 2018. This is still sludge, but they have added just a few synths and Theremin, which mean they come across as stripped down incredibly heavy version of Hawkwind. I can imagine Lemmy listening to this and really enjoying it, as it has that same balls to the wall approach that his era with the ‘wind personified. No band name or EP title on the cover, just a psychedelic speaker stack, with the swirls carried through to the CD and inside the digipak. There are times when they are channelling early Sabbath and doom as well as sludge, but they pick up the tempo when the time is right, and with distorted vocals and heavy distortion everywhere it is almost as of Blue Cheer have been resurrected. This is also available through Bandcamp, and fans of this style of music really should seek this out and discover what is happening in Russia, as this will surprise you all. Solid.

OCTOBER TIDE In Splendor Below

Album · 2019 · Death-Doom Metal
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Formed in 1995 by Katatonia members, Jonas Renkse (Bloodbath) and Fred Norrman, October Tide released two albums before going on hiatus for eleven years. In 2009 Norrman parted ways with Katatonia, and resurrected October Tide, consolidating the band's re-emergence with a new featuring Tobias Netzell of In Mourning on vocals. Now back with their sixth album in total, the band currently comprises Fredrik Norrman, his brother and guitarist Mattias Norrman (also ex-Katatonia), vocalist Alexander Högbom (Demonical), bassist Johan Jönsegård (Letters From The Colony) and drummer Jonas Sköld (Letters From The Colony, Thenighttimeproject). Although Katatonia came out of the Swedish scene they were always a very different proposition to the rest of the bands around them (I still consider myself very fortunate to see them at No Sleep Til Auckland in 2010, one of the very few metal festivals we’ve had here in recent years). The same can be said for October Tide, as although their roots are far more obviously in the melodic death scene, they have also put in plenty of doom and considering one genre is normally very quick while the other is slow, it means they are approaching the music from a quite different area than many. The other, rather refreshing, aspect is that this band keeps getting heavier while many of their contemporaries from the Nineties seem to have forgotten what they started all those years ago.

Look past the death metal style logo, and the rather threatening cover imagery, and even some of the growls, and one quickly realises that what we have here is an incredibly heavy band who are also intensely melodic. True, this isn’t the sort of material one will hear on the radio, and the riffs during “Seconds” would make Iommi proud, but each time I play “Stars Starve Me” I find myself singing the chorus. It’s not intentional, it just happens! I don’t expect it from a band with this style of imagery, and to be honest I certainly don’t expect it from any outfit who are signed to the mighty Agonia Records (one of my favourite, and certainly one of the most consistent metal labels around), yet somehow it just happens. These guys have captured a groove and a style which is lifting them above so many others. Alexander Backlund (singer with Letters From The Colony) undertook production duties, and knowing the guys so well obviously helped as the sound he has captured it huge, while Daniel Lidén did a great job on mixing and mastering.

This isn’t an album I would have expected from either October Tide or Agonia Records, as it is so intensely melodic as well as being incredibly heavy. Certainly worthy of investigation, play it loud.

L.A. GUNS The Devil You Know

Album · 2019 · Hard Rock
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Given there have been a few different versions of this band treading the bands, and even now there are two in existence, it can be somewhat difficult to understand which one is the real deal. To me, and to many other fans it has to be said, whatever version contains guitarist Tracii Guns is the one that matters. And if that version also contains the one and only Philip Lewis, then that is the one to go for. Lewis and Guns have fallen out more than once during their long relationship, which stretches all the way back to 1987, but when they are together there is no doubting the chemistry. I first came across Lewis when I purchased Girl’s second single “Hollywood Tease” back in 1980. I was curious to see what a British band would do with the Kiss classic, and they made it their very own. After the success of their superb debut album ‘Sheer Greed’ I was somewhat surprised they imploded but given that Collen went on to Def Leppard and Lewis eventually to L.A Guns it was obviously a good training ground.

Whenever Lewis is at the microphone, he somehow embodies sleaze, and sneers through the vocals, and when he has Guns next to him then both of them hit pure form. There is no doubt that in the 30+ years since they first met, their finest moments have been when they are together. The rest of the line-up is Johnny Martin (bass), Scot Coogan (drums) and Ace Von Johnson (guitar), but none of them have been there for more than three years in a band whose history can be traced all the way back to 1983 (of course there was a small detour into some outfit called Guns ‘s’ Roses). This is the Lewis and Guns show, and they are showing now sign at all of slowing down. Lewis screams with power and swagger as if he is still in twenties pouting “Let me be rude, do you mind if I'm crude, I'll insult all of your friends” while Guns has turned it up, and shows whatever Lewis can do on his part of the stage he is going to do his very best to show who is the owner of the name.

L.A. Guns are back with a huge bang, and this album deserves very close attention indeed. It rocks, it rolls, and it belts it out. This is the real deal, the Eighties L.A. scene which brought us bands like Faster Pussycat, has been brought back to life in a relevant and fun manner. This album just makes me smile.


Album · 2019 · Heavy Metal
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Grand Magus are back, with the same line-up they have had for quite a long period of time now with Janne „JB“ Christoffersson (guitar, vocals) and Mats Fox Hedén Skinner (bass) having been there since the very beginning, and even “new boy” Ludwig Witt (drums) has been there since 2012. This time they decided to record in a different manner, as JB says, “We decided to let go of the current philosophy to record drums first and then bass and then guitar etc. This time, we met up, jammed and created together during the last six months with the goal to record basic tracks live.“

I have long been a fan of JB’s voice, and while this is their ninth studio album I think I have six of them, so am always intrigued to hear what they come up with, but to say this is something of a disappointment is an understatement. Straight forward metal, with some nods along the way to the likes of doom, this reminds me a great deal of a heavy take on Rainbow’s “The Shed (Subtle)”, while bands such as Rage and even Sabbath also get a look in. But, there is little here for the metalhead to really get into, and while the band may not be going through the motions it certainly feels like it at times. If it wasn’t for the powerful vocals, particularly on numbers such as “Brother of the Storm”, then I doubt I would have played it as much as I have. It’s not that it’s a bad album, but rather that for me it is just pretty boring. Next.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 6 months 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! 
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Finger Eleven Living in a Dream
    [QUOTE=Unitron]Finger Eleven's single 'Living in a Dream' must have accidentally been added to studio albums. [/QUOTE] Amended. Thanks for letting us know


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