Kev Rowland

Kev Rowland
MMA Special Collaborator · Errors & Omissions Team
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 5 days ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

556 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 42 3.94
7 Thrash Metal 35 3.63
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 Black Metal 6 3.83
22 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 6 3.58
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 Death-Doom Metal 4 4.13
29 Gothic Metal 3 4.00
30 Avant-garde Metal 3 3.17
31 Crossover Thrash 3 3.33
32 Melodic Metalcore 3 4.00
33 Heavy Psych 3 4.00
34 Industrial Metal 3 3.50
35 Stoner Rock 3 4.33
36 Sludge Metal 3 2.50
37 Speed Metal 3 3.00
38 NWoBHM 2 4.00
39 Funeral Doom Metal 2 4.00
40 Grindcore 1 3.50
41 Depressive Black Metal 1 2.00
42 Death 'n' Roll 1 2.50
43 Pagan Black Metal 1 3.00
44 Mathcore 1 4.00
45 Heavy Alternative Rock 1 3.00
46 Trance Metal 1 2.50

Latest Albums Reviews

ATAVIST III: Absolution

Album · 2020 · Death-Doom Metal
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Atavist features Winterfylleth guitarist and vocalist, Chris Naughton, along with bassist Shane Ryan, drummer Callum Cox and vocalist Toby Bradshaw. They went on an extended hiatus after their second album, 2007’s ‘II: Ruined’, and it is only now that they have returned with their third, keeping the same line-up. They have been associated with many of the slower genres, and they are following the same musical path which will find people referring to this as doom, sludge, or drone, with all of them being correct at different times. This would give the impression that this is incredibly heavy, and while that is true there is also plenty of lightness and atmosphere. This has been enabled in no small part by the use of guest musicians Jo Quail on cello (Mono/My Dying Bride), Bianca Blezard on viola and violin (Winterfylleth) long with ARD keyboard player Mark Deeks (Winterfylleth).

There may be quite a few Winterfylleth musicians involved, but this is a very different musical beast indeed, although it still manages to capture much of the atmosphere that group is renowned for. This is dramatic, taking the listener on a journey in a drab, grey, fog-ridden world where all hope is lost, and melancholy is pervasive. The weight on the listener’s shoulders is immense, as we carry the load and trudge through the wilderness, surviving but not living. Yet there are times when the strings come through and add a lightness like a ray of sunlight, lifting the spirits and providing hope, only for them to be dashed again. It is the use of contrast which really makes this album stand out and give it real presence, with a cello both mournful and joyous, light yet heavy, strident yet soothing. Extreme experimental music will always be more confrontational and deliberately out of the mainstream, and those who don’t like to follow the well-trodden path of so many others yet look for new routes would do well to seek this out.

WINTERFYLLETH The Reckoning Dawn

Album · 2020 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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THE RECKONING DAWN CANDLELIGHT/SPINEFARM There are going to be a great many people really pleased with this album, and to be honest I’m one of them, but there are also going to be quite a few disappointed and I’m one of those as well. The reason being is that this is their first full length metal album since 2014’s, ’The Divination of Antiquity’, but I confess I loved their last album ‘The Hallowing of Heirdom’ which was acoustic, folky, and just so damned wonderful. Mind you, back then I said I had problems recognising it was the same band who had brought out the mighty ‘The Mercian Sphere’ in 2010, so it is going to be interesting to see which path they follow in the future (may I suggest both?).

Recorded and produced once again by Chris Fielding (Primordial, Napalm Death, Conan, Electric Wizard, Fen), Winterfylleth again show why they are recognised as one of the top black metal acts in the UK. This is dramatic, hard-hitting, polished, and highly atmospheric, and it is that latter, which is actually the strongest element of the album, and therefore also the weakest. Fielding and the band have gone so heavily for atmosphere that there are too many times when the guitars are somewhat muted, and while turning it up incredibly loud does mitigate that somewhat, there just isn’t the cut through I want to hear. There are times when they do bring in different elements, such as acoustic guitar, and these provide real change and dynamics, and I wish they have brought more of that into the album as a whole. Solid, and well worth hearing, just not as essential as the last one.

