Kev Rowland

Kev Rowland
MMA Special Collaborator · Errors & Omissions Team
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 3 days ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

456 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 52 3.98
2 Hard Rock 47 3.62
3 Heavy Metal 44 3.56
4 Black Metal 39 3.78
5 Power Metal 37 3.65
6 Thrash Metal 30 3.67
7 Death Metal 29 3.98
8 Melodic Death Metal 16 4.19
9 Metalcore 14 3.57
10 Alternative Metal 14 3.43
11 Doom Metal 10 3.35
12 Folk Metal 10 3.65
13 Technical Death Metal 10 3.95
14 Brutal Death Metal 8 4.06
15 Deathcore 7 4.07
16 Metal Related 7 4.57
17 Symphonic Metal 7 3.71
18 Glam Metal 6 3.58
19 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 6 3.58
20 Non-Metal 5 4.00
21 Groove Metal 5 4.00
22 Melodic Black Metal 5 3.80
23 US Power Metal 5 3.70
24 Atmospheric Black Metal 4 4.00
25 Melodic Metalcore 3 4.00
26 Heavy Psych 3 4.00
27 Industrial Metal 3 3.50
28 Hardcore Punk 3 3.33
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 Avant-garde Metal 2 3.50
35 Crossover Thrash 2 3.25
36 Gothic Metal 2 3.75
37 Grindcore 1 3.50
38 Funeral Doom Metal 1 4.00
39 Depressive Black Metal 1 2.00
40 Death-Doom Metal 1 4.50
41 Death 'n' Roll 1 2.50
42 Pagan Black Metal 1 3.00
43 Sludge Metal 1 2.00
44 Trance Metal 1 2.50

Latest Albums Reviews

LIGHTFOLD Deathwalkers

Album · 2019 · Power Metal
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It has been some five years since their debut album, and the Greek band seem to have been through quite a few changes as it appears that only singer Martin Deathwalker and guitarist Thanasis Labrakis are still in the fold. I am guessing that Martin Deathwalker and Theodor Martinis, who was lead singer on the debut, is the same person but have no idea if he changed his name to tie in with the album, or if the album is named as such to tie in with him. Here is band who are bringing together elements of both power metal and progressive metal, so much so that I can envisage them being tagged with either sub-genre. There are times when this comes together really well, and others when it jars. The use of old-fashioned keyboards makes me think at times of classic RPI, but sometimes the guitars just don’t work as they should, with the sounds diverging instead of coming together.

On ‘Angel of the Earth” there is a female co-lead vocalist, and she makes quite a difference. The band seem to be more focussed, as they move more into Dreamwalkers territory, and everything just seems that little bit tighter and even the guitar solo makes sense. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case through the album, as they go up and down in terms of quality (although the production is superb throughout). But, there is promise here and there so let’s see what the next album brings and if they can be stable in the lead up to it.

LAST IN LINE II

Album · 2019 · Heavy Metal
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When ex-Dio bandmates Vinny Appice, Jimmy Bain, and Vivian Campbell got together for a jam in 2011, they could not have foreseen that a new band was going to come out of it. The session was so much fun that they brought in singer Andrew Freeman and the band was born, named after one of the Dio albums which the three of them had played on. During the course of 2014 and 2015, the band wrote and recorded 12 new songs and chose long-time friend Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Foreigner) as producer. Their debut album, ‘Heavy Crown’ was released in February 2016, hitting number 1 on the Billboard Heat-Seekers Chart, with the singles “Devil In Me” and “Starmaker” leading the charge. Jimmy Bain passed away at the age of 68, but the band decided to continue and for the second album brought in Phil Soussan (ex-Ozzy) to fill his spot.

The result is an album which feels modern yet dated at the same time. If I had been given this and not told anything about it, I would have said that apart from the modern production what we have here is a band heavily influenced by Bad Company, and it was probably a “lost” record from that time. It certainly doesn’t sound as if it is modern release, and the use of the name while identifying the musicians certainly doesn’t provide any clues to the music they are playing (unlike Heaven and Hell, for example). Freeman is an incredible singer, with a real depth and breadth to his voice, much like a modern-day Paul Rodgers, but there is little in the way of flashiness from the rest of the guys as they concentrate on providing the support for Freeman to do his stuff. There are times when it comes over really well, but others when it almost seems like the guys are treading water and one wishes they would just up the tempo and get on with it. Interesting, but definitely not essential.

