Paganizer

Megascavenger – At the Plateaus of Leng Review

Megascavenger – At the Plateaus of Leng Review

“The idea of a death metal version of Tobias Sammet’s ambitious and overblown Avantasia vanity project is sure to inspire curiosity and I suspect, a fair amount of bemused doubt and sniggers. After all, that vehicle famously attempted to cram every notable metal vocalist into diverse styles of music ranging from Euro-power to hard rock and even poppy hair metal. Leaving aside the success ratio of that project (which was surprisingly high), dragging that template into the crusty world of death metal could easily lead to a train wreck on the scale of Six Feet Under covering Yes and Jethro Tull.” Is this a disaster or a delight? Steel Druhm gives you the straight skinny.

Johansson & Speckmann – Sulphur Skies Review

Johansson & Speckmann – Sulphur Skies Review

“Neither rain, nor snow nor soccer riots can keep the Rogga Johansson express from it’s appointed rounds through the Swedish death metal landscape. This is the fourth album I’ve reviewed in 2013 that had his bloody prints all over it (Megascavenger, Just Before Dawn, Paganizer) and he’s in countless other projects as well (Demiurg, Ribspreader, etc. etc. to infinity and beyond). As I study the endless tide of Rogga works, I’m left to marvel at both his inhuman productivity and the overall quality of the material he creates. Johansson & Speckmann is his new collaboration with the legendary Paul Speckmann of long running, seminal death act Master. With such a titanic union, one obviously expects great stuff (and shitty, DIY album art) and since between them they cover the spectrum from Swedish to American death, the possibilities seem limitless (well, except by the parameters of death metal).” Have you felt like it’s been too long since a new Rogga release cropped up? Me too!

Paganizer – World Lobotomy Review

Paganizer – World Lobotomy Review

“More Rogga?? With Mr. Johansson being involved in one of every three reviews I write lately, maybe we should change the website name to Rogga o Rama. I’ve recently examined his Megascavenger and Just Before Dawn projects and here he is again with his main outfit, Paganizer (he also has a collaboration with Paul Speckmann of Master coming in a few weeks). The man is an omnipresent force in the Swedish death scene (hell, he IS the Swedish death scene) and he’s been responsible for lots of rich, creamy death metal. In all honesty though, I’ve always found Paganizer to be a pretty spotty act. Some of their early output was solid and some of the more recent stuff was less so.” So does World Lobotomy cause brain damage or suffer from it? Our resident Rogga expert Steel Druhm is back from the nervous hospital to provide his diagnosis.

Just Before Dawn – Precis Innan Gryningen Review

Just Before Dawn – Precis Innan Gryningen Review

“Another project from Rogga Johansson? When does the man sleep and find time for the finer things in life, like beer and Mexican wrestling? These questions plague me as I peruse the list of bands, side-projects and side-side projects which Rogga has his paws on (The 11th Hour, Paganizer, Demiurg, Megascavenger, Ribspreader, etc. etc.). Now you can add Just Before Dawn, which is his collaboration with Anders Biazzi (Blood Mortized, ex-Amon Amarth) and a gaggle of friends from bands like Puteraeon, Zombification, Revel in Flesh and Godhate. Together they’ve churned out a crusty, thick and vicious ode to all things Bolt Thrower and Asphyx, which is similar to Rogga’s recent work with Megascavenger, but better and more consistent.” Do you like Bolt Thrower? Do you think metal and war go hand in hand? Are you okay with retro Swedish death? If the answer to all these questions is yes, join Sgt. Steel Druhm on the front lines as he examines Just Before Dawn.

Demiurg – Slakthus Gamleby Review

Demiurg – Slakthus Gamleby Review

When I was doing my interview with Ed Warby last November, I reached the end of the review and he mentioned that I hadn’t asked about Demiurg. Embarrassed, I admitted that I hadn’t heard Demiurg and was quickly informed as to its nature. To paraphrase Warby (who plays drums in this band, in case you didn’t know that) this is the “Rolls Royce” among vocalist Rogga Johansson’s bands and a real juggernaut of Swedish death metal. He hooked me up with a copy of The Hate Chamber, the band’s second record, and I was duly impressed. The band, made up of Rogga (Bone Gnawer, Paganizer, Ribspreader, The Grotesquery), Dan Swano (maybe you’ve heard of him), Johan Berglund (This Haven, The Grotesquery) and Ed Warby (The 11th Hour, Gorefest, Hail of Bullets, and more), has come back in 2010 with a new take on their already well-developed and unique sound.

The 11th Hour – Burden of Grief Review

The 11th Hour – Burden of Grief Review

When I started this review zine I had a friend who told me that I shouldn’t write in the first person on here. That as a reviewer I was to try to write objectively, like my opinion is fact and not simply a jaded metal guy on the Internet spewing his opinions about records. I think this is impossible for a lot of reasons, but one of them is that we all like certain things and dislike other things. I’ve been decried by readers for liking certain records that are apparently aren’t metal enough for them. Whereas others think I’m too hard on their favorite band. But this record proves my point that one needs to write from a place of opinion. See, I have never been the world’s biggest doom metal fan. To be totally frank, I associate a lot of doom with “funeral doom” or “drone doom,” which is a genre that I find to be incredibly boring. And honestly, I like bands that bring it with intensity and speed. I like staccato riffing and tight technicality and progressive approaches. I’ll make no bones about it, I normally associate slow and boring in my brain. That’s right, I probably have hated on your favorite doom metal band of all time at one point or another. So consider that when you’re reading this review and take it for what it is.