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

445 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 47 3.62
3 Heavy Metal 43 3.57
4 Black Metal 37 3.82
5 Power Metal 36 3.67
6 Death Metal 29 3.98
7 Thrash Metal 28 3.68
8 Melodic Death Metal 16 4.19
9 Metalcore 13 3.54
10 Alternative Metal 12 3.50
11 Doom Metal 10 3.35
12 Folk Metal 10 3.65
13 Technical Death Metal 10 3.95
14 Brutal Death Metal 8 4.06
15 Deathcore 7 4.07
16 Metal Related 7 4.57
17 Symphonic Metal 7 3.71
18 Glam Metal 6 3.58
19 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 5 3.60
20 Non-Metal 5 4.00
21 Groove Metal 5 4.00
22 US Power Metal 5 3.70
23 Melodic Black Metal 4 3.50
24 Atmospheric Black Metal 4 4.00
25 Melodic Metalcore 3 4.00
26 Heavy Psych 3 4.00
27 Industrial Metal 3 3.50
28 Hardcore Punk 3 3.33
29 Stoner Metal 3 3.83
30 Stoner Rock 3 4.33
31 Symphonic Black Metal 3 4.83
32 Speed Metal 2 3.25
33 NWoBHM 2 4.00
34 Avant-garde Metal 2 3.50
35 Crossover Thrash 2 3.25
36 Gothic Metal 2 3.75
37 Grindcore 1 3.50
38 Funeral Doom Metal 1 4.00
39 Depressive Black Metal 1 2.00
40 Death-Doom Metal 1 4.50
41 Death 'n' Roll 1 2.50
42 Pagan Black Metal 1 3.00
43 Sludge Metal 1 2.00
44 Trance Metal 1 2.50

Latest Albums Reviews

BEAST IN BLACK From Hell With Love

Album · 2019 · Power Metal
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Right after the departure from his former band Battle Beast, Beast In Black’s founder Anton Kabanen recruited new companions in the way of high-pitched vocalist Yannis Papadopoulos (Wardrum), bassist Mate Molnar (WISDOM), guitarist Kasperi Heikkinen (U.D.O.) and last but not least drummer Atte Palokangas (Thunderstone), who officially replaced Sami Hänninen in early 2018. Their debut, ‘Berserker’ was well received, and now they are back with the follow-up, ‘From Hell With Love’. With a similar name to his last band, as well as the cover artist who worked on the debut Battle Beast album, ‘Steel’, Kabanen is making sure everyone knows he is following in a similar vein of symphonic power metal. Some of these songs, or at least bits of the songs, are really very good indeed and show just what is possible, but as for the rest…

Okay, let’s agree to just take the keyboards out the back and put them in a crusher. There are just way too many Eighties sounds and styles for my brain to process and as for the beginning of “True Believer”, if anyone remembers “Popcorn” by Hot Butter and thought we never hear the like again, well you were wrong. As for the synth drum roll in the same song, combine this with the over the top sugar harmonies and I felt not only was I in a timewarp but I was about to be very ill. I keep reading rave reviews of this album so guess I’m in the minority again, but I know this will never again desecrate my eardrums.

DEATH ANGEL Humanicide

Album · 2019 · Thrash Metal
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When the title track kicks off the album one starts to wonder if they are in the right place, as it is incredibly Maidenesque, but soon the interplay stops and the guitars are being riffed and again we are exactly where Death Angel want us to be, deep in the world of thrash. This is serious thrash metal, with loads going on with the carpal tunnel guitars, but just listen to Damien Sisson and what he is doing with the bass. He is providing counter melodies, nuances here and there, while at others he is firmly locked in with drummer Will Carroll to provide the heartbeat and foundation of the band. Simply put, this opening five minutes in some of the finest thrash one will ever come across, from a band who have been together in one form or another since 1982!

The guys jut refuse to let up from here on in, and although I loved their last album ‘The Evil Divide’ there is no doubt this one has seen them lift it to a new level. Each song contains real intensity and desire, as they show there is still real venom and passion in all they do. Here is a band who have stuck to their roots and have brought something which reminds me in many ways of Testament’s ‘Dark Roots of Earth’ in the way that it shows a classic band taking the movement to a new level. This is class from start to finish, with hooks, anthemic choruses, even the use of a piano, as they strive to drive the genre onwards and upwards.

Death Angel were there at the very beginning and show no signs whatsoever of slowing down or throwing in the towel. This isn’t a band who are going to keep touring the world living on past glories, but are creating new glories for a whole new generation of fans. Superb.

DEATH ANGEL The Evil Divide

Album · 2016 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
For those unaware of their history, Death Angel were formed back in 1982 in San Francisco, and at one time every member of the band was a blood relative. Lead guitarist Rob Cavestany is the only person still there, and when he formed the band, he was only 14! Lead singer Mark Osegueda didn’t join until a few years later, but the two of them have appeared on every Death Angel release. They will probably always be best remembered for their 1987 debut ‘The Ultra-Violence’ and their third album, ‘Act III’, but Death Angel are one of those bands who don’t know what it is like to release a bad album. Apparently, they are seen as an influence by Metallica, shame we can’t say the same for those guys.

