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

510 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 56 3.65
2 Progressive Metal 53 3.98
3 Heavy Metal 46 3.53
4 Power Metal 44 3.60
5 Black Metal 40 3.80
6 Death Metal 38 3.99
7 Thrash Metal 32 3.63
8 Melodic Death Metal 18 4.14
9 Alternative Metal 16 3.53
10 Metalcore 14 3.57
11 Technical Death Metal 14 3.93
12 Folk Metal 11 3.77
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 Groove Metal 6 3.92
20 Glam Metal 6 3.58
21 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 6 3.58
22 Atmospheric Black Metal 5 3.90
23 Non-Metal 5 4.00
24 US Power Metal 5 3.70
25 Symphonic Black Metal 4 4.50
26 Hardcore Punk 4 3.50
27 Heavy Psych 3 4.00
28 Industrial Metal 3 3.50
29 Melodic Metalcore 3 4.00
30 Avant-garde Metal 3 3.17
31 Crossover Thrash 3 3.33
32 Death-Doom Metal 3 4.17
33 Speed Metal 3 3.00
34 Stoner Metal 3 3.83
35 Stoner Rock 3 4.33
36 Sludge Metal 2 2.75
37 Gothic Metal 2 3.75
38 NWoBHM 2 4.00
39 Pagan Black Metal 1 3.00
40 Mathcore 1 4.00
41 Heavy Alternative Rock 1 3.00
42 Grindcore 1 3.50
43 Funeral Doom Metal 1 4.00
44 Depressive Black Metal 1 2.00
45 Death 'n' Roll 1 2.50
46 Trance Metal 1 2.50

Latest Albums Reviews

LEE AARON Power, Soul, Rock N' Roll - Live In Germany

Live album · 2019 · Hard Rock
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It is strange to realise that this is the first official live album from Lee Aaron, given that she has been fairly constant on the live circuit and released the anthem ‘Metal Queen’ back in 1984! During her 2017 German tour the concerts at Balingen and Nuremberg were recorded and now form the basis of this CD-DVD set in Digipak. Given I haven’t heard any of her material for some years I was somewhat surprised just how well her well-known numbers have aged, and the new material certainly doesn’t sound out of place beside them. This is the same as it always was, commercial hard rock with some great hooks and a singer who wants to be taken seriously for her music and not just her looks, although it must be said THAT magazine cover from 1983 did her image both harm and good at the same time.

Muscially this album feels a little like a dirty secret, no-one wants to admit owning it or even liking it but put on “Metal Queen” and it is impossible not to have a smile on your face. But I found I was really enjoying a lot of the material here, with “Tomboy”, "Barely Holdin On" and "Whatcha Do to My Body", in particular really standing out. I’m still not sure of the opener, her take on “Mistreated” as it doesn’t really work for her style but she has balls for going for it. All in all a fun album, and sometimes that is what we really want from our music.

LACUNA COIL Black Anima

Album · 2019 · Alternative Metal
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Lacuna Coil are back with their ninth studio album and I for one am very pleased indeed. There has been another change in line-up, in that drummer Ryan Folden has departed after four years in the seat to be replaced by Richard Meiz (Genus Ordinis Dei). His role, along with that of guitarist Diego "DD" Cavallotti and Marco "Maki" Coti-Zelati (guitars, bass, keyboards, synths) is to provide the musical backdrop and muscle for the two people at the front of the band, namely Christina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro. Along with songwriter Marco they have been there since the very beginning of the band in 1997, and they just seem to be getting better and better.

When there is a need for a song to become bombastic, epic and over the top, then it is there in spades, but there are also times when they are more reflective, but t often doesn’t last too long. The bottom end builds a foundation which would allow a double-height Burj Khalifa to be built on it, with guitar, bass and drums combining to create a solid wall of sound. The keyboards sometimes provide additional lightness and melody, but there are others when they too join in the fun to create a sold slab of metal which may only be lightened by the contrast of Christina. There again, it may just be a force for Andrea to show he is never going to play second fiddle and that it is the mix and combination of the two very different singers that makes this band what it is, combined with the epic songwriting and performance of Marco and the others.

They shift from maelstrom to beauty, back again, or off in a new direction, and all the listener can do is smile. The very first time I played this I started to think this may actually be their best release yet, even better than the first three albums (which are all classics in their own right). Scabbia says: “This record was really written around our live performances. The songs we enjoy playing live the most are the heavier ones. So, when we started writing, the songs naturally were heavier. We have more growls (for Andrea) and epic parts (for me), too.” Epic, awesome, totally essential.

