ROGGA JOHANSSON really needs no introduction if you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Death Metal fan. Between PAGANIZER, DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN, THE GROTESQUERY, and many others, let’s face it, the man is a machine. Well here now in the Year of Our Lord 2019 we are treated to his second solo album Entrance to the Otherwhere (out now, Transcending Obscurity Records), and man is it a killer! Classic Swedish Death Metal with some modern melodies that do nothing to detract from the ferocity. If anything, they only sharpen and enhance the songs. Case in point would be “Till Bergets Puls,” during which we hear some synth/keys that show up during the bridge and chorus, adding another layer of greatness to the track.
Opener “The Re-Emergers” sounds like an angry horde charging into battle (as it should!), while “When the Otherwhere Opens” takes off at a gallop, session drummer Brynjar Helgetun pounding away for all he’s worth. All the other music is played by Johansson, but that can all be for naught without some good drumming to help anchor the songs. Luckily these two fit like hand in glove. “Giants Walking At Night” has one of the more vicious vocal lines on the disc, so naturally it was a favorite. And from the pleasant surprises files along comes “Berget Vaknar”, an excellent piano/ambient piece that i have to play at least six times in a row before I can move on. It’s gorgeous and haunting at the same time and I simply can’t get enough of it.
The title track is another winner, and Johansson’s super tight rhythm guitar will wrap itself around you like a boa constrictor. Helgetun’s double kick drums are in the driver’s seat for much of “A Journey into Fear” before “In the Grip of Garpedans” closes things with a sinister, slow and dark potboiler. Welp, looks like ROGGA JOHANSSON has done it again. And by “it” I mean put out another record that is high quality music from beginning to end. You should already know this if you’re a longtime fan, but if you’re new to his work this is a great place to dive in. Pick up your copy of Entrance to the Otherwhere if you haven’t already, pour yourself a shot, open a beer, and bask in the glory of some classic Swedish Death Metal!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Entrance to the Otherwhere”, “Giants Walking At Night”, “Till Bergets Puls”, “Berget Vaknar”