Second guitarist Ted Anguilar joined when the band reformed in 2001, while the rhythm section of Damien Sisson (bass), Will Carroll (drums) both joined in 2009, so by the time of this 2016 album they already had plenty of road miles plus some albums behind them. Guys, the word for the day is “thrash”, which has been associated with these guys throughout their whole career and they see no reason at all to change tack now. In 2018 I was fortunate enough to see these guys support Sepultura, and for me they were the band of the night. Old favourites were aired alongside numbers from this album such as opener “The Moth”, and they certainly stood up well among the likes of “Thrashers”. They know how to slow it down, such as on “Father of Lies” where there is a delicate and restrained bridge and guitar solo, but this is all about thrash metal and putting the hammer down, and when they do there are few who can touch them.

They may not have reached the heights of bands they inspired, but they have stayed true to the faith and this is yet another great example of Death Angel showing everyone they are still here and are refusing to go away, and if they want to use acoustic guitar to provide an emphasis they will!

CHILDREN OF BODOM Hexed

Album · 2019 · Melodic Death Metal
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The band couldn’t stay as a quartet outside the studio as their sound needs that double hit of guitars, so in 2016 they brought in Daniel Freyberg (ex-Naildown and ex-Norther). It must be a hard job settling in with a group of guys who have been together longer than many marriages, but certainly when it comes to the sound, he seems right at home having spent the last three years on the road with them. Straight from the off on this this record, one thing that is immediately noticeable is the seeming higher presence of keyboard player Janne Warman. Laiho agrees, “Yes, he’s played a big part of every single album, but this time this might seem even more prominent only because of the sounds that he uses. Because the funny thing is that on, let’s say, ‘I Worship Chaos’ or ‘Halo of Blood’, the keyboards were there all the time, but you might not even know that they’re there because he’s doubling my guitars with some insane, super-low octave sound that doesn’t really stick out. So maybe he pops out more on this album, and I guess he has more of a main role in a lot of parts of the songs.”

This album feels more melodic, more commercial in many places, than some of their previous albums and it is hard to know if this is down to the larger emphasis on keyboards, the production, or the new member of the band. Certainly, Raatikainen is hitting the drums as hard as he has for more than quarter of the century, and his double bass blastbeats are there in evidence, but one has to really listen to them as he has been pushed more into the background. The band have used Mikko Karmilla to mix their sound for years, but here it feels muddier and not as clean – it is really noticeable when playing this album straight after the last one, as the sound is quite different indeed. Interestingly the band have also gone back in time and have revisited a song they had recorded before, 2002’s “Knuckleduster”, as it was felt it wasn’t treated correctly first time around. Unfortunately, Laiho didn’t have the lyrics for the verse, so had to write new ones. This is the last song on the album and shows the band with some of their heaviest elements, which contrast well with the keyboards. When Children of Bodom get it right there are few in the world to match them, and even when slightly under par they are one of the best bands in the metallic universe.

Although I would have liked to have heard this with slightly different production, yet again Children of Bodom have produced the goods.

CHILDREN OF BODOM I Worship Chaos

Album · 2015 · Melodic Death Metal
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Roope Latvala of Finnish thrash metal band Stone joined Children of Bodom in 2003, after guitarist Alexander Kuoppala decided to leave. This was the only line-up change since the band changed their name from Inearthed back in 1997, but prior to the recording of this album in 2015, Latvala also left. Instead of trying to get someone else into the band in time for the album, it was instead recorded as a quartet for the first time. Given that all these guys were playing together for at least the last 18 years, and drummer Jaska W. Raatikainen and singer/guitarist Alexi "Wildchild" Laiho formed that band back in 1993, the loss of one member doesn’t seem to have phased them too much.

It was back in 2003 when I first came across the band. I had missed out on their first three albums, but ‘Hate Crew Deathroll’ and the opening cut “Needled 24/7” was an immediate hit with me. As for their version of “Oops I Did It Again” (which can be found on their 2009 ‘Skeletons In The Closet’), it is simply awesome and even my kids enjoyed hearing that one in the car. For some reason I don’t think their take on melodic death or melodic black metal has ever really gained the plaudits and attention it should have (although in fairness I do live at the other end of the world and music press is limited, to say the least). This is technical music, incredibly tight with very high note density, and keyboards that may be sat at the back providing a symphonic curtain for the music to be placed against or can be taking the lead in a very metallic manner.

These four guys basically grew up together, firstly in the same small community in Finland, and then on the road together and it shows. This is music which relies totally on everyone knowing their place and combining together to create something special. Laiho may not have another guitarist to play against but he can either trade licks with himself or Janne Warman who is always there when he needs him. I have to smile each time I play “Hold Your Tongue” as it reminds me so much of Slipknot in one sense, and not at all in another.

Melodic, metallic, over the top yet with commerciality, Children of Bodom are still one of the top acts from Finland and this shows why.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 4 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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