Rogga Johansson is probably one of the most prolific creators of heavy music out there. There’s a seemingly endless stream of Death Metal projects he’s calling his own or is involved in. And sometimes this makes me want to contact this guy to help poor old RMR figure out how one manages all that complexity without going insane.
And we have a confession to make. The RMR crew ignored former Paganizer records. Because of, you know, too much Rogga. And that can lead to total sensory overload and metallic depression. But here, the mighty review committee decided to give it a go. After all, there’s been some time since the last one from this rugged shore of the Death Metal camp crossed our hawse.
And truly, Beyond the Macabre doesn’t disappoint. The record buries you in an avalanche of atrocities right off the bat. It’s all somewhat similar to Eye of Purgatory without the flourishes. You’ll get a taste of a reasonably brutal brand of Death Metal. One that doesn’t quite hide its elegant influences of slam and thrashy moments of speed. Nor does it conceal its Swedish origins either.
Yet, if you’re on the lookout for variation and miscellaneous melodic tunes, this album ain’t for you. Paganizer here decided to just unleash the beast and run with it. And this renders this record particularly prone to repetitions, perceived or not. It also makes – in turn – for a pretty long 40 minutes of ruthless Death Metal assault. One that creates that sickly feeling of being in a meat grinder at times. And how could you not with titles like Meatpacker or – again – Menschenfresser1)?
And that’s what finally sold us. Like a friggin’ avalanche of Cannibal Corpse leftovers, this mighty stream of smelly putrid flesh just carried us away. A grim and brutal reminder as to how well-hung Death Metal should sound like. So, in other words, Beyond the Macabre secured itself the best cuts that the DM world offers. And – in turn – added a bit of refinement by adding some delicate melodic elements and the occasional brief solo.
Now, does that new ferocious metal attack mean that we got new choice ideas and stylish tunes? No, not quite, records new and old will – by design – always be similar. Nor did we really expect anything in that department. After all, once we fire up a Johansson piece, we fully expect to get a full dose of Rogga fare, vicious snarls included. And this new record for sure does not disappoint. If anything, this new album may well be quite a bit fiercer with some truly tasty malevolence.
So, ultimately, Beyond the Macabre got us a mighty dose of what Swedish Death Metal is all about. Brutal, speedy, and relentless. A continuous frontal metal attack that might very well destroy your eardrums AND your equipment. And it also shows one Rogga Johansson in full form.2) So, if your dark metal soul hungers after a gory afternoon of macabre debauchery, this is the right record for you. Yet again, I fear that it might not age all that well as the suspicious beef it proposes. Or is it really – beef? Who knows, right?
Oh, and all you butchers and meatpackers out there, have a care. Paganizer just entered your gory realm, and they run a mean business. So, lock yer doors, the macabre is out to get you. And it usually haunts you after midnight, and it takes no prisoners. You have been warned.