Saturday, 10 January 2015

Paganizer - Twenty Years in a Terminal Grip (Best of) (Album Review)

Album Type: Compilation
Date Released: 28/11/2014
Label: Cyclone Empire

‘Twenty Years in a Terminal Grip (Best of)’ CD//LP//DD track listing:

CD1: The Band´s Faves
1. Nailed Forever
2. Bleed Unto Me
3. Among The Unknowing Dead
4. Scandinavian Warmachine
5. Even In Hell
6. You Call It Deviance
7. Frontier Cthulhu
8. Life Slips Away
9. Meateater
10. Colder
11. Just Here Rotting
12. Landscapes Made Of Human Skin
13. Crusader
14. On Your Knees
15. The Cadaverous
16. Beyond Redemption
17. Mass Of Parasites
18. No Divine Rapture
19. Their Skin Suits Me

CD2: Rarities, Demos & Unreleased Stuff

1. Natures Bleeding
2. Religious Cancer
3. Viking Hammer
4. Blood On The Axe
5. Ode To The Horde
6. The Cyclone Empire
7. This Place Is Rot
8. Gasmask Obsession
9. Abortion Van
10. Hell Is Already Here
11. Massdeath Maniac
12. Army Of Maggots
13. Flesh Collector
14. The Morbidly Obscene
15. The Festering Of Sores
16. The Return Of Horror
17. Born To Be Buried Alive
18. Carbonized Resurrection
19. Flesh Nest
20. Vaken Mardröm
21. Nothing Really Matters
22. This Place Of Dying
23. Morbid Warfare
24. Grinded And Exiled V 1.0
25. Fleshnaut V 1.0
26. Buried Alive
27. NY Ripper

Paganizer is:

Rogga | Guitars, Vocals
Dennis | Lead Guitars
Matte | Drums
Martin | Bass


Paganizer may well be the best Scandi-Death metal band that you haven't heard of. Swe-Death in the true definition of the term, the band have remained vital since the mid 90's and have stayed true to the real death sound and vibe, too. They have not re-routed to sell-out, unlike some other lesser bands I can think of...

This two CD package is astonishingly good value. You get 46, yes that is forty six!!! tracks of the finest death metal. If you like your Entombed (first two records), ATG and particularly Dismember and Grave, then this is a must have if you don't have the band's previous albums. It is the perfect soundtrack to a long journey as there is no need to adjust your stereo or MP3 player- just press play and enjoy the next couple of hours.

Clearly, at 46 tracks there is no way I am going to give you a song by song run down, going into where the best riffs are etc. (although ‘Bleed Unto Me’ does have an awesome section at the 4min mark...). You get the key tracks off their albums and EPs (‘Scandinavian War machine’ is present as are many lesser known titles). The production, of course, varies- spanning as it does the late 90's to the present day. It is uniformly good and suited to the material, though- the snare and bass may be heavier here and weaker there, but overall the band has kept the quality high and retained a signature sound of chainsaw guitars and consistently deathly vocals throughout. Roger “Rogga” Johansson has clearly kept his hand on the rudder at all times as his voice and guitar lead the band through all eras and line-ups.

The material is sometimes blast beat fast (‘On Your Knees’) and sometimes more groove based (the same track!) and offers up traditional Swedish death metal. This is completely distinct from the US version of death metal offered by Cannibal Corpse, Immolation, Morbid Angel etc.

There are melodies here in the guitars and lots of grit as well. Overall, it is more organic than its US brethren. Song themes run the gamut of horror (‘Their Skin Suits Me’) to social comment (‘Religious Cancer’, ‘Crusader’, ‘Natures Bleeding’) to more uniquely Norse concerns (‘Viking Hammer,’ ‘Blood on The Axe’, ‘Ode to The Horde’).  Simply put, there is something for you here if you like Scandi-death. For those of you out there who have the major Entombed releases but are unsure as to how to proceed from there, this compilation is a fine start, may I also recommend Entrails if you continue your education in Swedish hate?

The superb label Cyclone Empire is paid tribute to in the track featuring their name, and rightly so, too. CE is the best death label around in my opinion- they consistently offer high quality releases from underground bands. Long may that continue? Whether your tastes are for Dutch death dealers Icons of Brutality or the Scandinavian darkness of Paganizer, the label caters to your needs. All hail!

With tracks as good as ‘Gasmask Obsession’ and ‘The Return of Horror’, any self respecting death metal fan cannot afford to be without some Paganizer in their collection. With Dismember gone and Entombed's status unclear this is the perfect band to fill the void. Good quality stuff and good value as well. This is 46 tracks of deathly delight that you shouldn't pass up. Excellent.

Words by: Richard Maw

You can pick up the CD here.

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