Kev Rowland

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

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

405 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 48 4.00
2 Hard Rock 47 3.61
3 Heavy Metal 37 3.57
4 Black Metal 36 3.83
5 Power Metal 32 3.70
6 Death Metal 29 3.98
7 Thrash Metal 24 3.75
8 Alternative Metal 12 3.50
9 Metalcore 11 3.59
10 Melodic Death Metal 10 4.35
11 Doom Metal 10 3.35
12 Technical Death Metal 9 3.94
13 Folk Metal 8 3.56
14 Deathcore 7 3.79
15 Metal Related 7 4.57
16 Symphonic Metal 7 3.71
17 US Power Metal 5 3.70
18 Glam Metal 5 3.90
19 Brutal Death Metal 5 3.90
20 Atmospheric Black Metal 4 4.00
21 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 4 3.50
22 Groove Metal 4 3.88
23 Non-Metal 4 4.13
24 Melodic Metalcore 3 4.00
25 Hardcore Punk 3 3.33
26 Heavy Psych 3 4.00
27 Industrial Metal 3 3.50
28 Melodic Black Metal 3 3.50
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 Crossover Thrash 2 3.25
35 Gothic Metal 2 3.75
36 Grindcore 1 3.50
37 Depressive Black Metal 1 2.00
38 Death-Doom Metal 1 4.50
39 Death 'n' Roll 1 2.50
40 Avant-garde Metal 1 3.00
41 Pagan Black Metal 1 3.00
42 Sludge Metal 1 2.00
43 Trance Metal 1 2.50

Latest Albums Reviews

RAVEN Screaming Murder Death From Above: Live In Aalborg

Live album · 2019 · NWoBHM
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
1979 was Year Zero for a new musical movement in the UK, and a term was coined by Deaf Barton which perfectly summed it up, NWOBHM. I was 16 at the time, listening to Tommy Vance on a Friday night, reading Sounds music magazine, and trying to buy as many singles and albums I could of the phenomenon. One of the issues I had was I lived in a small town in the West of England, and it was incredibly hard to get hold of material. So much so that I wrote to Neat Records asking how I could get hold of their material as no-one stocked it near me! I was soon the envy of my mates as they sent me stickers and badges to try and make up for it, all of them emblazoned with the logo of one of my favourite bands, Raven. There are a few singles from that time which have gone down in history, Iron Maiden’s “Soundhouse Tapes” and Def Leppard’s “Getcha Rocks Off” are just a couple. But in the North East Neat Records were becoming THE label, with one incredible release after another. Within their first ten singles was the debut by Tygers of Pan Tang, Fist, Venom, Blitzkrieg and “Don’t Need Your Money” by Raven (who incidentally were also the first band on the label to release a second single, as well as the first album).

Raven had decided to speed everything up, something they called athletic rock, and was a huge impact on the scene which followed – that both Metallica and Anthrax were given their first touring opportunities with Raven was no surprise to anyone. Over the years the Gallagher brothers (John, bass/vocals and Mark, guitar) have kept the flag flying for their style of metal, and for much of that time drummer Joe Hasselvander has been at the back, but shortly before their 2017 US tour he suffered a heart attack, putting an end to his active music career. After a few temporary replacements, it was quickly decided that Mike Heller (Fear Factory, Malignancy) would be Raven’s new drummer. They settled in to doing what they do best, blasting uncompromising metal into the masses, and when they left the stage at Skråen in November they were presented with a digital copy of the gig they had just performed. What made this unusual is that none of the band were aware it was being recorded, so it was a case of turning up, plugging in, and blasting it out without any thought to what it might mean from a recording aspect.

The band has been in existence now for some 44 years, and although I can’t speak for the very early years, what is playing now is a beefed-up version of the same band I fell in love with back in 1980. These guys are showing no sign at all of slowing down, or going down a different path, this is a band still playing “Faster Than The Speed of Light” and meaning every single word. It is harder and faster than it was when they were 30 years younger, and this set is essential to anyone who enjoys this style of music. It is brutal NWOBHM. Turn it up, play it loud, and party as if it 1979, not some forty years later. I may be seeing this with rose tinted glasses given how much I loved this band in my youth, but when metal is a brutal, raw, and bloody excellent as this, then it demands attention.



OPETH Garden of the Titans: Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Live album · 2018 · Progressive Metal
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On 11th May 2017 Opeth played the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver, Colorado, and it has now been released DVD, Blu-Ray and vinyl formats. I was rather late coming to Opeth, but still remember when ‘Ghost Reveries’ came to my attention in 2005 – their 8th studio album – and was absolutely blown away. Since then they have moved further into the progressive field, but in its truest sense, as they mix old school early Seventies organ-dominated progressive rock with death-influenced metal, often in the same song. There is no point in trying to work out what genre is the right place to fit Opeth as Mikael Åkerfeldt threw the rule book away long ago, if he ever owned a copy in the first place, and that is certainly debatable.

Harmonies and gentle baritone vocals can give way to death growls, and heavily commercial songs can turn into metallic monsters with little or no warning. There is a huge sound to the band, incredible to think that the noise is being created by just five people. It is bombastic, heavily over the top, yet can also fall into pure folk if that is what is needed. The band are in full control, and they take the crowd with them at all times. At one point Åkerfeldt tells the crowd that it is being recorded, but that if they then buy the album any mistakes will have magically disappeared!

