Good old Rogga Johansson. He may be in about eighty bands and put out a dozen albums a year – but somehow that HM2-frazzled noggin of his keeps churning out the good stuff with nary a whiff of repetition.
This month he here is with Revolting, an outfit that, with seven albums now under their belt, could be deemed as one of Rog’s ‘priority’ acts. Everything is kept taut, with the three peace format allowing for a direct, unrelenting assault that’s never diluted by the too many chefs principle. Johansson brings the razor sharp riffage and the belching, drummer Martin hammers away like something in a metal fabrication factory that’s had the governor turned off, and bassist Tobias rumbles away underneath like someone who’s just mastered Geezer Butler‘s play-in-a-day-satanic-ballast manual. Together the three make an infernal racket, yet on the likes of this album’s title track it’s a racket that makes perfect sense.
Johansson has an appealing knack for imbuing even his heaviest material with little fragments of melody; a guitar hook here, a vocal inflection there – nothing that will derail the overall heaviness of the song but which does just enough to keep the ear interested through every track. In the hands of a lesser operator something like Sorrow As Companion might seem just like the rest of the death metal crowd might huff and puff away at. But Rogga, a man armed with a few simple licks and the devil’s truth, manages to give blow the house down in maniacal style. Simple yet effective. That’s the way.
In his own way, he’s created death metal for people who don’t really like death metal. A spectacular, if probably doomed, coup – but it’s the truth. There can be few men or women currently doing the rounds at this time who possess Johansson’s alchemical touch with regard to making the seemingly unlistenable listenable. He’s a treasure, and should be treated as such. And so is this album. Horns up and hats off!
The Shadow At The World’s End releases on November 27th