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

366 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 46 4.00
2 Hard Rock 38 3.57
3 Heavy Metal 35 3.59
4 Black Metal 34 3.82
5 Power Metal 32 3.70
6 Death Metal 26 3.96
7 Thrash Metal 22 3.80
8 Doom Metal 10 3.50
9 Melodic Death Metal 10 4.35
10 Alternative Metal 9 3.33
11 Deathcore 7 3.79
12 Metalcore 7 3.86
13 Symphonic Metal 7 3.71
14 Technical Death Metal 7 4.07
15 Metal Related 6 4.75
16 Folk Metal 6 3.67
17 Glam Metal 5 3.90
18 Atmospheric Black Metal 4 4.00
19 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 4 3.38
20 Brutal Death Metal 4 3.88
21 Non-Metal 4 4.13
22 Groove Metal 4 3.88
23 US Power Metal 4 3.75
24 Stoner Rock 3 4.33
25 Symphonic Black Metal 3 4.83
26 Heavy Psych 3 4.00
27 Industrial Metal 3 3.50
28 Melodic Black Metal 3 3.50
29 Melodic Metalcore 2 4.00
30 Hardcore Punk 2 3.25
31 Sludge Metal 2 2.25
32 Speed Metal 2 3.25
33 Crossover Thrash 2 3.25
34 Gothic Metal 2 3.75
35 Grindcore 1 3.50
36 Depressive Black Metal 1 2.00
37 Death-Doom Metal 1 4.50
38 Death 'n' Roll 1 2.50
39 Avant-garde Metal 1 3.00
40 Stoner Metal 1 4.00
41 NWoBHM 1 3.00
42 Pagan Black Metal 1 3.00

Latest Albums Reviews

DECLINE OF THE I Escape

Album · 2018 · Black Metal
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Decline Of The I is a French post-black metal band. Their third studio album, ‘Escape’, is the final part of a concept trilogy inspired by French surgeon and philosopher Henri Laborit, whose works included brain studies. The lyrics and their hidden message play an important factor in the band's music, which has its roots in black metal, but although it always contains the atmosphere and emotion one expects from that genre, it is also bringing in influences not normally expected including electronic and industrial as well as orchestral elements. The band is led by a multi-instrumentalist, A, who has played in bands such as Vorkreist, Merrimack, Neo Inferno 262, Malhkebre and Diapsiquir. Decline Of The I is his personal approach on dark music and his spectrum of roles in the band ranges from vocalist, to guitarist, bassist, keyboard player and programmer. A is accompanied by musicians of Merrimack, Anus Mundi, Temple of Baal, Eibon and Drowning fame, all of whom are identified by a single letter.

The band commented: "After a heavy and neurasthenic first chapter, and an epileptic, dirty and violent second one, here's the last part of the Decline of the I’s trilogy: Escape. It’s now time to leave, to avoid this perpetual aggression of the outside world. All the other reactions leaded to a dead end. Running away is the only possible move for the subject to preserve its entity. There are many forms of escape: madness, suicide, technology, spirituality. This third album explores all of them. Musically, it’s the synthesis of all the previews works; it's contemplative and slow but also very fast, dark and brutal".

This is album that needs to be played repeatedly, as on first hearing there is a jarring nature as it doesn’t easily fit within the normal boundaries, and it is only be giving it the attention it deserves that one realises that there is something out of the ordinary going on here. Strange treated voices, black metal guitars, loops and weird sounds create something that sits on a knife edge, bringing together harmony and discord in a way that is both uncomfortable and compelling. This is not an easy thing to listen to, yet it is something which ultimately rewards those who are willing to make the effort. Sometimes music needs to be pulling at the leash, knocking down the doors, and this does that repeatedly. If black metal was being performed by the inmates of an asylum then this is how it would sound.

DE PROFUNDIS The Blinding Light of Faith

Album · 2018 · Technical Death Metal
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Over the course of the last decade De Profundis have built themselves an enviable reputation for delivering music of staggering power and breathtaking skill, both in the studio and on the stage. Although many think of them as a technical death metal band, I actually believe that they would be better stated to be extreme prog metal as they continue to transcend any particular genre, using one form as a base and then going wherever they wish. Earlier this year they released their fifth full-length album, ‘The Blinding Light of Faith’, through Transcending Obscurity Records and they have now signed a deal with Lusitanian Music to release the album as a limited vinyl edition. This allows the listener to study in detail the intricate, nightmarish album artwork created by Alex Tartsus (Sinister, Depravity etc.) while the band’s new logo, also stands out far more than in would in the smaller CD version.

The band have been known to be influenced by doom in the past, and it does point its nose in at different points during the album, but what makes this such a delight is the sheer refusal to conform to any particular pre-conceived ideas. There are times when this is out and out technical death, others when it is almost power metal in its approach, but it is consistently bending and melding, creating something which is always powerful and dynamic, but twisting into different directions so that no-one can work out where and how it is going to end. I find the production really interesting as well, as in many ways it exaggerates the melodic power of the music, with a bass line that is often found to be wandering along creating a sub-melody without the level of attack that one may expect from this form of music.

Incredibly detailed and layered, this is an incredibly complex album which listeners will gain more from each and every time it is played. It is hard to imagine an more imaginative death metal album being released by anyone this year.

