Band: Rogga Johansson
Title: Entrance to the Otherwhere
Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
Release date: 19 July 2019
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Promo
“Entrance to the Otherwhere” is the second album of Rogga Johansson himself, playing all the instruments of course. It comes two years after his first full-length “Garpedans”, and two EPs released in 2019 too. Of course it comes after all the bands Rogga is playing in or being the mastermind behind. I believe the death metal fans can name at least two or three bands instantly. In this respect probably it won’t be correct to speak about debut or second album here. The creativity of Mr. Johansson, and his strength to play and record seem to be endless, so hats down!
What about “Entrance to the Otherwhere”? I found myself very comfortable with the nine tracks in the album. Expectedly those 33 minutes deliver high quality death metal and high quality production and sound. On top comes the awesome cover art by Mariusz Lewandowski. It gives really a peace-of-mind feeling towards transcendental.
The compositions, most in mid-tempo for the death metal genre, are containing very, very enjoyable riffs and memorable solo parts on choruses. Probably a comparison would go in direction of “The Fourth DImension” by Hypocrisy meets “Pilling Up” by Those Who Bring The Torture. The tunes just flow forward.
“The Re-emerges” instantly introduces the listener into the mood of the album with the main melodic (Swedish DM) riff. “Till Bergets Puls” is a slower, more melodic with nice chorus and delusional main riff again and solo background. I felt this track won me. “When The Otherwhere Opens” and “Giants Walking At Nights” gallop towards the unknown in a typical death metal without surprises. Both tracks built and played very similarly. And here somewhere I began to feel that the main downflow of the album is that after listening the first 3-4 song, you know what to expect. Basically there are no surprises and the compositions run into the same pattern all the time. Something which is good from one side, but not OK from the other. “As Evil Sleeps Out” continues this line, it has good riff and mesmerizing solo background on the double bass choruses. “Entrance to the Otherwhere” is melodic, very catchy with its main lead melody. “A Journey Into Fear” and “In The Grip of Garpedans” complete the album. The later is slow, solemn, even funeral, but again both very typical to what’s been before in the album.
“Entrance to the Otherwhere” is good death metal album, with its peaks and good moments. I felt OK during most of the time with what Rogga had to offer. The good riffs and the short chorus solo backgrounds make the album catchy, familiar. I’m sure the fans of melodic death metal will find something for them here. I wished the album to be more diverse in terms of build and development of the songs, and all the nine tracks to leave more their comfort zone. 7.5/10 Count Vlad
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