Paganizer – Land of Weeping Souls (Transcending Obscurity)

Thursday, 3rd August 2017
Rating: 7.5/10

There’s not a soul that is seemingly more committed to the worship of old school death metal than Rogga Johansson. One of metal’s most prolific names, it’s high time that he returned to one of his best known bands, Paganizer. Land of Weeping Souls may not revolutionize the sound (did anyone think it was going to?) but sticks to what the band has always done best in a way that fans will no doubt revel in.

If you are already familiar with Paganizer, this album is going to deliver more of the same. It’s thunderous, it’s aggressive, and it has a sly way of getting hooks under your skin without compromising the overall monstrous feel. While it’s more of the same, it’s really hard to fault it at the end of the day. It’s meticulously crafted in both the visceral carnage that the band can unleash and the way that the melodies and solos/leads blend into the album to give it some legs. The title track for instance, comes out guns-ablazing (complete with a real zinger of a solo) but the end of the song slows the tempo into bone-crushing territory while keeping a somewhat melodic edge. Perhaps it’s the song lengths that ultimately draw this one as a winner – almost all of the songs land between 3-4 minutes, skinned down to the bone one might say, keeping a brutal essence even in more groovy melodic cuts like “Selfdestructor” while allowing frantic cuts like “Your Suffering Will Be Legendary” to become unhinged without fear of boredom setting in.

Paganizer may have surpassed their 20-year mark at this point, but Land of Weeping Souls shows no signs of slowing down. They continue to provide old school Swedish death metal in its purest form – no compromises, no exceptions. Nothing wrong with that.

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