Paganizer – Land of Weeping Souls (Death Metal)


Paganizer was created in 1998 born from the ashes of Terminal Grip, plays classic Swedish death metal and have been producing a ton of EP, split and full-length albums since it’s creation. With that amount of releases it isn’t weird that there has been some varied quality over the years but when Paganizer are on form I consider them one of the best old school death metal acts. Rogga Johansson, the creator, vocalist and also on guitar in the band has to be the most productive member in the death metal community. He has always been the bread and butter for Paganizer and on this album he has some friends joining him since the last full-length release, Kjetil Lynghaug (Echelon, Mordenial, Stass) on guitar and Martin Klasén (ex-Vicious Maggot) on bass. So where does Land of Weeping Souls stand with a new lineup?

Well not much have changed, but that’s alright since I am expecting that classic death metal sound. It’s raw sound is mixed and produced just the right amount to be filthy death but not sounding like a garage demo, as some bands seems to go for and I really dislike. Your Suffering Will Be Legendary starts off the album well with it’s pedal to the metal force but not making too much of an impact on me. It’s with the title track Land of Weeping Souls I really get into headbanging mode and find a track that sticks out. Here the guitars and drums just seems to jell better from the starting tracks and The Insanity Never Stops follows that up great with another solid track. Selfdestructor feels like it’s taken from a book on how to create classic death metal, the whole flow of the song and chorus screams old school. Again it doesn’t stick out but it’s well made by a band that definitely knows the genre by now. As an old school death metal fan this is candy I easily devour but I am sure plenty of people out there will think this isn’t something new nor interesting. If you’re not an old school death metal fan looking for more of that sweet 90’s sound then this isn’t for you.

Death Addicts Posthumous is another track I really liked, takes the vibe Selfdestructor gave me and put in some wickeds solo into it. To follow it up The Buried Undead comes, the best song on the album in my opinion. A pummeling machine of death with great tempo-changes, solos and Rogga on vocals is always a joy to listen to.

Slow start but it gets better over time. Nothing new under the death metal sun but fans of Paganizer knows this is what the band is all about, well made classic death metal. In the bands vast discography I would say Land of Weeping Souls stands somewhere in the middle, solid release with some ups and downs which will please fans of the genre. With Rogga holding the lines you can be sure to expect quality death metal with any lineup. Land of Weeping Souls is what I was expecting and support Paganizer for sticking to it.

Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
For fans of: Grave and Dismember
Favorite song: The Buried Undead
Score: 3/5


Valgrind – Seal of Phobos (Death Metal)


Despite the name Valgrind being Swedish (it’s the main entrance to Valhalla) the band in itself is from Italy. If you’ve read my blog this year then you probably know by now that I really dig what Italy has produced this year, with some of the best releases having come from there. Valgrind is a band that’s been going for a long time, since 1993, but only produced demo’s until 2002 when their first EP came out then in 2012 they released their debut full-length album Morning Will Come No More. Seal of Phobos is a five track EP continuing Valgrind’s crusade and last years death metal goodness Speech of the Flame.

Seal of Phobos will leave no death metal lover standing still as it features a flurry of crushing riffs and is aggressive as hell. This will surely get your blood pumping. The bands newest member, guitarist Umberto Poncina, makes a fine debut and might be one of the reasons why this sounds like Valgrind’s heaviest release as of yet. The solos are on point and I only got one negative thing to say about this EP really, that it’s only an EP and not a full-length album! I love myself some classic death metal and when it’s done this well I can’t do anything else than to sit back, take a sip of my beer and headbang in joy. The two favorite tracks for me are the two last ones, Traitors Will Bleed and Ekphora’s Day, where Jonny Petterson (Wombbath, Ashcloud and Henry Kane) makes a great guest appearance.

Seal of Phobos is a solid pickup for anyone who wants some classic hard hitting death metal. It’s Valgrind’s most aggressive release yet and also their best, it’s looking really well for their upcoming full-length. Seal of Phobos is out now through Everlasting Spew Records.