KXM Circle of Dolls

Album · 2019 · Alternative Metal
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KXM is comprised of dUg Pinnick of King’s X on vocals/bass, George Lynch of Lynch Mob/Dokken on guitars while Korn’s drum maestro, Ray Luzier, rounds out the powerhouse trio. The band takes its name from the combination of the member’s other projects: K from Korn, X from King’s X and M from Lynch Mob. KXM formed in early 2013 when dUg, George and Ray spoke about trying to jam together, and this is now the third full-length album since then. I must confess that I really enjoyed this, much more than I ever thought I would, and I am sure this is down to a combination of the soulfulness of dUg’s vocals, the darkness of the overall sound and the commercial lightness and hooks thrown into the mix.

I have never really been a fan of Korn, they didn’t do much for me, have never heard much Lynch Mob (although have been a fan of Dokken over the years) and it did take me quite some time to get into King’s X, but this release really is something which easy to listen to and get inside of, while also having many layers of depths and all of them are dark. It is edgy, with a refusal to conform to anyone’s expectations, and comes across as alternative and interesting. While all the musicians are on good form, as one would expect from people who have toured incessantly, it is the vocals which really make this stand out, combined with Lynch being far more restrained than I have heard him before – he is certainly not being the shred in your face master I had come to expect. This release may well surprise a few people, it certainly surprised me.

IN MOURNING Garden Of Storms

Album · 2019 · Melodic Death Metal
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2019 saw the Swedish band back with their latest album, ‘Garden of Storms’, which saw them complete the trilogy which started with 2012’s ‘The Weight Of Oceans’. It also saw them with a new rhythm section as bassist Pierre Stam departed (leaving singer/guitarist Tobias Netzell as the only founder member still involved) to be replaced by Sebastian Svalland (Pain (live), Letters from the Colony, Lindemann (live)) while ex-Katatonia drummer Daniel Liljekvist also left, after just one album, and was replaced by Joakim Strandberg Nilsson (Faithful Darkness, Nonexist, ex-Moorgate, ex-Thrive, Wolves Within). Recorded with Jonas Kjellgren, who was responsible for the sound of the band's early albums, the band says it is the: "most solid, honest and complete album to date, in times where things seem to scatter and change a lot around us".

To me this album shows them move even more into different areas, with metalcore raising its ugly head among others, and to me this feels far more disjointed and less of a complete piece of work than the last one. Playing them back to back, there is no doubt this feels more commercial and softer in many ways, although they can bring the pain when they wish to, and the movement feels more clunky and not as polished. It is a much harder album to get inside, just because the listener feels they are being pulled from place to place, but more in a way that makes them seasick than in a pleasant journey where one is taking a rest at times. It feels less honest and more contrived, and while still an interesting album in many ways, it is quite a long way removed from the last one.

IN MOURNING Afterglow

Album · 2016 · Melodic Death Metal
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In Mourning were formed back in 2000, and this 2016 album was the second in a trilogy, following on from 2012’s ‘The Weight Of Oceans. It was the first album to feature ex-Katatonia drummer Daniel Liljekvist, and the band commented: "It’s a bit more complex than our previous albums and it has got a bit of a different sound than the older ones, a bit more alive like a band and maybe not always as studio corrected as our earlier material. However, the foundation of the music is still what we’ve always done, and the key elements are pretty much the same but with some new additions and a few new twists and turns of course". Over the years their sound has evolved from a band who was primarily death metal into one which is far more progressive. They mix and meld doomy metal-riffs, blasting drumbeats and deep growling vocals to calm breezes of clean flowing melodies and harmonies and this makes for an album which is both uncompromising yet accessible at the same time.

There are many who are going to compare them to Opeth, as they have come from similar backgrounds and in many ways have followed similar paths, but In Mourning have stayed far more metallic while also being adventurous. They can move from Nile-type complexity and density to gentleness and calm with ease, somehow always ensuring the journey continues to make sense. When they are being reflective then one relaxes, it doesn’t matter that the maelstrom is going to come back, for now just enjoy the tranquillity as the band takes us on a journey. More than heavy enough to satisfy the metalhead, yet truly progressive and moving around for those into prog metal. The mix of melody and aggression is very well done indeed, yet when they wish to go in for the kill they do so at pace and speed.

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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