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01.11.2021

STASS

Songs Of Flesh And Decay

Anmeldt av Eddie Rattlehead
(Emanzipation Productions, 2021)

Karakter: 4/6

Stass_SongsOfFleshAndDecay.jpgThese days it seems you can't turn around without hitting one of the many old school death metal projects of one of the hardest working guitarists in metal, Roger "Rogga" Johansson. They all tend to sound the same but so far I had the honor and/or pleasure to present albums by Rogga Johansson (the band), Paganizer, Megascavenger and Down Among Deadmen. This here, "Songs Of Flesh And Decay" (making fun of Depeche Mode?) is Stass' second after "The Darkside" (2017), featuring Rogga, the founding vocalist Gerhard Felix Stass (get it?), Rogga's fellow Paganizer and Rinspreader guitarist Kjetil Lynghaug, Johan Berglund (bass) and Thomas Ohlsson (ex-The Project Hate MCMXCIX from the perfect "The Lustrate Process"). Presented is, what else, old school Swedeath a'la Dismember or, especially, "Wolverine Blues" Entombed with few nods to British early 90s doom/death and Tampa death metal for a good but not great affair released back in January this year.

To the good, perfect tracks like "Fear Of The Living Dead" (fear-of-the living dead, can you see my rotting flesh?) and excellent ones like the subsequent "As The Seasons Bleach Your Bones" recall the melodic mastery of Rogga's namesake band, proving that the more melody and groove the better the material, especially with such dull sounding guitars. The early In Flamesian "Forest Of Bony Fingers" and the opener "Dreams Of Rotting Flesh" (of what else?) are fairly melodic and try very hard to reach "As The Seasons..." excellence but need more variation within and, most importantly, APART from each other to stand out. Better is "Sounds Of Terror" recalling "The Angel And The Dark River" My Dying Bride and even Heaven Shall Burn or "The Skeletons Are Ready" with low end reminiscent of "World Demise" Obituary which brings me to the flaws in the natural descent down the quality ladder.

The sloppy, unmemorable and frankly boring tracks such as "I Work At Night" and "Hatchet Lover" (which sounds pronounced "hatred lava") are just terrible and can rightly be called fillers, and, since the latter ends with a laughter, there was no reason whatsoever for the half-hearted, nonsense keyboard outro "The Revenge Of The Bog (Sounds Of Terror II)" which is neither scary nor funny.

In all, if you love Rogga projects, you'll eat this one up but to me the man, clearly capable of writing fantastic stuff and frequently proving it, also tends to settle for mediocrity and that more often than not. Why? Only he knows. Perhaps it comes with the territory, perhaps Swedeath cannot be consistently engaging by default? I'm not giving up on Rogga as Revolting and Megascavenger reviews are coming up but this one was a bit of a let down in comparing to the last Rogga Johansson.

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