Kev Rowland

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

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

378 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 47 4.00
2 Hard Rock 39 3.55
3 Heavy Metal 36 3.56
4 Black Metal 34 3.82
5 Power Metal 32 3.70
6 Death Metal 27 3.96
7 Thrash Metal 24 3.75
8 Doom Metal 11 3.41
9 Metalcore 11 3.59
10 Melodic Death Metal 10 4.35
11 Alternative Metal 9 3.33
12 Deathcore 7 3.79
13 Metal Related 7 4.57
14 Symphonic Metal 7 3.71
15 Technical Death Metal 7 4.07
16 Folk Metal 6 3.67
17 Glam Metal 5 3.90
18 Brutal Death Metal 5 3.90
19 Atmospheric Black Metal 4 4.00
20 Groove Metal 4 3.88
21 Non-Metal 4 4.13
22 US Power Metal 4 3.75
23 Stoner Rock 3 4.33
24 Symphonic Black Metal 3 4.83
25 Heavy Psych 3 4.00
26 Industrial Metal 3 3.50
27 Melodic Black Metal 3 3.50
28 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 3 3.33
29 Crossover Thrash 2 3.25
30 Gothic Metal 2 3.75
31 Melodic Metalcore 2 4.00
32 Hardcore Punk 2 3.25
33 Speed Metal 2 3.25
34 Stoner Metal 2 4.00
35 NWoBHM 1 3.00
36 Pagan Black Metal 1 3.00
37 Sludge Metal 1 2.00
38 Grindcore 1 3.50
39 Depressive Black Metal 1 2.00
40 Death-Doom Metal 1 4.50
41 Death 'n' Roll 1 2.50
42 Avant-garde Metal 1 3.00

Latest Albums Reviews

SOULHEALER Up From The Ashes

Album · 2018 · Heavy Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Finnish band SoulHealer are back with their fourth album, their first since they went through a few line-up changes last year. What we have here is traditional heavy metal that contains huge elements of Saxon, Scorpions, Helloween and Blind Guardian. There are certainly times when I found myself smiling, and gently moving the noggin, but there are a couple of things that mean that this album isn’t as good as the band think it is. Firstly, the songs themselves are quite boring to be honest: there is the feeling that the get up and go has already got up and gone, and they could do with upping the tempo and providing more aggression. I certainly get the impression that the production has watered down their attack, and that live they would be quite a different proposition. That is also the place where I would more likely forgive singer Jori Kärki, as there are times when he goes for notes that he just can’t hit cleanly or with enough power.

The result is an album which most Metalheads will enjoy to a certain level, but it is unlikely that anyone will be frequently returning to it. Not bad, but certainly not brilliant either.

NEVERWAKE Incinerate

EP · 2016 · Metalcore
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Released in 2016, this six-song EP is not really the style of music I associate with MRR, but the more I played it the more I realised why Nick Katona had signed the band as although metalcore is the order of the day, these guys are way more polished than I would normally expect from the genre. It is when they allow themselves to rip into material such as “Hypocrisy”, where there are some blistering guitar runs and intricate melodies, where they really shine. More songs like this and they would have been onto a real winner, but as it is there are only six songs. No, wait, the final song is a “radio edit” of the title cut which is all of 17 seconds shorter than the original, so make that five. But do we really have to talk about the fifth song? Can we pretend that there were only four and that they were really good and I really enjoyed them? Please?

Okay, so the fifth song on this EP is a five-minute version of “Thriller”. Yes, that “Thriller”. Now, the problem with only playing the audio I can’t tell if they are taking the piss and having fun, or if they genuinely believe that they are adding something to the musical canon. If it is the former then maybe, just maybe, I can forgive them and I’m just not getting the joke. If it is the latter then god help us all. Johnny DiCarlo has a great voice, but this just makes me cringe. I do look forward to hearing more from NeverWake, as their version of metalcore combined with heavy melodic rock is very listenable indeed, but please, no more Michael.

NECRONOMICON (BW) Unleashed Bastards

Album · 2018 · Thrash Metal
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To say this band has been through the wringer over the years is something of an understatement, but more than 30 years on from the debut album they are still going, and now they return with their ninth studio album. Okay, so only singer/guitarist has been there since the beginning, and bassist Marco is the only other person who has been there for five years, but they have refused to give up. It possibly doesn’t help their cause that there are multiple recording artists with the same name, and there was even another German Necronomicon in the Seventies, but these guys are a thrash band who don’t see any reason at all for changing their style.

At times they become highly melodic, with more than a hint of Helloween as they move more into power metal than their own iconic punk thrash style, and this is a shame as although interesting I would much have preferred for them to have become more abrasive and move back into the raw style with which they built their name. The result is an album that has some high points, but isn’t consistent enough to make it really stand out from the pack. While it will appeal to those who have been following them for some time, I can’t imagine it will gain them many new fans.

MONUMENTS Phronesis

Album · 2018 · Metalcore
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It took four years from ‘The Amanensis’ for Monuments to return with their third full-length album, by which time they had not only lost the services of long-term drummer Mike Malyan, but also his replacement Anup Sastry, who on this album has put up an impressive display so newest member Daniel Lang will have a lot to do when they head out on tour. Although this is still a metalcore album, they are starting to concentrate even more on the metallic elements, which are incredibly brutal. This means that when there is a slight respite in proceedings, such as the introduction to “Mirror Image”, one knows that it is going to all come crashing back in a minute.

There is a huge contrast in styles both between songs and within songs, so that the listener is never really sure where the music is going to go, and strong melodic vocals may have mayhem beneath them, or simpler chords may have Barretto throwing up his lungs. One of the bands they have played with recently was Protest The Hero, and that must have been a match made in heaven. I have long been a fan of the Canadians, and it was wonderful that I finally managed to see them play about eighteen months ago, and the styles of the two bands are both complimentary and different, and both can really rip it up when the need arises. Monuments keep improving with each album, and it will be interesting to see what they come up with next time, and indeed if they can actually keep the same line-up together from one album to the next!



MONUMENTS The Amanuensis

Album · 2014 · Metalcore
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
This 2014 album was the second full release from the British metalcore act, following on from 2012’s ‘Gnosis’, and in the intervening time they had parted ways with singer Matt Rose who was replaced by Chris Barretto (ex-Periphery). A new singer can create a total change to a band’s sound, but Barretto is incredibly adept at mixing up the styles so that it often sounds as if there are two quite distinct and different singers, instead of just one man. What makes Monuments stand out for me is the high use of melody, with strong swathes of keyboards when the time is right, all combined with a djent style approach. All of this makes them a cut above the norm within the genre. Metalcore is probably my least favourite sub-genre, as often it is never one thing or another and consequently is less than any of the component parts, but when it is in the hands of a band who really know what they are doing then it is shifting dynamic after contrasting melody and they bounce off each other to create something quite special.

When the band decide to go full out, then Barretto is more than up to the task, but while he is giving it full-on sore throat the guys underneath are not only ripping it up but are bending chords to create something that is Meshuggah, but much more. When they want to be delicate then they produce songs, or at least sections of songs, that sound as if they could be played on the radio. Then of course they throw away the rulebook along with any opportunity of being played commercially and instead rip everyone a new one. Metalcore isn’t for everyone, and it is rarely for me, but this is an enjoyable romp by a band who really mean whatever style of music they are performing at the time.

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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Metal Subgenres

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