INDESTRUCTIBLE NOISE COMMAND Terrible Things

Album · 2019 · Thrash Metal
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Although the current rhythm section only came on board in 2012, the rest of the guys were in I.N.C. when they unleashed their thrash debut ‘The Visitor in 1988. They took a break between 1990 and 2010 but have been active ever since. Original formed as Genocide Inc. back in 1986, released some demos, then changed their name in the same year when they realised there was another band with the same moniker, and Dennis Gergely (vocals), Erik Barath (guitars) and Tony Fabrizi (guitars) have been there throughout. They started off playing thrash, and don’t see any reason to change now, and musically this has a great deal in common with the scene of 30 years ago.

This is their fifth album, their third since reforming, and If I had to guess where they hailed from I would have been correct in New York as it as if they are taking Anthrax and Overkill and then bringing in a touch of hardcore from Life of Agony, and there is the sound. The vocals are strong and melodic, more in common with power metal than many of the thrashers out there, and it certainly doesn’t sound like a self-release. They are full of confidence, probably not surprising given the length of time the core of the band has been together, and the result is something which may not be totally essential but is a damn fine dandruff loosener all the same.



IN FLAMES I, the Mask

Album · 2019 · Alternative Metal
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It is safe to say that I wasn’t a fan of the last In Flames album, ‘Battles’, where I said “Now, change isn’t necessarily bad, and it can often be good, but then there are also the concerns that the band haven’t changed so much as having left the planet altogether and gone into a new universe. Possibly one where they have been starved of oxygen which could explain what they are doing now.” So, when I realised there was a new album out, I wasn’t exactly overjoyed at the prospect of listening to it. Between this album and the last they have changed the rhythm section, and one wonders just how much that has had an impact on the overall sound as although this is not a return to the classic sound which made them so many fans, it is certainly a huge leap to the better.

Okay, so it is still alternative metal as opposed to the melodic death with which they made their name, and the overall sound seems quite compressed and being kept under tight control as opposed to being allowed to roam free and find the right spot. They still sound as if they are angry young Americans as opposed to a Swedish act who have been together for nearly 30 years and should really know better by now. But the riffs are tight, the guitar interplay works, and I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed the album. I found myself playing it without gritting my teeth and bearing it just for the sake of a review, which is a massive difference between the last release and this one. There is no way that In Flames will ever have the impact they did when they burst onto the scene all those years ago, but if they keep producing music like this then old fans may at least tolerate what they are doing, and they may even gain some new ones. I won’t be so hesitant when I next see a new album by the band, and that at least is progress.

BOTANIST EP2: Hammer of Botany + Oplopanax Horridus

Album · 2019 · Black Metal
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We all love sub genres of sub genres don’t we? Well, Botanist are described as a highly creative Experimental Avant-garde Black Metal band, or, in their perspective, Green Metal. Musically it is mostly drums with piano (with the sustain pedal kept down for the most part) plus some vocals, sometimes males and sometimes female, which may be up in the mix or so far back it is difficult to even hear them. The result is something which definitely has a black metal feel to it, but it shows just how broad the genre is as there are no guitars to be heard. Botanist is a new signing to Aural Music, and to celebrate this is a reissue of 2015’s limited edition ‘EP2: Hammer of Botany’ recording, along with a new song, the 13-minute “Oplopanax Horridus,” (a solo recording from mainman Otrebor, which does contain additional instruments), which takes the total length to 34 minutes.

Apparently, Botanist is highly rated in the scene, and his website is certainly interesting, but this is an artist who really deserves to be heard before purchase and fortunately he has released all his music through Bandcamp, so it is easily obtainable. For me, I can’t imagine ever voluntarily listening to this again, even though I have very wide and eclectic tastes, as this doesn’t work for me although others obviously feel differently about it.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 5 months 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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