Kev Rowland

Kev Rowland
MMA Special Collaborator · Errors & Omissions Team
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 20 hours ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

507 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 55 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 Metalcore 14 3.57
10 Alternative Metal 14 3.43
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

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.

HOUR OF PENANCE Misotheism

Album · 2019 · Technical Death Metal
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This Italian band may have no original members left, but guitarist Giulio Moschini has been there since before their second album, 2005’s ‘Pageantry For Martyrs’, and everyone on this their eighth album all played on 2017’s ‘Cast The First Stone’ as well. Apparently misotheism means either "hatred of God" or "hatred of the gods", so they’re not very happy with whatever deity you believe in, and that’s absolutely fine. They started off as a blackened death band all those years ago, but like many have changed their approach as they have worked through the ages, but whereas they were generally seen as a brutal death metal act, to me they have moved far more into the technical death metal area. This is an album that any fan of Nile (me! me!) will be taking a very serious listen to indeed. It has to be played loud, really loud, to get the full benefit of a rhythm section who are mixing and moving in multiple ways and refusing to always concentrate on blast beats and brain numbing attacks but can swing t around and even stop playing altogether if that is the right thing to do. Then at the front you have Moschini and his partner in crime Paolo Pieri (who also provides the vocals). These two have been twisting their complex riffs and lines together for nearly ten years now, and it shows. This is complex and complicated uncompromising death metal played by four guys who really have the chops.

This is music full of aggression, full of rage and hatred, from a band who are living it, not just playing at it. They mix and move, but if they had done it a little bit more then they may have ended up with an even better album than the one they did, but even as it stands this a great testament to a band who have now been around for more than 20 years and show no signs at all of slowing down and may only just be getting into their groove. Well worthy of investigation by those who enjoy the genre.

EXHORDER Mourn The Southern Skies

Album · 2019 · Groove Metal
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Some 27 years since the last album ‘The Law’, and nearly 30 years since the iconic debut ‘Slaughter In The Vatican’, Exhorder are back. The only original members are singer Kyle Thomas and guitarist Vinnie LaBella, but they knew what they wanted to achieve this time around and soon brought longtime friend and former member, bassist Jason VieBrooks (Heathen, Grip Inc.). Soon added were drummer Sasha Horn (Forbidden) and guitarist Marzi Montazeri (Heavy As Texas, Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals) and they hit the ground running, playing gigs concentrating on material from the original two albums, before turning their attention to this, the “comeback” album.

What we have here is a thrash album, hugely influenced in particular by Testament, combined with groove in a manner which is incredibly accessible. Some may know Thomas from his time with Trouble (with whom he is still playing), and there is no doubt that he is quite some singer in the style of Chuck Billy. While he has plenty of power and range, he is a singer as opposed to a screamer and is fond of going into a lower register, especially when the music slows down. His annunciation is really clear for this style of music, and behind him he has a rhythm section which keeps it locked down and two guitarists who are obviously having a blast playing off each other.

Old fans of the band will be pleased to have them back, especially as they tear through the high-octane thrash of “Ripping Flesh” which originally appeared on the first demo, 1986’s ‘Get Rude’. If that isn’t enough, they also invited back original drummer Chris Nail to hold it all together. This is a fun romp, and let’s hope there is enough success for the band to keep it together and produce more albums like this one.

BOTANIST Ecosystem

Album · 2019 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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It is fair to safe that I’m not a massive fan of the only other release I have heard from Botanist, and I’m still not too sure about this one, but my mind is slowly starting to get around to understand what this incredibly different and experimental form of black metal is trying to achieve. They/he (apparently there is a collective, but I’m not sure if this is still a solo project by The Botanist or something else) like to be described as Green Metal, yet in normal parlance they would be thought of as a highly creative Experimental Avant-garde Black Metal outfit. Apparently, this is concept about the ecosystems of redwood forests on the West Coast of the United States, calling into question whether humanity has an operating 'ecosystem' of its own. Musically it is often based around a strident piano with heavy use of sustain, drums very much to the fore, with other instrumentation coming in and out.

It can be incredibly unsettling at times, like taking RIO to the extreme, and Art Zoyd being an obvious reference point, yet there are other times when it is quite brutal in its attack. Against that it can be lulling and gentle, the vocals being gently sung as opposed to be ripped from the throat by demons of Hades. This mix of instrumentation, sparse arrangements and vocals combine with a musical direction which is all over the place and in itself that is quite unsettling as the listener is never sure what is going to happen next, and whether it is a journey they really wish to complete. This certainly isn’t for the unwary, and due to the manner it straddles so many genres, it may find itself being too far removed from what is generally expected, to be accepted even by those who want their music to be weird and challenging. As for me, although it may not be something I will listen to repeatedly for pleasure, for some quite perverse reason I am very glad I have heard it. Most definitely this is one to play on Bandcamp before purchase, and it will take quite a few listens to don’t totally discard after the first one.

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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