Kev Rowland

Kev Rowland
MMA Special Collaborator · Errors & Omissions Team
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 1 day ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

492 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 Hard Rock 54 3.65
2 Progressive Metal 53 3.98
3 Heavy Metal 46 3.53
4 Black Metal 40 3.80
5 Power Metal 40 3.64
6 Death Metal 38 3.99
7 Thrash Metal 30 3.67
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 Melodic Black Metal 6 3.67
19 Glam Metal 6 3.58
20 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 6 3.58
21 Non-Metal 5 4.00
22 Groove Metal 5 4.00
23 US Power Metal 5 3.70
24 Symphonic Black Metal 4 4.50
25 Hardcore Punk 4 3.50
26 Atmospheric Black Metal 4 4.00
27 Avant-garde Metal 3 3.17
28 Crossover Thrash 3 3.33
29 Death-Doom Metal 3 4.17
30 Melodic Metalcore 3 4.00
31 Heavy Psych 3 4.00
32 Industrial Metal 3 3.50
33 Speed Metal 3 3.00
34 Stoner Metal 3 3.83
35 Stoner Rock 3 4.33
36 NWoBHM 2 4.00
37 Sludge Metal 2 2.75
38 Gothic Metal 2 3.75
39 Grindcore 1 3.50
40 Funeral Doom Metal 1 4.00
41 Depressive Black Metal 1 2.00
42 Death 'n' Roll 1 2.50
43 Pagan Black Metal 1 3.00
44 Heavy Alternative Rock 1 3.00
45 Trance Metal 1 2.50

Latest Albums Reviews

SABATON The Great War

Album · 2019 · Power Metal
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The Swedes are back, doing what they do very well indeed, providing bombastic power metal with lyrics pertaining to their favourite subject, war. This time around we have two versions to choose from, namely a standard release and the “History Edition”. The difference between the two is the former has just the music, while the latter has some spoken explanation between each piece so that the listener has some of the background. I was somewhat surprised to see they had done this, as I would have thought the History Edition was the way to go, but I guess there are some who just want the music, and others who will have to buy both so in terms of sheer commerciality it makes good sense.

The narrator is Bethan Dixon Bate, and she provides just the right amount of gravitas to the role, not adding any excitement as there is no need – as soon as she finishes peaking the war machine which is Sabaton are there to take over. This is another band who always produce a huge sound, with singer Joakim Brodén both at the head of the band and also at the helm as he is tasked with ensuring the sound is just right. I note with interest that one of the supporting singers is Floor Jansen, I bet she had a blast. Multi-tracked backing vocals makes one think that at times they have a huge choir supporting them, and they would need to be big indeed to cope with the over the top (boys we go!) approach. But even though it is a huge sound there is always a tremendous sense of melody, and music which really grooves along. This is metal with purpose, not a direct assault to the sense but rather one that ensures the listeners keep turning up the volume so the neighbours can also join in the fun.

The guitars are quite intricate, while the rhythm section keeps it nailed to the floor, and all one can do is smile even though the subject is no laughing matter whatsoever. Sabaton have long set out their stall, as they play a certain type of metal with a certain type of lyric, but there is no-one in this particular field who can live with them. Sabaton continue to deliver the goods some 20 years on, and long may it continue.

AGNOSTIC FRONT Get Loud!

Album · 2019 · Hardcore Punk
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Any fan of Agnostic Front will look at the front cover of ‘Get Loud!’ and immediately recognise the characters from their 1986 classic ‘Cause For Alarm’, and have an idea of what they are going to find inside. But when a band has been at the forefront of a musical movement for nearly 40 years, with a line-up which has been incredibly consistent in recent times, then everyone should already know what to expect. The godfathers of hardcore are back doing what they do best, mixing hardcore aggression with thrash to create a metallic mosh of sweat and energy. There are 14 songs on the album, which is only 31 minutes long, with only one breaking the three minute barrier yet there is no need for length when it is as powerful as this. Roger Miret has been at the helm since 1982 and he has lost none of his aggression as he has matured, just become more focused.

Miret says, “Something real. I think that’s the secret to our longevity. People see us, and they see something that’s real and genuine, and they want to be a part of that. Who wants to be a part of something that’s fake? If you feel a connection to something and it feels real, you wanna know about it and be a part of it.” This is real, this is hardcore, and to understand what the scene is all about then you need Agnostic Front who show no signs of slowing down yet and are still producing incredibly solid albums indeed.