There really isn’t any other band like Opeth, so if you are a fan then you simply must have this. And if you’re not, why not give a try anyway?





LACUNA COIL The 119 Show - Live In London

Live album · 2018 · Alternative Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
To celebrate twenty years, Lacuna Coil played a special sold-out show at O2 Forum Kentish Town in London on 19th January 2018, which has now been made available in multiple formats. After the release of their 2014 album ‘Broken Crown Halo’ the band went through some major line-up changes with the departure of drummer Cristiano Mozzati and guitarists Cristiano Migliore and Marco Biazzi. But they returned with a new line-up and ‘Delirium’ in 2016, and there is certainly nothing here that shows that the band have been through any significant change.

Although bassist/guitarist/keyboard player Marco Coti-Zelati has been providing music since the very first album, he is happy to hide behind a mask, as does new drummer Ryan Blake Folden and guitarist Diego Cavallotti, as their role is to provide the music for Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro who control the stage. There are times when the three musicians all stay at the rear to allow all the spotlights to be on the singers, and it is their harmonies and different styles working together with the dark melancholic Goithic metal that really makes this band stand out. For fans who have been there since the beginning there is plenty here to enjoy, as they really do run through their whole career in a set that is nearly three hours long. To hear songs such as “My Wings” from their debut ‘In A Reverie’ is wonderful, while “Comalies” of course gets a huge reaction. Theatrical, over the top, this is an amazing set, which of course finishes with the mighty “Nothing Stands In Our Ways”.

This is a superb record of the first twenty years, and they are showing no sign at all of slowing down. If you have yet to hear Lacuna Coil then this is essential, and if you are a fan they you must already have it. Exciting, dynamic and powerful, this is Lacuna Coil at their very best.

LACUNA COIL Broken Crown Halo

Album · 2014 · Alternative Metal
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I still remember hearing ‘In A Reverie’, ‘Unleashed Memories’ and ‘Comalies’ when they were released – three albums that made a huge impact and certainly launched this Italian dual vocal Gothic inspired act straight into the big time. I hadn’t heard any of their material for a while until I came across this 2014 album, which immediately got me wondering why on earth I hadn’t stayed current with their career, as Cristina Scabbia has an amazing voice, singing sweetly or with venom as the need arises, and in Andrea Ferro she has the perfect foil and when they combine they lift each other, and then there is the driving bottom end of the music which is punchy, hard and bombastic with symphonic elements that lift it way out of the norm.

There are times when it somehow feels commercial, with buzzsaw riffs, but is that just because the scene has moved so much since they first came on the scene, as there is still an honesty and passion shining through what they are delivering. Ferro is a great singer in his own right, able to provide multiple styles, and with these two at the front it is no surprise the guys behind them have to keep mixing it up and punching hard. The more I played this album the more I wanted to play it, as there is a groove and life behind this which is simply superb. Hard, smooth, heavy, silky and raw, this is well worth investigating.

NAZARETH Tattooed On My Brain

Album · 2018 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
When I was young we used to have a record store in town, and in a glass frame on the wall they would put their record of the week. I can clearly remember seeing ‘Razamanaz’ there for the first time and wondering who could deliver a cover with that much power, and then I heard the title cut and it all became clear. With Dan McCafferty gargling broken glass and whisky, Darrell Sweet bashing the skins, Pete Agnew on bass and Manny Charlton riffing, the proud sons of Dunfermline could do no ill in my mind or ears. Criminally overlooked, their live album ‘Snaz’ (when the line-up had expanded to include second guitarist Billy Rankin and keyboard player John Locke) is still one of the very greatest in-concert albums ever released. Manny left in 1990, with Billy stepping into the shoes before Jimmy Murrison came onboard in 1994, and Darrell died far too young (51) from a heart attack, being replaced by none other than Pete’s son Lee. From 2002 – 2013 the quartet of McCafferty, Agnew, Agnew and Morrison continued to tour and record, but then the bombshell that McCafferty had to retire due to ill health. Given that Dan joined Pete in Shadettes (the name changed to Nazareth in 1969) back in 1965, it was quite a shock, so what next?

After a false start with singer Linton Osborne, the band are now back with Carl Sentence (Persian Risk) centre stage, and a new album for their new label. It’s a solid album, plenty of bottom end, plenty of hard riffs, but is it Nazareth? Well, those who have been buying their recent releases have put it into the charts in Austria and Switzerland, but there has been little or no success in the UK, US or Canada (which used to be a main market) for more than 35 years, and there is little here to suggest it was going to be a breakthrough. It is a nice album, yet there is little here in terms of hooks or anthems for fans to get their teeth into. However, Nazareth are not a band who survive on record sales, it is all about putting bums on seats, and while I am sure they will play a few songs from this on their 50th Anniversary tour, people will want to hear “Holiday”, “Dressed To Kill”, “Hair of the Dog”, “Razmanaz”, “This Flight Tonight”, “Telegram” and of course “Love Hurts”. Sentence isn’t McCafferty, so they will sound different to what people expect, but given that there isn’t anyone who can sound like Dan it is good that the band have moved away to someone who can certainly sing, but isn’t quite as gruff and raw.

Solid, fun, but not a touch on what they were doing in the Seventies.

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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