For fans of: Morbid Angel and Monstrosity
Favorite song: Traitors Will Bleed

Narthraal – Screaming From The Grave (Death Metal)


Icelandic death metal, does that exist? Looking at metal archives there are only 117 entries, including all genres, from the country where less than 90 of them are active bands, even less so within the death metal genre. Lucky enough for me I received my very first promo from a band called Narthraal, this will be my first listening to a metal band from Iceland so I am quite exited about it.

Inspired by the old school Swedish death metal sound I knew that this could be an album I would really get into, and I wasn’t let down. The filthy and crushing sound you hear from the guitars takes me back to the early 90’s Entombed, Dismember and Grave. Like honestly, just listening to the two first tracks Death of the Undying and Screaming From the Grave you will fall in love with this album even if you’re a fan of that very sound that probably got you into death metal to begin with. Nothing extra added nor over-produced fluff, just simple old school death metal. Love it or hate it Narthraal creates music that they used to listen to themselves and I personally dig this a lot. I mean old school death metal is coming back again, but I think this is one of the albums that are closest to capture the Swedish sound, without being Swedish. Funny note is that the last track on the album is called Dismember the Entombed, I liked that homage to some of the kings of death metal.

It’s raw, brutal, gets you headbanging and reeks of death and filth which is exactly what a death metal album should do. As a debut album I think this is great stuff and I hope to hear more from these Icelandic barbarians in the future. Favorite tracks are Screaming From the Grave, Million Graves to Fill, Descent into Darkness.

Scream From The Grave is out on May 26th through Inverse Records.

For fans of: Entombed and Dismember
Favorite song: Screaming From the Grave

Puteraeon – The Empires of Death (Death Metal)

Ah here we are again, Swedish death metal goodness! I was actually recommended this album a couple weeks ago but due to my black metal spree it had to wait. Now is the time to hear when the empires of death go to war and sounds the war drums. Puteraeon were formed in 2008 and were quick to create three demo recordings in a year. It wasn’t until 2011 their debut album came out though, The Esoteric Order. Which quickly lead to the sophomore album Cult Cthulhu in 2012. Since then the band has released another full-length plus a split album with Revel in Flesh. The Empires of Death is actually the bands first EP featuring three tracks Providence, At the Altars and Epitaph.

Providence lays the putrid ground for the the Empires of Death to spew it’s filth of death. Whispers in the wind and horrifying tunes like taken from a grave turns into a massive onslaught of riffs with your classic death metal vocals. This is the same type of sound that’s made Grave famous and I am loving it. Following that track comes At the Altars. It’s punishing and relentless, doesn’t hold back at all and you’re getting offered some great solos and riffs on this song with tempo changes that hypes you up. To end The Empires of Death march towards destruction is Epitaph. It’s the shortest track on the album but it’s still filled with the same type of Swedish old school death metal goodness like the other two tracks, just more compact and full-throttle all the way through, making it my favorite track on the album.

Great EP, 12 minutes might be cutting it a bit too short even for an EP. I wouldn’t mind a song more but that’s only because I really liked this album and it’s a real tease that you go “it can’t end now!?”. That in itself is a good review and old school death metal fans around the world should check out Puteraeon’s latest offering to the metal community The Empires of Death. Out now digitally through Spinnup.

For fans of: Grave and Revel in Flesh
Favorite song: Epitaph

Sigil – Kingdom of the Grave (Death Metal)


It’s that time again my friends! It’s time for an old school death metal album to review! Woho! Sigil is an American band who in 2014 released their first demo but it’s been quite quiet since then, until now. Kingdom of the Grave is the death metal four-piece debut album.

You notice really fast where the band has drawn influences from. Already on the second track Even the Gods Will Burn it’s hard not to think back on Entombed’s monster album Wolverine Blues. It’s raw D-beat death metal in it’s pure form. Continue on with Lick the Blade you can hear the flirts to legends like Dismember and throughout Kingdom of the Grave you get those old school vibes but from different bands and with something extra added to it. Speaking of that what makes Sigil stick out the most from bands playing old school death metal is their lyrics. It reflects a lot on how the band sees how our society is going and about the occult. Not something I generally see in death metal acts (usually about war, hate or death) but it’s something I find being a nice touch to write very personal lyrics.