VADER Solitude In Madness

Album · 2020 · Death Metal
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After 37 years leading Poland’s top death/thrash band, Piotr Wiwczarek is showing no sign whatsoever of slowing down. Back with their sixteenth studio album, here is a band who are very polished indeed, perhaps too much? This is all very clean indeed, and while the instruments are delineated, they are somehow muddled together. It is quite a short album, as there are eleven songs at less than 30 minutes in length, and while solid just seems to be missing the mark for me. While there are plenty of death influences in here as well to give it some grunt, there are also times when it feels almost as if they are going through the motions and can’t wait to get out on the road and transform them into something else quite different indeed. The twin guitars on “Emptiness” actually sound more like Thin Lizzy than Vader, certainly not containing the threat I expected at all.

I have listened to Vader on and off for many years, and while this is good, I do not think it stands up against albums such as ‘Tibi Et Igni’, even though it is the same line-up. Mind you, looking at the reviews around the internet it appears I am very much in the minority as lots of others think this is a masterpiece. For me it is crying out for more aggression, roughness and sheer raw unadulterated power, and while that will come through on the live circuit when it gets going again, for now all of that has been subsumed under too many layers of polish and varnish. This needs to be sweaty and visceral, and instead we have something which is far more refined, and not in a good way.

PARADISE LOST Obsidian

Album · 2020 · Gothic Metal
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The band may have had a few issues with drummers over the years (who said Spinal Tap?), but the rest have been along for the ride for some 32 years, which is almost unparalleled in heavy music. Godfathers of death/doom, they have also mixed it up with Gothic over the years, combining the forms quite unlike any other. The band have rarely been content to follow an album with another which is identical and that is very much the case here, as in many ways they have looked over their whole career and brought it all together in one place. Nick Holmes is mixing it up in terms of his vocals, sometimes singing emotionally and others going deep into growls while musically this is doom and gothic combining together. Here is a band full of confidence: they have nothing to prove and owe nothing to anyone apart from themselves.

In many ways this is a cleaner album than ‘Medusa’, more emotional, as the band again show they keep moving on, while also keeping true to their roots. One knows with this band that they are always going to release something heavy, packed with emotion, and towards the slower end of the speed scale, but apart from that one is never sure what one is going to get. Here we have slab like riffs combining with wonderful vocals and great hooks to create something which is multi-layered and builds a strong picture of a very dark band indeed. When Nick Holmes was asked about Paradise Lost, he said, “This is what we love doing and we’re all really happy with the new album… even if it doesn’t sound like it (laughs).” All Paradise Lost fans should be happy with this as well. I loved ‘Medusa’ and they are back with something which is twisting a different way in the darkness, and I love this one too.

DESTRUCTION Born To Thrash

Live album · 2020 · Thrash Metal
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Recorded on August 10th at the Party San Festival 2019, Flugplatz Obermehler, Schlotheim, Germany, this finds the band in front of some rabid fans. Bassict/vocalist Schmier and guitarist Mike have been there since the band’s formation back in 1983, and although Randy Black (drums) and Damir Eskić (guitars) are somewhat more recent additions they are fully aware of a proud Teutonic Thrash heritage. Alongside Kreator, Tankard and Sodom, Destruction have always seen to be part of the Teutonic Big 4, although it must be said that Kreator and Sodom are a long way ahead of the other two in my mind. In front of a home crowd it is hard for Destruction to put a foot wrong, with the crowd joining in to singalong on “Nailed To The Cross” and the band work through material as far back as 1987’s “Mad Butcher”.

The issue for me is that one cannot help but think here is a band massively influenced by Raven who have not moved on very from the NWOBHM days. This feels in many ways as if it is Thrash Lite, even when put up to high volumes. The bass is missing in action, the drums are quite basic, the guitars do not really do a great deal and the vocals are okay. I am sure this would be a great band to see in concert, and if I heard they were coming down here I would definitely make the effort, but to compare this performance against live albums from true giants of the scene is really not a good idea at all. Solis, enjoyable, but certainly not indispensable.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 31 days ago in Band Member Revision
    Done 
  • 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! 

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