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'As Dystopia Beckons'
(Selfmadegod Records)

Out now

jools green

Jools Green


Rogga Johansson has been a well respected and dependable force in Metal for at least twenty years, a prolific producer of albums from his myriad of projects.

You usually know more or less what to expect but lately he has been getting that bit more adventurous, as with 'As Dystopia Beckons', the third full length from his 'Megascavenger' project, where he has completely surprised me and no doubt many others and gone for an Industrial edge to the sound and it's astoundingly good.

There are certainly elements that are reminiscent of bands like Fear Factory, The Berzerker and Godflesh so this should also have extra appeal for fans of those bands.

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As with the previous two albums he has gathered together an impressive array of guest musicians assisting with the vocals from bands including; Hail of Bullets, ex-Massacre, ex-Mantas, ex-Benediction, ex-Bolt Thrower, Echelon, Fleshcrawl, Entrails, Sinister and Crypticus.

The nine track album opens with 'Rotting Domain', featuring Sven Gross of Fleshcrawl and from the very start it makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck. A sinister chugging repeat with wonderfully deep, evil, but definable vocals that rise up out of the riffs and the first few hints of the Industrial content emerge, but at this point overall sounding pretty much as you would expect for a Rogga work.

'The Machine That Turns Humans Into Slop' featuring Dave Ingram of Hail of Bullets, Echelon, ex-Benediction, ex-Bolt Thrower, is an up-tempo offering with a more defined Industrial edge, not a surprise given the groundbreaking offering Dave and Rogga's 'Echelon' project is.

I love everything about this track, the title amuses my dark side, there is a good balance between the Industrial and the galloping Death Metal, a good clarity to the deeply delivered vocals, pummelling drums that develop a fabulous "tinny" echo during the Industrial segments and a superb repeat groove that pops up amongst it all to making it very listenable.

'Dead City' featuring Jocke Svensson of Entrails, begins on a superb extended opener, a repeat mix of sinister drum beats and an Industrial groove along with harrowing growls and other beastly vocalisations, a track that switches slickly in tempo and direction from a pummelling drum led rhythms to slower dirty riffs, interspersed with Industrial elements.

'As The Last Day Has Passed' featuring Teddy Möller of Loch Vostok, The Experiment No.Q, The Hidden, is for me, the most unusual track of the album, much less heavy but a great listen nonetheless with a winning mix of screams and rugged cleans. There is a superbly emotive repeating melody and the Industrial aspect is much lighter, appearing just briefly at the end of the track.

In complete contrast, probably the most extreme track in terms of Death Metal brutality and heavy Industrial element and my absolute favourite track of the album, 'The Hell That Is This World' featuring Kam Lee of ex-Massacre, ex-Mantas, Bone Gnawer, The Grotesquery. It's layer upon layer of heavy Industrial repeats, hypnotic riffs and evil distorted vocal layers, utterly crushing!

'Dead Rotting And Exposed' featuring Brynjar Helgetun of Crypticus, Johansson and Speckmann, Just Before Dawn, opens on vast vocal roars, rasping vocals and industrial drum beats along with noise and crushing riffs, circling around like some hideous monster on the prowl, an excellent track.

'Steel Through Flesh Extravaganza' featuring Adrie Kloosterwaard of Sinister, is a rapid riffing, intense offering with Industrial bursts and where the title repeat is delivered in a variety of manners, growled, hissed, whispered and synthesised, the resulting layered delivery cuts into the very core of your being.

'The Harrowing Of Hell' features once again Kam Lee and this track has The Grotesquery feel to some of the guitar repeat melody across the track and the deep growls are certainly Kam but there are some higher rugged cleans that, if these are also Kam, as no other vocalist is credited, it shows a whole new side to this vocal legend. Either way it's a great track, way less Industrial, with a melodic chugging rhythm that's delightfully different for these gentlemen.

Closing instrumental and title track, 'As Dystopia Beckons' is a hunting mix of noise, distortion and static, looped into repeats, along with evil reversed speech, forming a sinister concluding track on an album that shows Rogga's talents and capabilities, along with those of his creative band of cohorts, in a whole new and rather impressive light.

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