Monday, June 29, 2015


Johansson & Speckmann: Mask of the Treacherous (Vic Records)
As you can tell from the name, this is death metal living legend Paul Speckmann (Master) and old school death metal songwriting mastermind Rogga Johansson, whose list of musical endeavors is beyond substantial (if you are curious, look him up on Metal Archives and get ready to be surprised). The cool thing about this album is that it is solid, strong and upfront death metal by people who are consistent, dedicated and reliable. These two men are incapable of fooling anyone because it is not part of who they are. They play old death metal, something along the lines of 80s/early 90s death metal for the present time. Their objective is similar to what Motorhead or Slayer/Overkill or AC/DC represent for their respective genres, except that these two men possibly have more impeccable résumés in terms of style consistency and stubbornness, in a good way. Now that we know all that, let's get to the specifics. First of all, the album sounds great, the Johansson death metal praxis in full force; heavy and memorable; Speckmann's bass is mean, nasty, loud and groovy; the drumming is handled by Brynjar Helgetun, a wilderbeast from the frozen forests of Norway, and has collaborated with Rogga on several projects, and Mr. Helgetun does a great job of keeping the heartbeat, while cooking up his own flavors of grooves and blasting for a rather speedy, banging album; and the Speckmann vocals sound as only Paul can: intense, full of personality, and disgusted with society, injustice and humanity's inhumanity. To conclude, with such trustworthy names in death metal, this album sounds very good, and it is as exciting as I was hoping it would be, and even better. Living legend + metal mastermind = this album!
Johansson & Speckmann - Mask of the Treacherous

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