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When “Murder Death Kill” was released, this album was like a damn awesome feast of traditional, Swedish sounding death metal. Back then (it was released in 2003) not many bands or fans were really interested in this style of music, especially when compared to what’s going on these days. So this also why we loved all these new bands like Kaamos, Repugnant, Eviscerated, Necrovation, Nominon, Revokation, Verminous, Delve, Karnarium and so on. And Paganizer was like a brutal assault of great Swedish death metal riffage that ripped all the guts out. I received this album as a promo and loved it since the first listen. And this is also how I found out about Rogga Johansson and many of his death metal projects. Nowadays I have quite huge collection of his music, with many Paganizer albums and splits or other shit – and this band is surely my favourite from all Rogga’s projects. And well, I can honestly say that this band had its ups and downs, not all releases are that good, but most of them are damn solid and great. But I still enjoy the early albums the most and “Murder Death Kill” is probably my favourite along with “Divine Rapture”.
Every time I play “Murder Death Kill” it’s like a pure joy and excitement. What I like about Paganizer is that it’s straight up death metal, with no bullshit. Their music is aggressive and heavy, it’s also fast and groovy – it all just depends on what song we’re talking about. It’s nothing like the melodic or atmospheric death metal, and damn, you can be surprised sometimes how fast this album is. Paganizer took a lot of influences from bands like (old) Entombed, Grave or Unleashed, but played their shit in way faster and more aggressive manner. The result is still superb. I love their riffs and the fact that they’re quite simple, not super technical or whatever. This is why every song is so easily listenable and the music is just memorable and catchy, but in brutal death metal standards, of course haha! There’s almost a crust feeling, grind core’ish simplicity and straight forwardness sometimes, so you can prepare your neck for a killing pain, which you will suffer after some maniac headbanging sessions with this album. And did I mention the killer, deep vocals of Rogga and super awesome production from Mieszko Talarczyk?? In almost every aspect “Murder Death Kill” is great and there’s only one song (“Du vaknar som död”), which doesn’t do me any damage. But tracks such as “Meateater”, “Bleed Unto Me” or “Dead Souls” are excellent and I am sure of that.
Standout tracks: “Meateater”, “Bleed Unto Me”
Final rate: 75/100
Paganizer is a Swedish death metal band much in the vein of bands like Grave, Nominon and the like, but adding more thrash influence having a unique blend. Almost something like a more brutal Sadus meets Grave, if you can handle that. Either way, being a part of the newer generation of Swedish death metal bands taking much influence off the legends like Entombed, Nihilist and Unleashed with the more brutal side like Grave you get the brain child of Paganizer. Produced by legendary Dan Swano, what more could go wrong?
Nothing really, this is a nice outing of brutal death/thrash with plenty of moments that do no other than make you raise the horns and headbang. Moments like in the opener Meateater, the main riff kicks in and you hear "Thrash!" or something of the similar type, like "Go!" in Slaughter of the Soul, you get it... and then pure chaos ensues with riff mania and brutal almost grindcore-esque vocals. The 'brutal' factor relies heavily in the vocal approach being very guttural and would almost fit well in a grindcore band; although Roger Johansson does a nice job making it a bit more unique with the vocals having them be understandable most of the time.
The musicianship and such is what to be expected, an adequate drummer and rhythm section allowing for a great old school death metal vibe. The drumming isn't anything flashy like having overwhelming blast beats or double bass drums that pound holes into your temples *cough* Vital Remains *cough* and it all works out to show a keen sense of performance and having the old school approach. The guitar tone is perfect, very crunchy yet keeping the low down distortion and having a great chainsaw attack. The solos are spread out and done well, fast and nothing too flashy, just how it should be done in Swedish death metal, none of that Necrophagist bullshit soloing every 3 seconds with non-stop blastbeats. Although I don't mind it a lot of the time, it just doesn't fit well in this style and Paganizer has done it well. The bass is there, not straying out and doing it's job but makes an appearance helping quite a bit with the sturdy rhythm section.
Murder Death Kill is Paganizer's fourth full length, the first one I've heard by them and I plan on investigating more into their catalogue, it's done well and has a great old school Swedish death metal vibe that I greatly enjoy. Swedish death metal done right is what you'll find here on Paganizer's fourth, it's mature (not lyricwise but that's just funny) yet at the same time having outside thrash and brutal death metal influence not always found in this style. The only small problems I have with this is the lack of variety, most of the songs have a very similar structure, but it's death metal and I shouldn't expect too much in variety, but what it lacks for it makes up with enjoyable songs and plenty of headbanging riffs. The vocals as well can be a bit much and too 'brutal' for some liking, but it took a bit to warm up to them, afterwards I just enjoyed it.
It's a fresher approach I haven't found too often here, I highly suggest checking this out for fans of Grave, Nominon, Entombed, and Swedish death metal in general, same with fans of brutal death metal. Paganizer has found a niche apparently keeping the staunch straightforward approach not yielding to change style trends and moving forward, Murder Death Kill is a decent outing with very little drawbacks; those few being too nit-picking to make a difference.
“Is there any true Death metal worshipper that don´t miss the good times when Swedish Death ruled the earth???” is the question asked in the booklet. So, as you all may already know, this album is "true swedish death" metal album, and it sounds just like Paganizer's predecessors like Nihilist, Grave and Carnage. MDK is very brutal and heavy to chew, but if you think that this brutality comes from blast beats (like general U.S death metal...), you're going in the wrong direction. There is, like everywhere nowadays, blast beats, but they don't play so big role in here because chunky and low-tuned guitar/bass riffs do the trick of being complicated and technical at the same time. I think that this very unique and perfect sound is a part of two famous men who did help in producing part: Mieszko Talarzcyk (R.I.P) and Dan Swanö.
If old-school death metal really makes it's new coming, this is already a classic piece. It is so funny to notice that 15 years have passed and nothing really has changed during that time. There is few noticeable off-beats but that doesn't bother at all, because I can't hear any mistakes or total failures in musical department besides that.
Some last words: If you like swedish old-school death metal, you like this band and album too.