Kev Rowland

Kev Rowland
MMA Special Collaborator · Errors & Omissions Team
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 7 days ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

551 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 63 3.64
2 Progressive Metal 57 3.98
3 Power Metal 49 3.60
4 Heavy Metal 47 3.48
5 Black Metal 42 3.80
6 Death Metal 41 3.96
7 Thrash Metal 34 3.65
8 Melodic Death Metal 20 4.20
9 Alternative Metal 16 3.53
10 Metalcore 14 3.57
11 Technical Death Metal 14 3.93
12 Doom Metal 12 3.46
13 Folk Metal 12 3.88
14 Symphonic Metal 10 3.70
15 Deathcore 9 3.89
16 Glam Metal 8 3.38
17 Brutal Death Metal 8 4.06
18 Metal Related 8 4.63
19 Groove Metal 7 3.79
20 Melodic Black Metal 6 3.67
21 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 6 3.58
22 Atmospheric Black Metal 5 3.90
23 Hardcore Punk 5 3.40
24 Non-Metal 5 3.80
25 US Power Metal 5 4.00
26 Symphonic Black Metal 4 4.50
27 Stoner Metal 4 3.75
28 Stoner Rock 3 4.33
29 Sludge Metal 3 2.50
30 Speed Metal 3 3.00
31 Melodic Metalcore 3 4.00
32 Heavy Psych 3 4.00
33 Industrial Metal 3 3.50
34 Avant-garde Metal 3 3.17
35 Crossover Thrash 3 3.33
36 Death-Doom Metal 3 4.17
37 Gothic Metal 2 3.75
38 Funeral Doom Metal 2 4.00
39 NWoBHM 2 4.00
40 Pagan Black Metal 1 3.00
41 Mathcore 1 4.00
42 Heavy Alternative Rock 1 3.00
43 Grindcore 1 3.50
44 Depressive Black Metal 1 2.00
45 Death 'n' Roll 1 2.50
46 Trance Metal 1 2.50

Latest Albums Reviews

TESTAMENT Titans Of Creation

Album · 2020 · Thrash Metal
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The boys are back, four years after ‘Brotherhood of the Snake’, with their thirteenth studio album. I was a latecomer to the band, with ‘Dark Roots of Earth’ being the first time I really paid a great deal of attention to them. That got me hooked, and the resulting live album ‘Dark Roots of Thrash’ is something I still play a great deal. Chuck Billy is a big man with a big voice, and alongside guitarists Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson was there in time for their debut album, ‘The Legacy’ back in 1987. Both drummer Gene Hoglan and bassist Steve DiGiorgio had previously served time with the band, returning in 2012 and 2014 respectively. Since their return to recording in 2008 with ‘The Formation of Damnation’ they have released a new album every four years, but amazingly this is the first time there have been two with the same line-up.

To my ears there is something very special indeed about this band in full flight. Hoglan is one of the finest metal drummers there is (and he makes it look so easy), making it terrifying for most bassists to stick with him yet DiGiorgio manages to do just that. Although Skolnick took quite a few years away from the band to work on other projects, his relationship with Peterson goes all the way back to the formation of the band, and they both appeared on their very first four-track demo when they were still known as Legacy. The understanding they have of each other only comes with countless hours playing music, on stage and in the studio, knowing what each one brings to the party. Then you have Chuck Billy. He may not have been the very original singer, but he joined Legacy in time for their last show under that name and has been on every Testament album. Here is a band who have been producing the goods for more than 30 years and they show no sign whatsoever of slowing down.

This is bottom-driven thrash with a real groove to it, strong commercial hooks with wonderful vocals. They have changed and grown over the years, and Testament in 2020 is simply superb. They continue to deliver the goods – now please can you tour down here?

PRESSOR Twist the Bliss

Single · 2020 · Stoner Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
St. Petersburg’s most famous sludge stoner band are back with a two-track single, released in May 2020. The band have now been settled as a quartet for the last few years, and the line-up is Stas Vasilev (synths, guitars, vocals), Anton Khmelevskiy (guitar), Denis Zarutsky (bass) and Daniil Kornev (drums). The two songs may only total 12 minutes in length, but it is more than enough to hear that Zarutsky has really settled into the band and they are taking their sludge and stoner influences and moving it more into krautrock and space rock. It is incredibly dark, heavy bottom end, with synths creating yet more layers as opposed to bringing in light. This is powerful stuff and one can only hope that as it has already been two years since the last album, this heralds they will soon be back with their next long player. Fans of intense distorted and very heavy music would do well to seek this out.

