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“Never Ending Nightmares” is really quite special. There’s something about the way Rogga Johansson, the one-man-extraordinaire who makes up the entirety of Humanity Delete, pulls together his ear-crunching old school death metal music with paranormal, supernatural, and monstrous themes—a blend that is both captivating and intriguing. From the first track to the last, Johansson appears to have one purpose only, and that is to fill the soul of the listener with a strange, unearthly sense of the supernatural world, utilizing the tools of death metal: descriptive lyrics, violent beat, emotive vocals, and insane lyrics to bring fantasy closer to reality. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Johansson, a Swede, named tracks in this album after Malaysian mythical creatures and other Asian entities. As a Malaysian, this drew my attention hugely not just to the music, but to the lyrics as well.
The title track serves as an effective intro to the rest of the album, setting the atmosphere perfectly. With ghostly vocals that seem to have been performed by Samara from the Ring and a background touch of Gregorian chanting, this evocative track set a bone-chilling atmosphere that was to be followed. Johansson’s beastly growls and unrelenting riffing soon begins with the next track, “The Eight Ice Narakas”, which opens with an explosion of formidable sound but closes soaringly with a surprisingly melodic solo that clinches the overall feel of the song. “Retribution of the Polong” opened with a very niche bluesy intro that had me raising an eyebrow yet nodding in approval. The heaviness that soon follows however almost obliterates the sentimentality initially apparent, bringing listeners back to roots of Death Metal.
The tracks further delve into the realm of the unknown by incorporating a very interesting narrative method, in which the backstory and overall theme of each song comes to life through Johansson’s descriptive lyrics and affecting music. There isn’t anything new to be heard here musically, but then again this is just good old metal fun where listeners can have a ball snapping their necks to the "Never Ending Nightmare"’s music. The imaginativeness and creativity of the album speaks true to me, and Johansson’s admirable skill nicely pulls the entire album together."Never Ending Nightmares" is certainly one hell of a death metal album, and the genius behind it, Rogga Johansson, is certainly one Metal musician to watch. The artistic value of this release trumps all its minor flaws, making it one cool, sleek, well-done album that deserves praise and raves.
Originally written for http://www.metal-temple.com
We all know and respect Rogga Johansson for his undying love of death metal and for all the effort he puts into his music. The guy has been in a million bands, he's an extremely talented musician and he really puts a lot of time into everything he does. The problem is that lots of time spent and effort extruded doesn't necessarily equate to a release nothing less than incredible. Humanity Delete is another one of Rogga's sound-a like projects with only subtle, practically invisible differences that just adds to the resume of one of the most prolific modern day death metal compatriots. For all I know, Rogga is an awesome dude but unfortunately with Humanity Delete's (or Rogga, Himself and Him - he plays every instrument except for a few solos) debut, Never Ending Nightmares, there is very little to really get enamored with, even if the whole album from birth to casket is produced and performed really well.
Short, spiffy songs that sound influenced by the swath of Swedish Death metal that exists in almost every way comprise a twelve track, twenty-nine minute jaunt through stereotypes such as d-beats, short blasting sections and tremolo riffs with weird and 'evil' melodic phrases caked on top. The best example of this album is if you broke up Unleashed's more recent albums into short songs, simplified everything down and lost whatever small sense of memorability existed to begin with. The riffs here are very standard and other than the intro to "Retribution of the Polong" or "The Eight Fire Narakas" which exhibits a pummeling pre-solo bridge, songs are mostly interchangeable. What seems to be the albums version of a single, "Necromantic Sorcery," includes a verse riff which was probably dropped from being part of a far superior "Haunted" (off Grave's Into The Grave for anyone not following me here) but aside from the Grave worship on this track, the track is rekindled by a strong solo section and the obvious amounts of fun it would be to circle pit to the track.
To break down the release into specifics isn't warranted... you know what you're getting here if you're familiar with Paganizer or most of his other projects. Production on this is done tastefully, with a great vibrant and hot sound. Guitars are crusted over chunky blocks of riffing as would expected to come out of every guitar run through an HM2 pedal. No need to discuss the bass guitar as it never does anything of note across the album. The drums are produced at a high level of clarity and you can easily hear every single component though the floor tom is mixed way too high and each wallop elicits a massive overpowering boom that masks any other sound that tries to squeak through. Rogga's vocals are awesome though on this... deep, powerful, aggressive and mucus-filled rumbles which handle the Never Ending Nightmare's East Asian ghost and paranormal superstition focused lyrics (written by Jill Girardi of Dead Beat Media - the label that released the album) well.
Overall... listeners who really thrive on all things Swedish death metal wouldn't be disappointed with Humanity Delete's Never Ending Nightmares but more selective and critical listeners might find the whole thing just a tad too generic to warrant much attention. I mean, Rogga is so good at everything he does the fact that he just can't seem to come up with something to set his music apart from all the other stuff out there these days really is a shame. He deserves some sort of reward for all his hard work but that reward can't just be earned from album after album of stereotypical death metal with two or three above average tracks on it.
