Kev Rowland

Kev Rowland
MMA Special Collaborator · Errors & Omissions Team
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 25 days ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

612 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 69 3.63
2 Progressive Metal 61 3.97
3 Death Metal 54 3.94
4 Power Metal 50 3.61
5 Heavy Metal 50 3.49
6 Black Metal 43 3.80
7 Thrash Metal 39 3.62
8 Melodic Death Metal 24 4.23
9 Alternative Metal 18 3.58
10 Doom Metal 15 3.60
11 Technical Death Metal 15 3.93
12 Metalcore 14 3.54
13 Folk Metal 13 3.85
14 Groove Metal 12 3.79
15 Deathcore 11 3.77
16 Symphonic Metal 11 3.77
17 Glam Metal 8 3.38
18 Brutal Death Metal 8 4.06
19 Hardcore Punk 7 3.36
20 Melodic Black Metal 7 3.64
21 Metal Related 7 4.79
22 Non-Metal 6 3.75
23 Atmospheric Black Metal 6 3.83
24 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 6 3.58
25 Melodic Metalcore 5 4.10
26 Symphonic Black Metal 5 4.50
27 US Power Metal 5 4.00
28 Stoner Metal 4 3.75
29 Crossover Thrash 4 3.38
30 Death-Doom Metal 4 4.13
31 Avant-garde Metal 3 3.17
32 Gothic Metal 3 4.00
33 Heavy Psych 3 4.00
34 Industrial Metal 3 3.50
35 Sludge Metal 3 2.50
36 Speed Metal 3 3.00
37 Stoner Rock 3 4.33
38 NWoBHM 2 4.00
39 Funeral Doom Metal 2 4.00
40 Depressive Black Metal 1 2.00
41 Grindcore 1 3.50
42 Heavy Alternative Rock 1 3.00
43 Pagan Black Metal 1 3.00
44 Mathcore 1 4.00
45 Trance Metal 1 2.50

Latest Albums Reviews

AUTOPSY Morbidity Triumphant

Album · 2022 · Death Metal
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I can’t be the only one who thought we would never see another Autopsy album, given it had been eight years since the release of ‘Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves’, but they are back, boy are they back. They may have lost bassist Joe Allen, who has been replaced by Greg Wilkinson (who plays with Chris in Static Abyss) but guitarists Eric Cutler and Danny Coralles are there, as they were more than 30 years ago, while at the drumming and vocal helm is the legend who is Chris Reifert. Reifert has rarely put a foot wrong since appearing on Death’s ‘Scream Bloody Gore’, but there are some releases which are more important that others, for multiple reasons, and this is one of those.

The band have stopped and started a few times, and they have periods of intense activity before taking another break, so let us hope that this is the dawn of a new era for the band as this is brutal death with nods to both doom and grind, with hardcore aggression thrown in there for good measure. The guys may not be getting any younger but with this release they are yet again stamping their presence on the throats of the death metal genre and making a huge statement. Reifert is a demon on the drums, yet also provides plenty of finesse, Wilkinson is locked in as he is used to playing with Chris, and then we have Eric and Danny bringing the storm as they have ever since first becoming a partnership back in 1988. On the top of that we have the growls and aggression, yet the band also move into areas which at times are almost black metal as they bring in emotion and atmosphere which means that when they ram it down again the contrast makes the sound even more dynamic.

Autopsy are back with an album which shows they mean business, and let us hope we do not have to wait eight years for the next one!

TRIVIUM In The Court Of The Dragon

Album · 2021 · Melodic Metalcore
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I first came across Trivium when I was asked to review their second album, 2005’s ‘Ascendancy’ which just blew me away. A few years later I was fortunate enough to see them headline a gig in Auckland (supported by Whitechapel, what a night) and then went to see Disturbed just because they were one of the support acts (and then walked out on the headline as they were boring in comparison). Lead singer and guitarist Matt was one of the founders back in 1999 while Corey Beaulieu (guitars, backing vocals) has been there since 2003 and bassist Paolo Gregoletto since 2004 while this is the third album they have recorded with newbie drummer Alex Bent so it is no wonder they are tight.

Here we have a band determined not to live on past glories, but instead are at the height of their powers and have released possibly the finest album of their career to date. Everyone is confident in their place in the group, and at this time in their career feel there is no need whatsoever to restrict themselves in any way, which means they can be intensely melodic here, touching into death there, pushing symphonic there or being downright metalcore if that is what they wish to do. This a dramatic, soaring album which should see them step up in terms of popularity as there appear to be no limits to what they can do after this. However, Trivium’s popularity and media presence has been up and down over the years for some strange reason, even though their output has been consistently solid and this album allowing them to demonstrate just what a powerful entity they can be.

I only hope this release gains enough popularity for themselves to yet again consider coming to the end of the world as this is a superb piece of work which metalheads need to uncover.

