Monday, July 8, 2019

Rogga Johansson

Rogga Johansson
Entrance to the Otherwhere
Transcending Obscurity Records
19 July 2019
“Rogga Johansson is a Swedish man that doesn’t know who you are or what you want. If you want ransom, he can tell you that he has no money. What he can tell you is that he has a very particular set of skills, skills he’s acquired over a very long career in death metal, skills that make him an icon for people like you. If you let your money go now, that’ll be the end of it. He will not look for you, he will not pursue you, but if you don’t, he will look for you, he will find you and he will rock you.” –Liam Neeson
The type of death metal career is illustrated by the Metal Archives list of musical endeavors. It looks like this: Dead Sun, Down Among the Dead Men, Echelon, Eye of Purgatory, Grisly, Humanity Delete, Johansson & Speckmann, Lobotomy Dept, Megascavenger, Necrogod, Paganizer, Putrevore, Rogga Johansson, Revolting, Ribspreader, Severed Limbs, Stass, The Cleaner and Mr. Filth's Van Murders, The Grotesquery, Those Who Bring the Torture, To Descend, ex-Bloodgut, ex-Carve, ex-Demiurg, ex-Foreboding, ex-Minotaur Head, ex-Skeletal Spectre, ex-Swarming, ex-Terminal Grip, ex-The Skeletal, Eaten (Swe), Troikadon, ex-Banished from Inferno, ex-Fondlecorpse, ex-Graveyard After Graveyard, ex-Sinners Burn, ex-Soulburn, ex-The 11th Hour, ex-Deranged (live), ex-Bone Gnawer, ex-To the Gallows.
According to the discography available on Metal Archives, the total number of releases is over one hundred and fifteen releases. Again, that’s more than 115 releases, according to Metal Archives. Don’t let anyone, including this publication, fool you. Check it out for yourself and find out the truth about Rogga and his work. Is this man a scam artist? Are the projects real or fake? What is the deal with this dude? Paganizer, Ribspreader, Megascavenger, and Johansson & Speckmann are some of the most known entities and those get pretty good reviews as death metal music. Anyone that has thought to themselves, “I really enjoy old-school death metal and want lots more of it,” that person finds a way to this album for the satisfaction of the desire to hear songs that are heavy but easy to understand and enjoy. The experience and skills of the man speaks for itself. It is meat-and-potatoes, heavy, catchy old-school death metal that big fans of the classic sounds of the genre would quickly welcome, while younger fans will find the directness of the music refreshing.
On this particular album is Rogga apparently recruited a longtime collaborator, Brynjar Helgetun, for the drums, and Rogga supposedly takes care of everything else. This is traditional, heavy and fun death metal with the mentality of The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, The Ramones or Motörhead applied to the songwriting in death metal. The music does not need a bunch of qualifiers besides classic-style or traditional death metal that’s focused on straightforward songs to jam in your car, on the bus, at the gym or while you do your summer school homework. You don’t have to a university degree in music theory to understand this. The only requirement is an obsessive fanaticism for death metal. Some of the songs are more brutal, some have a faster pace, while others are comfortable headbobbing midtempos, and others have a bit of a slower feel in some places. The songs feature hooks or melodies working over the chugging, heavy riffing. Rogga nowadays throws in little surprises for fun; nothing weird; nothing huge, but they are there. For instance, the second song “Till Bergets Puls” is an infectious number and one that people will want to play repeatedly. The song features some melodic keyboards that will have some fans maybe raising an eyebrow. It’s a simple keyboard melody. This song is the type that some young fan out there, somewhere, may find herself or himself inspired to make into a new subgenre by writing a whole bunch of songs in this accessible style. Track number six is called “Berget Vaknar” is two minutes and forty seconds of somber, simple keyboards for atmospheric meditative music perfect for yoga, prayer or contemplation. Of course, fans need not worry. All is alright in Roggaland and there is plenty of catchy death metal to be had.

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