Originally written for Contaminated Tones
An almost total one piece act featuring Rogga Johannson on mostly all aspects of the equation executing a superb death/grind release. At first listen, I liked the guitars, but not the vocals. It had to take a couple of listens in order for me to actually considering me writing my own thoughts about this recording. A definitely well worth a listen to. Every aspect of this release upon multiple listens rips it up as an awesome 2012 album. The production quality was excellent and the mixing by Ronnie Bjornstrom was precise. Everything seemed to fit perfectly together as Rogga rips it up on most aspects. The songs were short though, that was the only setback.
Amazing that one guy can stifle almost all instruments and totally all vocal outputs. The guitars sound as though they're tuned down pretty low, which fits the vocals well. There were bar chords galore that were efficient and well put together. It was a combination of that and some tremolo picked frenzies that simply crushed. The quality of the guest solos by Lasse Pyykko were also of high caliber. In any event, Humanity Delete really knows how to construct death/grind to the core. There was literally nothing that bored me about the album. It reminded me a lot of Napalm Death's "Harmony Corruption" in many different ways. The thickness in the guitar work and vocals that were low grunt.
An actual release of 2012 that is worth checking out if your gig is death/grind. The music is what's most noteworthy and catchy. All of the riffs seem as though they're pretty original. The years active date back to 2003, which is weird that it would take almost 10 years to release a full-length album. But Rogga is featured in several bands, so I'm guessing that's why it took so long to construct material for a kick ass album. The music to me had a lot of energy put forth. Lyrical topics were of an odd semblance which included Black Magic in Indonesia. But I guess I could conclude that they fit the music well.
The forte here was not only the music, but the production quality also. The crunch distortion owned, the low throat well ousted the music, the drum efforts were well calibrated, guest solos fit the rhythm guitar well and the drum outputs were quality. Again only about 30 minutes in length of an album, but something to think of and say "hey, 2012 featured mostly low caliber metal, but this one really packed a punch." That was what I thought of it at least. A lot of well known bands put out some real scummy releases whereas this guy seemed to say no to that and wanted something that would be memorable for listeners.
If you're looking for precision in metal, "Never Ending Nightmares" hits home, and that with vigor. Precise mixing, well constructed guitar riffs/solos, vocals that grunt to the core and production quality top notch. Some echo with the voice, a little reverb in the drum department and simple precision in all aspects of the album. Don't leave this release out of your metal collection! It simply slays in all respects! A band that is just really high caliber and a frontman that knows the ropes and how to simply crush on top notch death/grind. Pick this up ASAP and you won't regret it!
Described as a punkish/grind hybrid that delves into the sickest reaches of the cancerous stomach lining, Sweden's Humanity Delete emerges from the swill and clots the brain with a septic effort called Never Ending Nightmares, which is quite spot-on with its descriptive title. While I can certainly hear some punk elements hidden in the structure (what metal music doesn't employ these influences?), make no mistake; this is pure, unfiltered death metal that shreds from the first darkened note to the last hellish chord.
With mainman Rogga Johansson (Ribspreader, The Grotesquery, Paganizer) displaying some more of the talents that make him an underground death metal legend, Humanity Delete is finally emerging after a decade-long hiatus of sorts. Some of the best death metal in the modern day is finely crafted here, and with the lyrical contributions of Jill Girardi (Dead Beat Media) this album makes for a fascinating and deadly engagement. Girardi's knowledge and extensive studying of Asian ghostly lore adds the absolute perfect remaining piece to Johansson's cryptic puzzle, and it was genius to ask for her contributions. Not to be outdone, guitar solos are handled by Hooded Meance's Lasse Pyykko, and his presence seals the frame around these demented dirges of death. The wait for this release was arduous indeed, but after taking this in for the second time in one morning I can truly say that any true fan of death metal will find this CD a soon-to-be classic offering due in large part to its integral approach to the medium and lack of flair for flair's sake. What you hear is what is intended: ugly, yet lightly polished brutality that hold nothing back and simply pounds on your neck nape with wanton recklessness.
From the opening track of “Never Ending Nightmares” the setting is one of foreboding and ill-ease, which had me from the get-go. Once the assault of “The Eight Ice Narakas” takes hold, you know precisely what you're in for, and it only gets better. Much of the systematic death metal that's simmering in the underbelly of the movement can be had here in tracks that often take you on a trance-like trip into the speedy and chaotic realms of Rogga's mindset. When I listen to tracks such as “Dismal Corridors” or “Resurrection Rites”, for example, I immediately catch some early 90's Swedish trails, but the music doesn't rely on its geographical history to push across the point; with all of the modern era production touches perfectly in place, Never Ending Nightmare unleashes a torrent of crunchy guitar riffs and gut-curdling growls that would make Kam Lee or Ola from Grave proud. With death metal one simply cannot reasonably expect a Vivaldi approach to structure and arrangement; this music was designed to implement one goal, and that is to take the devil's chords and turn them into deadly, introspective aneurisms for the willing thinkers. This album does that to a proverbial “T”.