MIND KEY Mk III - Aliens in Wonderland

Album · 2019 · Progressive Metal
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Mind Key were formed in Napoli some twenty years ago by in 1999 by Dario De Cicco (keyboards) and Emanuele Colella (guitars) who wanted to create a band that brought together Dream Theater, Symphony X, Evergrey, and Pain of Salvation with short direct hard rock numbers. They release their debut in 2004, played gigs with the likes of Dream Theater, Vision Divine, and Pendragon, before releasing their second album “Pulse for a Graveheart” in 2009. This saw them with a new singer, Aurelio Fierro, and they again toured with the likes of Edguy, Vanden Plas, Europe, and Hammerfall, but the band then went on an extended break.

Now they are back, bolstered by a new rhythm section of bassist Lucio Grilli (ex-Soul Secret) and drummer Mirko De Maio (The Flower Kings, Hangarvain), and one has to wonder why they have been away for so long as this is high octane from the start and never lets up. I can certainly see where the guys get their inspiration from, but I am a little surprised not to find classic Stratovarius in the list as well as that style is all over this. Prog Metal, melodic metal, call it what you will, this is class from start to finish. Aurelio Fierro has a great voice, with an edge which gives it additional breadth and quality, combined with a great range. Add that to a rhythm section who are never going to just sit back and play gently but instead are driving and adding to the melody, and a keyboard player and guitarist who are locked together swapping leads and one is transported.

Thankfully the production is up to the task, and the result is an album that fans of bands such as Alcatrazz will also enjoy, with Colella proving he can shred like Malmsteen when the need arises. For fans of great rock music, let’s hope we don’t have to wait nearly as long for the next one.

HORRIFIC DEMISE Excruciating Extermination

Album · 2019 · Death Metal
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Guitarist/vocalist Matt Bishop first started coming up with ideas for this band as long ago as 2005, but it only really started gaining traction when he teamed up with guitarist Tony Tipton (Necrotic Disgorgement, Regurgitation) in 2013. Gradually the current line-up came together with drummer Kyle Christman (Gorgasm, Sarcophagy) and bassist Phil Good (Necrotic Disgorgement, Created To Kill etc.) finally being joined by Anthony Voight (Gorgasm, Sarcophagy). This is their debut release, and of course, the only way to start a death metal album is by having an acoustic interlude with mandolins and guitars giving away to something far more brutal. It’s not new, it adds nothing, and I don’t really see the point to be honest.

But from there on it is heads down and lose the dandruff, with a sound which is very heavy and dense indeed. As well as the traditional death metal growls, Bishop also adds his own which is in more of a black metal style and the two combine well. One thing to note is that this is a band who from the outset are prepared to do things quite differently, so during “Born From Brutality” there are times when the guitars take a back seat and let the bass come up front, which is not what I would expect from a death metal band. The twin guitars are joined as one, while Christman also isn’t afraid to take different approaches, so we can get gentle cymbal tapping as opposed to crashes, complete bars where he is concentrating just on bass sounds and very little snare.

Perhaps it isn’t surprising that this doesn’t seem like a debut given that all those involved have been in other bands, sometimes with each other, and overall this is a very interesting release indeed. There are times when the production is just too muddy and bass heavy, but hopefully this album will gain them the notice they deserve as this is certainly worthy of investigation.

GALLOWS POLE This Is Rock

Album · 2019 · Hard Rock
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It’s my own fault. When I was offered this album I remembered the name and checked my records, and yes I had reviewed the band some years previously so grabbed it. What I didn’t check was what I had said about their 2013 release ‘And Time Stood Still’, which is a shame as I finished the review with “The best part of this album is the artwork – don’t play it, just look at it”. Now, it must be said that this album is way better than that, without ever getting into the realms of being indispensable. This is melodic hard rock, often with both male and female vocals, which at times is hook-laden and makes me smile. The one major issue is that it is just so pedestrian, and often very one-sided in its approach. There is little in the way of energy, and songs often seem to run out of ideas as opposed to finishing with a bang.

It is hard to recommend this, but it is a very good example of this style of music, and if this is your thing then you will probably get a lot out of it, but I would personally listen to something which has passion, power and variety.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 10 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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Metal Subgenres

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