He might blush to hear it, but Rogga Johansson is death metal royalty. Prolific and seemingly indefatigable, he and hordes of talented allies have been churning out death metal and other forms of musical extremity since the mid-’90s under dozens of names. The oldest of all those bands (unless one counts the short-lived Terminal Grip) is of course Paganizer, a mauling and magnificent offspring that reached maturity long ago but still grows and flourishes.
All good things will come to an end, but Paganizer seems deathless — in the vanguard of Swedish death metal from the early days and relentless in its continuing momentum. On June 24th of this year we will witness the release of their 12th album Beyond the Macabre, nearly a quarter century after the first one, embellished with a cover painting by Juanjo Castellano that’s as much of a supernatural spectacle as the music is.
And yes it’s true — Beyond the Macabre is a supernatural spectacle, a display of Swedish death metal that continues to menace and maraud in the best of the old traditions, but with a knack for incorporating evocative melodies that both add to the music’s visceral and vicious vitality and makes the songs genuinely memorable. It’s thus an honor to present the title track today.