Jools Green
The Abyss
21st July 2019

rogga johansson

Death Metal's most modest legend Rogga Johansson returns with his finest work to date, 'Entrance To The Otherwhere', I can say that with confidence having heard every one of the hundred plus releases he's been involved in and his solo material ranks amongst the best of that impressively huge back catalogue, a true Metal legacy from a musician's musician.

His first solo under his own name, 2017s 'Garpedans', was a hugely moving and powerful listen and 'Entrance To The Otherwhere' is even more of a spectacular listen. What makes his solo work appealing for me is that as he's responsible for all the music and lyrics so you get that 'pure Rogga' sound and it's a perfect balance between memorable melodies and crushing heaviness, accentuated by additional drum battery from The Grotesquery sticksman Brynjar Helgetun, who knows Rogga's style well.

This nine track thirty-three minute offering comes in at a steady mid-pace and the element I love most about this album is the way the fuzzy edged guitars are layered, making the sound very dimensional, rich and powerful, complemented by Rogga's distinctive growl, delivering the lyrics with distinct clarity.


Add to that a few well placed thrashy leads, on 'Giants Walking At Night' and 'As Evil Seeps Out', a few subtle keyboard elements on the punchy 'Till Bergets Puls' (To The Mountain's Pulse) and 'Entrance To The Otherwhere', taking a step slightly outside of the Death Metal box and tying in nicely with the simple yet atmospheric keyboard led instrumental, melded with the sounds of nature 'Berget Vaknar' (The mountain Wakes Up).

I do have a couple of standout tracks on what is an outstanding album in general; the addictively engaging album opener, 'The Re-Emergers' and 'When The Otherwhere Opens' which has a Lovecraftian feel with a dark ominous aspect to the riffs and a great dark melody where Rogga also pushes the boundaries of his vocal capabilities.

The mythological, lyrical inspiration for this release isn't surprising given that Rogga's location, in Gamleby, near the famous eighty metre high Garpedansberget (Garpedans mountain) which is associated with a lot of local myths and stories about trolls, elves, dragons and nymphs, made all the more exciting with Rogga's Death Metal interpretation.

1. The Re-Emergers
2. Till Bergets Puls
3. When The Otherwhere Opens 4. Giants Walking At Night
5. As Evil Seeps Out
6. Berget Vaknar
7. Entrance To The Otherwhere
8. A Journey Into Fear
9. In The Grip Of Garpedans

The stunning artwork for 'Entrance To The Otherwhere' is by Mariusz Lewandowski (Eremit, Jupiterian, Bell Witch) with a great new logo by the legendary Lord of the Logos, Christophe Szpajdel.

'Entrance To The Otherwhere' should appeal to fans of Edge Of Sanity, early Amorphis, early Hypocrisy, Unanimated, early Tiamat, Unleashed, Entombed, Paganizer, or to anyone who has enjoyed any of Rogga's other endeavours and collaborations. It's available from Transcending Obscurity Records as a CD, limited edition digipak boxed set or digital.



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