D.I.S. Divide And Devour

Album · 2020 · Hardcore Punk
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A black and white cover which depicts an apocalyptic future, eleven songs in thirty minutes, this could only be hardcore punk, coming to us from L.A.. One has to say that in many ways this is quite an unusual album in that while the drums are frantic and the vocals harsh, the riffs are somewhat muted and the music itself is quite melodic. In new lead guitarist Christian La Rocca (Ruin, Gravehill, Cobra Venom) they have someone who obviously is coming into this from a more metallic background as displayed by his solos, and this is music which at times is hard to distinguish from melodic thrash with only the vocals of Jon Tomala showing that the heart and soul is still hardcore.

This crossover genre is melodic and fun, yet while energetic doesn’t contain the brutality one expects as the underlying music is often something which one may expect to hear from far more melodic bands and this contrasts somewhat with the anger front the frontman. The weird thing is that it actually works, especially when some metallic guitar makes an over the top entrance in “World War When”. This may not work for the purists, but one can imagine it comes over in a far gruffer and menacing manner when in the live environment and overall this is a solid release without ever being essential.

CENTINEX Death In Pieces

Album · 2020 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
As soon as I started playing the latest release from Centinex I was impressed, so much so that I felt it was almost as if it were a brand-new band. It was only later I was reading the press release and discovered it actually was! Although this is the third album since the reformation with a new line-up, only bassist Martin Schulman is here from the group which recorded the last two albums. There has been a complete shift and he has now been joined by guitarist Jörgen Kristensen (Dead Awaken, ex-Abhoth, ex-Suffer), vocalist Henrik Andersson (Macabre Decay, ex-Incarnated, Dogpound) and drummer Florian Rehn (Moth, ex-Skulldrain). With a new line-up, an additional set of ears to assist on production (Johan Hjelm), and a very strong musician to take care of the mixing and mastering (Ronnie Bjornstrom) here we have a band reborn.

While still very much playing at the lower end of the register, this is classic Swedish death metal which is both bright and exciting. Whereas when they slowed it down in the last album it felt dreary, here it is just providing a small interlude for the band to return. It is polished without ever being overly commercial, and while the rough edges have been sanded away this is still a slab of brutality. I was playing the two albums back to back and when the last one finished and this one started I immediately started paying more attention – I didn’t need to check what was playing as the difference between this album and the last one is simply immense.

Martin Schulman has been at the helm of the band for their entire existence, and here he has created something which shows the line-up of today is as relevant as any in the last 30 years. Many Swedish death metal bands have become more melodic over the years, and while this is quite different from American death metal, this is staying true to its Swedish roots and combines slower riffs and groove metal something is very palatable indeed.

CENTINEX Doomsday Rituals

Album · 2016 · Death Metal
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Centinex originated in 1990 as a riff-oriented part of the classic Swedish death metal movement and disbanded in 2005 after releasing eight full-length albums. In 2014 they returned with a new line-up of Martin Schulman (Centinex, Demonical) on bass and Kennet Englund (Interment, Centinex 1999-2003) being joined by Sverker Widgren (Demonical, Diabolical) on guitars and Alexander Högbom (October Tide, Spasmodic) on vocals, and released the album ‘Redeeming Filth’. The same line-up returned two years later in 2016 with this album, ‘Doomsday Rituals’, ten tracks at just over 32 minutes long.

While this is an enjoyable album, with lots going for it, there is something about it which does not hit home as hard as it should. There are lots of tempo changes, but the slower numbers do not really do the band any favours, and while always heavy the production does not cut through like it should (it was produced by guitarist Sverker Widgren). It Everything is very much at the lower end of the register, without even guitar solos to cut through, which means it loses a lot of the impact. For a death band they spend way too much time trying to be doom, with songs like “The Shameful Few” being a prime example. The vocals are great, but for me it is missing the spark which takes it from being a good album into something much better.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 1 year 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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