Apr 112022

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. Continue reading »

Aug 222019


Undeniably, rot does spread, whether in wood, in human flesh, or in a damaged mind. Decay and decomposition are the natural end-points of organic life, the inevitable by-product of death. Once the spark goes out, the path to ruin is usually very slow — but the rot in the Paganizer song we’re presenting today spreads like… wildfire.

We hope that Paganizer needs no introduction. As the oldest and longest-running of the numerous groups to which the great Rogga Johansson has devoted his talents, it is a musical landmark that rises high above the gnarled forests and subterranean crypts of Swedish death metal. Unlike most living things, the music of Paganizer also seems immune to rot and deterioration. Arriving 20 years after the release of Paganizer’s debut album, the new full-length, The Tower of the Morbid, is full proof of that. Continue reading »

Jul 302019


To continue with the round-up I began earlier today (here), I’ve got another wide scattering (stylistically speaking) of new music and videos, and as I did in the first post I’ve snuck in an announcement that (sadly) I’m not able to accompany with new music.


I decided to begin with this new Paganizer track for three reasons. First, because I needed to see Dan Seagrave‘s fantastic artwork for the new album at the top of our page until tomorrow. Second, because I have a crippling weakness for the music of Rogga Johansson, and Paganizer is the oldest and longest-running of the numerous groups to which he has devoted his talents over the last quarter-century. And third, because the track is a killer. Continue reading »

Jul 042017


Rogga Johansson proclaims that Land of Weeping Souls “is the best Paganizer album, death fucking metal the way it is supposed to be done”. If you want to find a reliable authority on how death fucking metal is supposed to be done, you could hardly do better than Mr. Johansson, even making allowances for his partiality to Paganizer, which is the oldest and longest-running of the numerous groups to which he has devoted his talents over the last quarter-century.

Featuring ghastly cover art by Daniel “Devilish” Johnsson, Land of Weeping Souls is a 10-track monster, the tenth full-length in the discography of Paganizer. It will be released by Transcending Obscurity Records on the 5th of August, 2017. It is also a renewal of faith — faith that even in a genre with such an old, gory history, the life hasn’t gone out of death (metal), and faith that at least for some of the earliest practitioners of the art, the creative fires still haven’t burned out but are blazing higher than ever.

Half the songs on this new Paganizer album have already been revealed in various premieres leading up to the release date, and I’ve collected all of them below. But today we have a sixth fusillade to add to the barrage — a track named “Forlorn Dreams“, which turns out to be as infectious as it is obliterating. Continue reading »

May 092017


Because of my mini-vacation that stretched from late last week through Sunday, I’ve accumulated a substantial number of worthy new song streams and videos to recommend. Seven of them are in this post, and I’ll compile more in the coming days, no doubt joined by others that will appear for the first time before the weekend.


Out of all the nearly countless projects to which Rogga Johansson has devoted his talents, I suppose much of my my favorite work of the Bard of Gamleby has come under the name of Paganizer. It’s therefore a delight to report that August 5th will bring the release of the 10th Paganizer album, Land of Weeping Souls. Continue reading »

Jun 122016

Paganizer-On the Outskirts of Hades


Of all the many musical projects of Rogga Johansson over an illustrious career, Paganizer is the oldest and longest-running, with the first demo (Stormfire) being released in 1998, followed by new releases or compilations almost every year since then. In this current year, the mighty Paganizer have again mounted a new death metal assault in the form of an EP fittingly named On the Outskirts of Hades, and today we bring you the premiere of its opening track: “Angry All the Time“.

What a great name for a song, and one that rings so true in the baleful light of Paganizer’s long and savage history. And it’s not only the title of the song that’s great. Continue reading »

Dec 272014


It’s been a little while since I posted some real Swedish fucking death metal on the site, long enough that I was starting to get the shakes, the night sweats, the dry mouth, and the volcanic gut rumbles. So I decided to do something about it. I’m tending to my needs, and bringing you some slaughter for your Saturday at the same time. But as you’ll find out, this is also a very bittersweet post for me to write.


I first discovered Torture Division in March 2011, when they released a cover of Mastodon’s “Iron Tusk” from the Leviathan album, accompanied by an introduction that included these words:

“This is how we would have made this song, had we written it in the first place. But we didn’t, we just thought it would be nice to MASTODON to make a proper tune out of it. Kidding, kidding… MASTODON‘s cool. They are no TORTURE DIVISION, but hey — can’t win them all.”

I became an immediate fan, and have remained one in the years that followed (you can still hear that “Iron Tusk” cover in the first Mordbrand feature I prepared). I wrote about most of their other releases over the last three years (collected here) and liked every goddamn one of them. And now, sad to say, I’m writing about their final effort. Continue reading »