All in all I had a good half an hour with Kingdom of the Grave. I am sure fans of death metal will enjoy Sigil’s take on the old school with their own personal touch. Kingdom of the Grave is out April 7th through one of the coolest label names I’ve come across Horror Pain Gore Death Productions.

For fans of: Entombed and Dismember
Favorite song: Summoning Hate

Vorzug – Three (Blackened Death Metal)


Being one of the shortest singles I’ve reviewed (three songs and total length of 15 minutes) I was afraid this would leave me with nothing to really review. I mean one or two bad/average songs and the single all of a sudden means next to nothing for me. Good thing is none of the songs are weak, they all deliver quite good blackened death metal! Before we start going into the songs let me give you some Vorzug background. Vorzug is an American band formed in 2014. The band consists of five members, where the core got a past in death/black metal band Lustmord. The band’s debut album Call of the Vultures reached #1 on both iTunes and Amazon. Whereas Three has reached Best Seller status on Amazon, reaching number one on their best seller list for both New Releases and Metal Releases. So the band certainly got a big following behind them already.

The Ever Living kicks off the single (keeping it simple, three songs so name the single Three) and Vorzug presents a varied style of catchy riffs, intimidating growls (high and lows) that does their black and death style justice. You get that old school death metal feel but with a nice fresh touch of black and death. Nocturnity gives more space to the bass player Rock Rollain as he rocks away to start it off. This is a more groovy style and pure old school death metal sound than the previous track. Ending Three we got Under a Dying Sun, here you get some furious blast-beats and guitar riffs coming at you and it ends the single on a high note, making it my favorite track.

Throughout the whole album I am a fan of their catchy riffs and dark melodies while yet keeping it quite brutal. The vocals are quite different and stick out for me, I had a hard time really digging it at first but it grew on me. All in all this is a solid release. It’s three tracks that are catchy which you will enjoy but maybe not remember. However it did get me wanting to listening to their full-length release and see how they do a whole album, so job well done.

Three by Vorzug is out now digitally through The Apollyon Entertainment Group.

For fans of: Gruesome and Sulphur Aeon
Favorite song: Under a Dying Sun

Maze of Sothoth – Soul Demise (Death Metal)


Italy, a country that’s been very active this year with a new Hour of Penance release and upcoming albums from Antropofagus as well as Hideous Divinity. With that kind of heavy hitters it might be easy to forget a new challenger with the same origin, Maze Of Sothoth. What differs Maze of Sothoth from said bands is that they play more traditional death metal drawing influences from the likes of Morbid Angel, Vomitory and Vader. Add to the fact that their lyrics are heavily themed around HP Lovecraft and horror then you got yourself another beast entirely.

Cthulhu’s Calling opens up with setting an feeling of unease and horror until Maze of Sothoth blasts off with furious riffs on Lies. Make no mistakes Maze of Sothoth are here to bring the riffs to you metalheads who feels the urge to headbang tonight over a few cold beers. It’s very catchy, evil and reeks of death. Just the way us old school death metal fans wants it. The HP Lovecraft theme just adds to the pure evilness coming into my ears. I am honestly a bit surprised how well Maze of Sothoth pulls this off. Marasco and Rubini do a splendid job on guitars bringing out those killer riffs, Moioli on drums is a beast and Marchesi on bass and vocals totally nails it. Together they do really sound like an reborn Italian version of Vomitory, which is freaking sweet and full of vile energy. I do feel a few songs doesn’t deliver that same punch as for example Lies and Divine Sacrifice does but at the same time this is a debut album. When Maze of Sothoth are at it’s peak then they are a band to look out for.

Maze of Sothoth delivers a great full-length debut album with Soul Demise and I can’t wait to see what they got in store for us next. Fans of old school death metal in the veins of Vomitory, Morbid Angel and Vader got yourselves a new band to look into! Soul Demise is out now from Everlasting Spew Records.

For fans of: Morbid Angel and Vomitory
Favorite song: Lies