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Rogga Johansson and his Paganizer belongs to the most active and prolific death metal bands of the recent years. Basically every year brings us some new recordings! OK, to be honest, not all of them are totally great, some are little bit boring, some clearly have just material of fillers and mediocrity (like the split with Depression). But most of the full length albums of Paganizer are really awesome. Especially in the early 00’s the band has spawned several great albums and every next year another killer came. 2001 was a year of “Promoting Total Death”, then 2002 was the year of “Dead Unburied” (and then next year “Murder Death Kill” arrived and in 2004 “Divine Rapture”, another two fantastic albums!). “Dead Unburied” was again released by Forever Underground, what makes it quite hard to get nowadays (but it was re-released on a compilation with first three Paganizer albums)… But believe me, it is worth getting.
When listening of “Dead Unburied” there’s one thing, which strikes you from the beginning and which when compared to the “Promoting Total Death” album is a great advantage and improvement… and that is the production of “Dead Unburied”. The album was recorded in the Sunlight Studio with Tomas Skogsberg. More so, the mastering was fixed by Dan Swano… So, two masters of the Swedish death metal sound are responsible for this record! And you can hear it; the sound on “Dead Unburied” is fantastic. It is brutal, the guitar tone is low, fat and heavy, the whole music is like a bulldozer of Swedish death metal. And finally, also Rogga’s growl is kind of deeper and better. So, in this aspect I think that “Dead Unburied” is a great improvement when comparing to the previous album.
Musically maybe the difference is not as big, because both albums walk the same path of brutal, crushing mid tempo death metal in the vein of Grave (who else hehe!). Paganizer didn’t really change much when comparing to the previous album, but maybe the one, but quite important modification, is the fact that on “Dead Unburied” there are many more faster, blasting parts, what only makes the whole album even more aggressive and massive. Really, quite many songs on this album have the tempo increased, so imagine how the whole music sounds, with this crushing production! It is just a death metal slaughter! Just listen to such killer songs as “Even In Hell”, “Napalm Burial”, “Flesh Supremacy”… So, with such fast songs, in many ways, this album is better than its predecessor, more ultimate, devastating piece of old styled death metal. I also must mention such slower masterpieces as “Beyond Redemption”… and yes, what a killer stuff is here! It is just a shame that Forever Underground Records didn’t do much to promote the album at the time of its release...
Standout tracks: “Even In Hell”, “Landscape Made of Human Flesh”, “Flesh Supremacy”, “Beyond Redemption”
Final rate: 75/100
...Grave. But a damn good try nonetheless. Paganizer is one of those new old school Swedish bands, playing the hearty mid-tempo death created by folks like the Entombed and the aforementioned Grave. While Paganizer does throw in some blast beats to set themselves apart, the blastbeats mostly sound awkward (except on the merciless first track). Paganizer is most at home letting out a mighty roar right before a big old Swedeath breakdown.
The vocals are cookie monster low, very much in the style of Jorgen Sandstrom, but perhaps with a little less variety. Speaking of Jorgen, he even appears on this album somewhere - but I have no idea which track it is on. Which should give you a clue as to how similar the two vocalists sound. The guitar tone is straight out of Entombedland, low and crunchy - essential to this type of music. The drummer seems most comfortable when laying down that driving, relentless groove - as I said before a lot of the faster parts sound loose and underpracticed. I get the feeling that later albums may find this band with a more precise blastbeat attack. The bass does its job in backing up the general heaviness.
I must say that I like this band a LOT better than Ribspreader, whose tracks all sound the same. While DEAD UNBURIED does suffer from some repetition in its own right, there are certainly some standouts. "Even In Hell" has fast mixed in very well with slow - it is a great punch-in-the-face opener. The next track that catches my ear is "Napalm Burial," though it is not as good as the upcoming "Flesh Supremacy" - a true Swedeath masterpiece. "At Night They Come" is rad too, reminds me of "Scars" from SOULLESS. "Hateconsumed" is a good choice for a closing track - as a listener it always gives you a more favorable opinion of the album in general if the last song is deathtastic.
So for fans of bands like Kaamos or the old masters like Grave, this is an album for you. It has grown on me more and more since purchasing it, and despite some filler it does a fine job of victimizing the listener. I recommend spending a little more time on the lyrics (murder, death, kill, kill, death, murder, hate and pain, murder, etc.) and the placement of faster drum parts (or at least how the blasts sound over the guitars) to allow this album to stand up to the works of its predecessors.