You can be as fancy and as hi-tech as you like but after fannying around with the latest fads, in the end you’ll go back to what you know.
In a past life the Remmington 870 was my shotgun of choice. Heavy, made of what appeared to be scaffold poles but ridiculously reliable, simple to clean and able to fire not only our SG & solid slug but also RIP & IMP without missing a beat. You had supreme confidence that this weapon would do what it was supposed to under any conditions. Then someone with some pull on the unit decided we should maybe switch to the more modern and sexy looking Benelli Super 90 (not at all swayed by an all-expenses paid trip to the factory I’m sure). Fancy, a lot lighter and able to go from pump to semi auto with the flick of a switch. It was a piece of shit. Couldn’t handle what we put it through without spontaneously dismantling itself and the barrel was thinner than a coke can, reaching hand blistering temperatures. I had more stoppages on this than all the other weapons we had combined and I even saw one “cook off” a cartridge when no one was even touching it. Utter wank and all the operators hated the thing but the powers that be loved it for whatever reason and we were stuck with it.
Where am I going with this you may ask? Well, most modern metal bands are like that Benelli. All “tits & teeth” but when tested are not only unsatisfying but fall to bits.
Of course, Paganizer is the Remington 870! Nothing remotely fancy or hi-tech but solid as fuck and primo quality!
Ten albums in and the Scandinavian Warmachine are at the very peak of their powers on “Land Of Weeping Souls”.
The main man here as ever, is vocalist / guitarist Rogga Johansson.
Cut this man in half and he has “death metal” running all the way through him like a stick of Brighton rock. Rogga is the very definition of the term “work ethic”. I’ve lost count of all the releases this utter riff machine has played on in the last couple of years. Everything from the Bone Gnawer & Grotesquery projects (with Kam Lee) to Minotaur Head, Down Among The Deadmen & Echelon (with David Ingram) the bloke is the byword for quality death metal riffage and if he plays on an album you have my cast iron, copper bottomed guarantee that it’s worth buying.
“Land Of Weeping Souls” follows on less than a year or so from the superb “On The Outskirts Of Hades” EP and this LP showcases an overall faster and meatier sound. The thrashy as fuck opener “Your Suffering Will Be Legendary” is a total blast with pounding drums and knicker dampening riffage. This track also reminded me why I believe Rogga is a really underrated DM vocalist. His voice, to me at least has got more powerful over the years and exhibits some nice little nuances over the course of the ten tracks here. He can growl with the best of ‘em that’s for sure as his roar at the opening to “Dehumanized” shows only too well. This is a super intense three minute bombing raid that will leave your neck feeling like Diane Abbott’s bicycle seat……by that analogy I mean “wrecked” as opposed to “unused”…….obviously. “Forlorn Dreams” up next and this tune, has a really epic feel to it. More mid-paced and with and awesome intro riff / drum combo. Yes please Sir, may I have another? Yes you fucking may!
Every track is a total vertebrae botherer and you’ll be hitting the “play” button again as soon as “Prey To Death” has finished ragging you round like a rabid tiger. Credit to Transcending Obscurity Records of India for picking up Paganizer amongst some other top signings. Good job Kunal!
Paganizer have released another killer record. Everything you want as a fan of Swedish death metal is here. Great, memorable song writing, killer riffs, aggressive but intelligible vocals, tasty leads, and megaton drumming. All soaked in lashings of groove. 100% recommended.
8.5/10 Mark Eve