Johansson has an innate feel for what makes for great death metal, and this addition to his impressive lineage only solidifies that statement. You won't get half-assed, opaque efforts in his output at any level. When you listen to “Frozen Apparition” you actually get the feel for some ghostly figure seizing and tormenting you as you vainly flee for your sanity. Jill Girardi adds some of the best lyrics I've heard in some time, and that might well be due to my own fascination with the paranormal subject(s). Between the lyrics and the tremendously invasive music underneath, Never Ending Nightmares is to modern death metal what Carach Angren is to modern black metal: a cold and intelligent foray into the recesses of the other worldly phenomenon that befuddles us all.
Fans of Bloodbath, The Grotesquery, and pretty much any true death metal outfit that sticks closely to the formula without raping the origins will dig this effort that was long overdue, but well worth the wait. Humanity Delete offers you what every sick mind craves: a twisted, yet intelligent jettison into the depravity and fear that drives us to seek out that which we think we want to find. It's a trip well worth the effort, by any means inhumanly necessary.
(Originally written for www.metalpsalter.com)
The major issue I face upon the advent of yet another of Roger 'Rogga' Johansson's latest projects is just how redundant it's going to seem with all the other pieces already in play. Surely, there are few human beings on this planet with as much of a commitment to the death metal genre as this man, and he's entertained me through dozens of records over the past decade. A lot of the groups he's involved with have minor aesthetic gradations in terms of their approach to the beleaguered field, but I do feel that, apart from the teamwork of their varied rosters, there are a few that could be wrapped under the same cloth. Ribspreader, Revolting and Paganizer certainly warrant some level of crossover in terms of their musical content, for instance...
And with Never Ending Nightmares, I feel this is once more the case, as the content could pretty much be interchanged with a number of his other bands, and it really doesn't distinguish itself outside of records like Carnage Junkies, Scandinavian Warmachine or Bolted to the Cross. There's a bit more of a grinding, punk edge to the music that's not uncommon among other Swedish death/d-beat hybrids, and I definitely encountered traces of Napalm Death and Bolt Thrower in both the bursts and grooved rhythms. I do like Rogga's idea of creating 'paranormal' themed grind rather than the usual, atmospheric death metal so often attributed to the theme, and the various samples and creepy bits he intersperses through the material help to give it a consistent, conceptual feeling, but when it comes to the straight burn of the guitar progressions, I do feel like so much of this I've encountered before. So, Humanity Deletes really all comes down to just how much more of this same, Swedish grinding style an audience is seeking to experience, rather than a novelty among Johansson's prolific body of axe-work.
Granted, this is a solo record and not so much a collaboration, so credit should be given to how well he handles each instrument. The guitars have that muddy, repulsive grinding flavor the Swedes have been using since the late 80s, and are usually configured into straight barrages of d-beat chords or uppity, thick tremolo sequences which sound like a blend of Dismember and Lock Up. The bass has a nice, coiled timbre but it is too often smothered by the sheer bulk of the guitars, while the drums are pretty fresh and fun even despite the blueprinted structure of their rhythms. I'd say the star of this show would be Rogga's vocals, which have a loud, pervasive inflection to them and plenty of body and echo carrying into the supernatural apocalypse implied through the horror lyrics. A few of the tunes, like "Retribution of the Polong" take on more of a death'n'roll persona with meaty, churning riffs redolent of Entombed circa the mid 90s.
The lyrics for this were written by Jill at Dead Beat Media, who has used her experience living in Malaysia to pursue Asian stories of the paranormal. In that way, this record definitely breaks some ground for Rogga. In fact, it's quite a contrast to have such corporeal music used to represent such 'incorporeal' haunts, but not an unwelcome one. Lasse from Hooded Menace chimes in on a few of the guitar leads, and they're seasoned, sporadic and unnerving enough to add another level, but ultimately I felt like a lot of the riffing patterns just felt too rehashed from scores of other records for me to truly sink my interest into. The production is great, and if you REALLY love a lot of this D-beat/Swedish/death & grind revival, like Tormented, Mr. Death, Feral, Miasmal, Bloodbath, Paganizer, and so forth, then there's no reason you would not find Never Ending Nightmares a comfort. Yet, compared to the last two albums I've listened to from Johansson's impressive stable, Revolting's Hymns of Ghastly Horror or Putrevore's utterly crushing and superb sophomore Macabre Kingdom, I felt a little short-changed by this.