CAST THE STONE Empyrean Atrophy

EP · 2018 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Cast The Stone is Mark Kloeppel (Misery Index, Scour with Phil Anselmo), Derek Engemann (ex-Cattle Decapitation, Scour), Jesse Schobel (Legend, ex-Scour) and vocalist Andrew Huskey. First formations of the band began in 2002, long before its protagonists departed for their better known metal-scene mainstays, and as a trio they released their debut album as long ago as 2005 (when Kloeppel also acted as lead singer). So although they may seem to be something of a supergroup in some ways, this is an example of a band getting back together some years after the members have had success elsewhere. This is a six-song 27-minute-long EP

In many ways, this is an album which has far more in common with the Swedish death metal than Florida, which is somewhat surprising given that they hail from Missouri. An obvious influence is Opeth, especially on the delicate acoustic “Standing In The Shadows”, which site nicely towards the middle of the album to provide a break and contrast to what is happening in the other five songs. Guitarist Mark Kloeppel commented, "The band's sound is a testament to an enduring spirit that’s driven us to return to our most organic influences, merge them together, incorporate disparate elements, and forge our own sound. Each person has a distinct sound unto themselves, so it's really cool how smooth and cohesive this stuff comes across. You can immediately hear how different this is from the other things we've been involved in, yet it's still very true to our individual styles. Our bassist Derek progressively weaves my guitars and Jesse's uber-creative drumming style together in a way that only he can. This is all crowned off by Andy Huskey's crazy death metal vocals which are... well, just listen".

Dan Swanö (Katatonia, Merciless, Edge Of Sanity) has undertaken his normal flawless job on production, and the result is an EP which fans of the genre would do well to investigate. It has taken them 13 years to come up with this, let’s hope it isn’t so long until a full album.

TEN Albion

Album · 2014 · Hard Rock
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2014 saw the band back with their eleventh studio album, and in the two years since ‘Heresy and Creed’ there had been some changes in the guitarists, with Dan Mitchell leaving due to health problems related to his wrist and arm, being replaced by Dann Rosingana and Steve Grocott (yes, the band now had three guitarists). One might think with an over exuberance of six stringers that the band would turn into a heavier direction, but that is never likely happen all the time that Gary is at the helm and here is an album that is the direct sequel to what had gone previously.

Ten do have a formula, but there again so do many other bands – one knows exactly what one is going to get when buying an album by Ten, and they deliver time and again. Gary is a superb singer, but what makes Ten such a great band is the combination of all the musicians coming together as a complete unit. There are some great guitar licks, some wonderful elements added by the keyboards, times when the bass is up the front, and the drums are driving it all along, and it is all of this combined with the vocals that make them such a force to be reckoned with.

Back in the Nineties I was very involved with the melodic rock underground, albeit not nearly as much as I was with prog, but these days have lost touch (doesn’t help that I am now on the other side of the world as well). Consequently I don’t know what the buzz is around Ten at present, but to my ears they are still one of the very finest exponents of melodic hard rock around, and long may it stay that way. The songs are strong, the music really does rock, it is always melodic and full of hooks, the production is spot on, and the vocals are harmonious and powerful without ever being turned into parodies of the genre. It has taken me some years to rediscover Ten, and my musical world is all the better for it. www.tenofficial.com

TEN Heresy And Creed

Album · 2012 · Hard Rock
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Back in the Nineties, one of the bands that were a real find for me were Ten, with their distinctive singer Gary Hughes. Alongside guitarist Vinny Burns they crafted one wonderful bombastic hard rock album after another, with Gary taking time out to record two wonderful solo albums (‘The Once and Future King’). But, for one reason or another I lost touch with the band and what they were doing. Fast forward a few years and one night when I was noodling around the web I came across an album by Darrel Treece-Birch, which I really enjoyed, and a review later we were in touch with each other.

This led me to discovering that Darrel was also keyboard player for Ten, having joined them in time for this 2012 album, so of course it only seemed right and proper to give it a listen and see what I thought. Having checked the personnel I could see that there had been quite a few changes, which isn’t surprising given the time which had elapsed, but as soon as I put it on I was immediately taken back in time, as Ten are still performing to the same incredibly high levels they always have. There is a strong foundation from the bass and drums which allows the twin guitars of Dan Mitchell and John Halliwell to pitch against, while Darrel either sits quietly in the background, providing the lead, or nuances as the music demands, and then there is Gary. Right from the very first time I heard his voice, some 20 plus years ago, I knew that here was a star, and he still is. For some reason he always makes me think of David Coverdale, even though vocally he doesn’t have a great deal in common, it is more the depth and breadth of his vocals. He can go up the octave when the time is right, but his vocals rely more on emotion and solidity.

Combine that with strong material and one couldn’t wish for much more – the production is superb, the artwork is great, with the only real thing wrong being that this is the sort of material that should have come out in the Seventies when polished rock like this would have rewarded the band with a retirement fund. As it is, released some 16 years after the debut, Ten are showing no sign whatsoever of slowing down. And is there any other group that does a power ballad quite like them? Piano, poignant guitars, multi-tracked vocals, great stuff.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • 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
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in An endless sporadic new single mistake
    [QUOTE=vmoore]Hi i made a mistake on the musicials part of the new An Endless Sporadic Single Spaceship Factory that I put up. I put is based on what they have on their website when on bandcamp the musicians for this is different and in the video there is more than just 2 guys playing. This is what it is supposed to be. Please fix itZach Kamins - Guitars and Keyboards Andy Gentile - Drums Eloy Palacios - Bass Tony Solís - Additional Guitars [/QUOTE]  All done

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