MASSACRE Resurgence

Album · 2021 · Death Metal
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It is not unusual for bands to go through line-up changes, but there is no doubt that what has happened with Massacre is a little unusual in that no-one in this line-up played on the last album, while vocalist Kam Lee (Mantas, Bone Gnawer) and bassist Mike Borders were both on the very first demo, 1985’s ‘Aggressive Tyrant’. Joining them in this new line-up are Rogga Johansson, (Megascavenger, Rib Spreader) on guitars, Jonny Pettersson (Wombbath) on guitars, Brynjar Helgetun (Crypticus) on drums, and solo fiend Scott Fairfax (Memoriam, As the World Dies) on guitars. Although this is a brand-new band, Lee has been working with everyone involved for years, Lee says. “Rogga and Brynjar are in my band The Grotesquery, and we’ve been working together since 2009; we have four full-length albums out and a self-released single. Jonny and I have the band Nattravnen together we have a full-length album out. We’ve been doing this band together since 2015. Scott has been an associate for years, and I did some vocal work with him in his band As the World Dies. So, all these members I’ve known and worked together separately on music projects for years. When we started looking to make new music for a new album, we had a couple of other members, but they aren’t worth mentioning and their involvement isn’t important. When it came down to getting the proper people, I had to reach out to members I knew I could trust and who I felt would be able to bring the proper and correct Massacre sound that was demanded.”

Lee is often cited as being one of the most important singers of the early death metal scene, with his trademark growls setting in place the musical style we have all become so used to. That he has worked with everyone in this band means this does not sound like a new line-up but rather is a solid slab of the genre hearkening back to the classic days. It does seem strange to hear Massacre without guitarist Rick Rozz as he is the only person who played on all previous albums, and indeed he and Lee had attempted to form a new version of the band as Massacre X in 2016 before being threatened with legal action and instead performing as Gods of Death.

But whatever anyone thinks of this line-up continuing the name of Massacre, this is a nicely paced album where the band slow it down at times, providing space within the arrangement so that when they bring the fire it is that much more powerful. There are even moments when they toy with some black metal within this, but for the most part this is solid death with all other changes providing contrast which works well. Nice solid release.

GHOST BATH Self Loather

Album · 2021 · Black Metal
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It is safe to say that I was not a fan of Ghost Bath’s last album, 2017’s ‘Starmourner’, and I said that by far the best thing about it was the artwork! The band were still hiding their identities at the time (at one point everyone was convinced they were Chinese), but this time around I have full details in the press release, and they are not Chinese but hail from North Dakota. Originally a solo project by Dennis Mikula (vocals/guitars/synths/lyrics), before becoming a full band with the addition of Tim Church (guitars), John Olivier (guitars), Joshua Jaye (bass), and Jason Hirt (drums). All albums prior to this one were written by Dennis, but this time around it was a band effort even with the rest of the guys living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, so not exactly next door.

Everything which was wrong with the last album is right with this one. When they bring in atmosphere with beautiful piano and cello as on “Sanguine Mask” then they do so incredibly well, and songs like these are in stark contrast to when they become full-blown black metal as in “A Crystal Lattice”. What amazed me with this album is not only the way it is so superior to the previous one, but the amount of depth in their performance. Given what I thought of the last one I never imagined this was even possible, yet here we are with a black metal album which ticks all the boxes. Dramatic, atmospheric, and vital, this is incredibly solid and intense. On previous albums, Mikula expressed himself mostly with glossolalia or speaking in tongues, which allowed him to hide due to his lack of self-confidence, yet here we have him singing in a definable language for the first time which is another pointer to just how much the band have grown and changed.

If, like me, you wrote this band off after their last album, then give them another chance as this is powerful black metal indeed.

SOULFLY Totem

Album · 2022 · Groove Metal
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I clearly remember when Sepultura broke onto the international stage, and when Roadrunner sent me ‘Roots’ to review I was clear that it was one of the most important metal albums ever released, and no-one could have imagined at the time that this would be the last release to feature lead singer and frontman Max Cavalera. He has created bands such as Nailbomb, Cavalera Conspiracy, Go Ahead And Die, and Killer Be Killed but the one with which he will always be mostly closely associated is of course Soulfly.

He always intended it to have a revolving cast of players, but it is something of a surprise to see that guitarist Marc Rizzo has departed as he has been there for years, meaning that for this release we find Soulfly as a trio with some guests helping. It is the fourth album for Max’s son Zyon behind the drums and the second with bassist Mike Leon, but one would think this is a band who have been together forever as they are incredibly tight, and they are continuing the story of this band into its third decade. I felt 2018’s ‘Ritual’ to be their best album since 2000’s ‘Primitive’, and I am glad to hear that this is following in a very similar vein, and it is obvious that Zyon has been paying close attention to his uncle Igor as there are some patterns on the likes of the title cut which have many similarities. I was playing a whole load of music while doing something else, and as soon as opener “Superstition” started I was over to check out what was playing as there is an immense burst of energy and feeling of realism which takes the listener to new levels.

They may be performing a form of groove metal, but they keep moving it is different directions, polished yet with the bite and energy which we expect from these guys. They slow it down, speed it up, always with that passion and power which makes them such a special band. There were times in the past when I felt Max had lost his way with this band, and I did wonder after the stunning Cavalera Conspiracy album whether he would put this to bed, but I am extremely glad he persevered as here is another very fine album indeed.  

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Band Member Revision
    Done 
  • Posted more than 2 years 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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