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After a few delays we've finally got the new Paganizer album, their first full length release since 2004's No Divine Rapture. Though this album didn't quite live up to my expectations, it's still quite good, and aside from the dozen new songs up for offer, there are a number of bonus tracks. Also, expectations are like assholes, we've all got them. And I am definitely an asshole.
The album begins with "Death Plain and Simple", which is an adequate description of not only this song, but the entire album. It's still mired in that roots Swedish death metal of bands like Grave. I thought the song was pretty mediocre, but already the 2nd track "Among the Unknowing Dead" is an improvement, with a lot of raw energy. Other worthy tracks on the album are "Just Here Rotting", "Heal Not Your Wounds", "Carnage Junkie", "Mummified Alive" and "The Rope Tightens". This is a band who plug in and deliver to you everything the death metal maven appreciated about the early 90s Swedish scene. Evil rhythms and aggressive, meaty sound.
There is just no questioning Rogga's love for this sound: Carve, Ribspreader, Deranged, Edge of Sanity, Demiurg, Those Who Bring the Torture, and Putrevore!? That's quite a resume, and the man is basically Swedish death incarnate. Carnage Junkie is another notch in his belt, a worthwhile album, but lacks some of the vitality of previous Paganizer albums like Murder Death Kill or the amazing Dead Unburied. Still, as a large fan of this guy's bands I'm sure I'll be spinning it some more. There are a half dozen tracks here to die for, pun intended.
First of all, I would like to beg Vic Records to be a bit more careful with the work they do on the promo CD’s, since there is a spelling mistake on the front, and not anywhere that it won’t really matter, but instead of PAGANIZER, it says "PAGANZER" with big letters. You could make a mistake anywhere else, but on the band’s name?
I guess that many of you Death Metal maniacs will know Johansson, a man that won’t rest even for a second. The always busy musician has offered already two more releases this year (DEMIURG, THOSE WHO BRING THE TORTURE), and this is one more that is being added his career. This man became known from his participation in the last EDGE OF SANITY album as a vocalist. So, what does he have to offer with this new PAGANIZER album?
"Carnage Junkie" was supposed to be released in 2006, then postponed to 2007 etc. The fact is that it ended up being released now and PAGANIZER wouldn’t miss the chance to reward their fans’ patience with 5 bonus tracks. After having listened to the album I guess that the band’s fans will be satisfied with the approximately 50 minutes (including the bonus tracks) this album contains. PAGANIZER’s intention was to play old school Death Metal right from the beginning, and as we all might know, Johansson is a musician that almost never crossed the Swedish Death Metal borders.
What "Carnage Junkie" gives to you is totally rotten old school European Death Metal that will remind you of Rogga’s other bands/projects, as well as Swedish Death Metal titans like GRAVE and DISMEMBER. The guitars are "singing" their brutal symphony, the rhythm section is exactly what this music needs and Johansson is the classic beast behind his microphone. The band has made a nice combination between fast outbreaks and mid tempo groovy riffing, something that makes the album avoid being monotonous. The production is also really nice having the necessary dirt, while maintaining a "modern" clear sound.
Of course we are not talking about the top Death Metal release for 2008, but what the fuck? Don’t you want some good quality Death Metal for you? I guess that it is Sweden’s turn to surprise us this year and all the good old school stuff come from there.
Originally written for Metal-Temple.Com