The Busy Man from Sweden pt. II


I am become death metal.

Onwards we march in our quest to listen to every Rogga Johansson album of 2022. Fair warning: while we’ve seen some diversity in part one, all that’s left now are all the full-on Rogga projects that seem hell-bent on disproving my benevolent thesis of “hey, maybe not all his bands sound the same.”

PaganizerBeyond the Macabre

June 24th | Guitar, Vocals

So this is Paganizer. Acitve since 1998, they’ve been putting out classic death metal every year with relentless reliability. The one poor soul who wasted their time reviewing this on MA (ha, what a chump!) says this is their best since 2003’s Murder Death Kill. Yay? All’s I can say is it’s not completely terrible. There’re some fun riffs here and there and neat little melodic leanings. The title track exemplifies both, but it also displays how the drummer consistently fails to keep up stable blasts and generally seems to struggle to keep time. More often than not, everything sounds slightly off. He’s been in various death metal bands for well over a decade, so you’d think he’d be more professional, but maybe he merely treated this thing with exactly the amount of reverence it deserves. Meh(tronome)!

RevoltingBorn to be Dead

November 29th | Guitar, Vocals

This one’s the record that kicked me down this rabbit hole in the first place. How melodic! How fun! Maybe I’ve been wrong about Rogga! Listening again now, I’ll maintain that if you’re into melodeath, this is a good Johansson project for you, and I quite dig the notable crust influence. When it’s sandwiched between Paganizer and Ribspreader, however, it gets a lot harder to muster much enthusiasm. Rogga said in an interview that he kinda considers this his main outlet now, and good for him; I’d probably pick this one over the other two as well. Then again, a world where I’m reduced to such a selection is not one where having ears is a particularly desirable trait. Good enough I guess!

RibspreaderCrypt World

May 31st | Guitar, Bass, Vocals

Another of Rogga’s juggernauts that’s been going for close to 20 years, and together with Paganizer, probably most responsible for what you think of when you hear his name. How do the two compare? The crisper and brighter production of this one, not to mention the actually competent drummer, already make it a fair bit more enjoyable. Other than that, there’s less melody and uhh… maybe more groove? Everything feels more smoothbrained, which is generally a good thing. “Good Hatchet Fun” can be considered a programmatic title, as fun seems to be the prime directive. In that regard, it cashes in on the promise that Heir Corpse One made, but that’s not to say that this desperately needed to exist or that I’ll be coming back to it. Fart!

Rogga JohanssonInside the Otherwhere

November 2nd | Guitar, Bass, Vocals

Well, there you have it. That’s your solution. Rogga should just release all the OSDM projects he’s fronting under his own name with a rotating cast of musicians. Cleans up the vita a bit and lets people know what they’re in for. Alas, I have to admit that this is different enough to warrant the different moniker. It’s hitting a spot similar to Furnace (ah, the golden days of this endeavour), but with a bit more of a doom tinge. Call it melancholic melodeath, maybe. The sound and vibe kinda remind me of Paths of Possession. Remember them? It was a Corpsegrinder side project that’s long since fallen by the wayside. He shoulda made a new one of those instead of his solo album… sorry, just needed to remind myself that music not made by Rogga exists. This probably isn’t that great, but at this point, I’m thankful for any fresh wind in my sails. Running on fumes!

Those Who Bring the TortureCosmos Osmosis

January 28th | Stuff

Nope, that previous record was not enough to tide me over. The straw that broke the brewery horse’s back (is that a good German equivalent to a camel?) is called Cosmos Osmosis and it’s not on Bandcamp, but do you actually care? I can’t believe I called it bad news when I couldn’t find Battle Axis anywhere. I was hoping these last few records would be equally unavailable. While my addled mind insisted it could hear differences between Spreadernizer and Corpse Revolt and Mass Pagan, I’m not gonna sit here and try to justify the existence of another one of these fucking albums. Gun to my head, I’d say it kinda sounds like Bloodbath. Just kidding; gun to my head, I’d say pull the fucking trigger, you coward. Take me to the glue factory!

War MagicForeverwar

Sometime | Blurgh

“Bro please bro, just one more death metal project bro, I swear it’s gonna be different bro, please, I know I have dozens of projects at home I never play with, but this is different bro, please just let me start this new one, listen bro, you know how that guy from Bolt Thrower featured on the Ribspreader record, or maybe it was Paganizer, bro that got me thinking bro, I should make something about war bro, how have I never thought of that, it’s genius bro, please, this is gonna revolutionize the game bro, I got machine gun samples and everything bro, please, where are you going bro?!”

CarveProcession of Fools

This also | exists

A side project of Paganizer. You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me. I’m out.

Oof. Okay. What have we learned? Furnace is good. Endrot told us as much two years ago, so that wasn’t really news. If I’d known we’d seen both the high point and the low point (Echelon) back in part one, I would have stopped writing (and listening!) a loooong time ago. Sorry about that, but hey, science isn’t always fun, and a thesis has to be thoroughly tested. And even though the majority of Rogga’s output did turn out to be very similar and very much what I expected, I’m not mad at the guy. None of this stuff is likely gonna make anyone’s list if they’ve ever heard death metal before, but none of it is bad enough to outright make fun of, either. If he has the time and means to do what he loves, more power to him. He certainly knows his craft well enough. Just don’t binge all this shit in the course of a weekend like I did. This probably should never have been more than a Spotify playlist.

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