Paganizer ‎– … From The Reapers Vault …

For more than 25 years Paganizer have well walked their own path in death metal, shaping an own sound based on their influences from the birthrising era of death metal. Paganizer were formed in 1998 from the ashes of Terminal Grip who was formed in 1994. With great respect for the old and mighty Swedish Death Metal scene, the rather productive death metallers from Gamleby, Sweden, continuously bring forth the old school death metal music to the present. “… From The Reapers Vault …” is a compilation of both rarities and new recordings, released as a digipak CD with a super nice layout executed by the BRUTALISM.com mastermind, Twan Sibon.

In the 14 tracks of the compilation you will be transferred to several periods of the band. The line-ups may change, but the spirit and the concept of Paganizer is ever present. Rogga Johansson, the only consistent member (on both vocals and guitars) offers a thunderstorm of fine chunky/heavy riffs paying homage to the early death metal and bands like Grave, Entombed and Asphyx. The crust/grind side of the band with faster and sharper riffs also never fails them. So, in songs like ‘One Life To Suffer’ you get the pounding beat of the drums taking a leading role, followed closely by some killer riffwork, previously found on records like “Utopia Banished”, “Harmomy Corruption” or “From Enslavement To Obliteration”, the more “Death Metal” releases of Napalm Death.

Nevertheless, the guitar work of Paganizer offers even more variations. For example in the opening song ‘Scorched Flesh Tactics’ Pganizer present their Asphyx influenced side with gloomy heavy/doom riffs over ravenous drums. Paganizer’s grind themes are fast and sharp like for instance on ‘Cancel Reality I’ and ‘Cancel Reality II’. Then you get the crunchy and in-your-face riffs of ‘When Suffering’, a mindblowing mixture of Napalm Death with Slayer. The punk/crust side of Paganizer with ‘Hell Is Already Here’ is also very enjoyable, especially if you dig bands like Master. The rotten riffs of ‘This Place Is Rot’, a song with a great tempo change, are so full of great ideas and underline that the Autopsy doom parts seem to suit Paganizer well. Paganizer have their own sound and personality, so no matter what the origin of the riff is, be it old school death metal, thrash metal, grind/crust or doom metal, the result is somehow a signature result.

Rogga Johansson’s vocals offer the distinct quality of a vocalist who, having lived the scene from the inside, knows exactly how to deliver some solid death metal vocal lines. His undoubted experience from his countless bands/projects through the years guarantees the diversity and quality of what you are going to listen here. From the famous “ughs” of Tom Gabriel “Warrior” Fischer to the deep grunts and the open-mouth screams, all of his vocals are performed in excellency.

The drums work in a very nice cooperation with the bass on the background on every song. The excellent and on time drum fills (for example on ‘Gasmask Obsession’, ‘Abortion Van’) enhance the old school death metal feeling. On ‘Abortion Van’ and ‘Vaken Mardröm’ you can also listen to the bass themes crawling really well on the background. The lead guitar parts keep shining wherever they may be used and they perfectly capture in just few notes the essence and the feeling of each song driving it to the next riff.

The songs of “… From The Reapers Vault …” come from different recordings/periods of the band. They were recorded at The Rotpit and Soundlab Studios, Örebro, Sweden, and originally mixed at Enhanced Audio Productions. They were originally mastered from beasts like Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity, Pan.Thy.Monium and tons more!), Mieszko Talarczyk from Nasum (R.I.P.) and Ronnie Björnström (ex-Bone Gnawer, ex-Aeon, ex-Ribspreader and tons more). With this in mind, the production here was by default a difficult task. Good news! The final result is excellent! Everything comes out in your stereo system in a really smooth, well balanced and friendly for the death metal audience way. The material was treated really well, without losing the actual depth/reverb of the original recording, which is absolutely necessary for old school death metal productions like this. Of course nothing could have gone wrong since the tracks received an excellent brand new mastering/process from Savvas Betinis of the legendary Greek progressive death/thrash metal band Acid Death in his own S.I.A. Recording Studios.

Bottom line: Fans of bands like Grave, Bloodbath, early Entombed, Master and Desultory will be absolutely satisfied with “… From The Reapers Vault …”, and Paganizer fans will just make sure to add another great release of the band in their collection. I have always liked it when a band has consistency. And Paganizer is one of those few bands that on every release you kinda know what you are about to listen, you kinda expect it, but still they will always surprise you pleasantly because they remain really true to their sound while always proving they have more to offer. This alone is a win for both Paganizer and death metal! Looking forward to their new album, enjoy this great compilation!!

4.5 / 5 STARS 

Reviewer: Manos Michaelides

Jan 12, 2021

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Paganizer ‎– … From The Reapers Vault …

review Paganizer ‎– ... From The Reapers Vault ...

1. Scorched Flesh Tactics
2. Detest You
3. One Life to Suffer
4. Cancel Reality I
5. When Suffering Ends
6. Cancel Reality II
7. Like Pigs to the Slaughter
8. The Ghouls
9. The Meathammer
10. This Place is Rot
11. Gasmask Obsession
12. Abortion Van
13. Hell is Already Here
14. Flesh Nest
15. Vaken Mardröm
16. Grinded And Exiled V1.0
17. Fleshnaut V1.0

4.5

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