Rogga Johansson is the eponymous band of the unheralded death metal legend who’s responsible for masterminding other bands such as Paganizer, Revolting, The Grotesquery, Necrogod and many others.
This here is his solo project and he’s created some of the best music you’ll hear where classic Swedish death metal goes. He’s found a way to incorporate searing melodies without compromising on the trademark heaviness, and it’s a balance that few have managed to pull off in recent times.
With a magnificent artwork by Mariusz Lewandowski (Eremit, Bell Witch, Jupiterian) bringing to life Rogga’s glorious vision of pristine death metal that disregards all trends and pays homage to the genre’s progenitors, ‘Entrance to the Otherwhere’ is immaculately put together and promises to linger in the minds of listeners long after the album is over. There is little doubt that this is Rogga Johansson’s finest hour and it will be released on the 19th July 2019 via Transcending Obscurity Records.
Rogga Johansson gets death metal, he gets how to combine melody with a pummelling showcase of intensity. That much is clear the very moment The Re-emergers kicks off with a a pounding drum beat, crazy-fast riffing and feral vocals. Yet it is so organised and easy on the ears, it’s to be marvelled at.
Don’t be under any misconceptions, this is still a heavy album. A very heavy album in fact, just wait until you hear the percussion on it, but Johansson has layered it with wicked levels of melody that just takes this record to even higher heights.
Following that stonking opener, it’s up to Til Bergets Puls and When the Otherwhere Opens to continue the great work. Which, of course, they do. Both track are wonderfully heavy and fast but with joyful amounts of melodic moments too. Top notch metal from a band playing with unparalleled confidence.
It’s more of the same (that drumming is so good) with Giants Walking At Night and As Evil Seeps Out but that is no complaint. Roaring riffing, vocals that sear through the mind and a constant pummelling of percussion, what is there to complain about?!
Berget Vaknar breaks things up with a short, sorrowful yet sweet sounding melody before giving way to the final third of the album. The title track, A Journey Into Fear and In the Grip of Garpedans making sure we don’t have any low points on one of the finest melodic metal releases this year. The title track in particular is up there as one of the best tracks of the year overall.
Rogga Johansson – Entrance to the Otherwhere Full Track Listing:
1. The Re-emergers
2. Till Bergets Puls
3. When the Otherwhere Opens
4. Giants Walking At Night
5. As Evil Seeps Out
6. Berget Vaknar
7. Entrance to the Otherwhere
8. A Journey Into Fear
9. In the Grip of Garpedans
Rogga Johansson - Entrance to the Otherwhere (Transcending Obscurity Records)
- The Final Score - 9.5/109.5/10