The Shadow At The World's End

Transcending Obscurity
rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Defleshed
02. 1888
03. The Shadow At The World's End
04. Sorrow As Companion
05. Daggers That Mimic Life's Pain
06. Dragged Back To The Cellar
07. To The Bitter Bleeding End
08. Carnage Will Come
09. Revolted By Life Itself

How does ROGGA JOHANSSON find time to eat or take shit? With a dedication to death metal that is entirely unmatched in the modern era, Sweden's most prolific writer of skull-shattering riffs has had a particularly busy 2020. Happily, "The Shadow At The World's End" is easily the finest of the nine full-length records he has released this year, although if your enthusiasm for this stuff is sufficiently high, I do urge you to check out albums by BLOODGUT, FURNACE, GHOULHOUSE, HUMANITY DELETE, MEGASCAVENGER, MONSTROUS, REEK and THOSE WHO BRING THE TORTURE, all released within the last 12 months. Like I say, he's prolific.

Some might argue that there isn't a vast amount of musical space between one ROGGA project or another, but that depends largely on how much death metal you listen to. In truth, REVOLTING is a distinctive enough entity, sitting somewhere between the rabid brutality of RIBSPREADER and the more melodic vibes of his solo work. It feels significant that the band's seventh album boasts a bigger, meatier production than any of its predecessors, echoing the more grandiose thump of last year's "Entrance to the Otherwhere" solo joint, but ripping along at a much nastier pace, shades of VOMITORY and DERANGED adding to the intensity. Melody is used as a weapon throughout, with each song offering at least one blazing hook and several moments of headbang-until-you-puke grooviness. It's a far from one-track affair, however: REVOLTING incorporate a healthy amount of doomy melancholy into the likes of "Daggers That Mimic Life's Pain" and "1888", harking back to the horrified pomp of the Swedes' previous highpoint, 2012's "Hymns of Ghastly Horror".

Subtle refinements aside, this is ultimately a superior dose of ROGGA JOHANSSON's trademark, balls-out death metal attack. For speedfreaks, the likes of "Defleshed", "Carnage Will Come" and the title track deliver with malicious intent; a furious pace matched by the lethal catchiness of what can only be described as choruses. And when it comes to mid-paced bludgeon, few do it better than this: "1888" is an absolute masterclass in flagrant BOLT THROWER worship, right down to ROGGA's scabrous bellow, while the closing "Revolted By Life Itself" is a hypnotic fast-to-slow-motion pileup of riffs, each one more telling and tyrannical than the last.

It's still a minor mystery that ROGGA JOHANSSON isn't a higher profile figure in the death metal world. On this evidence, and the evidence of so many other great albums it will blow your fucking mind, he certainly deserves to be. Only death is real. Dig in (again).

Author: Dom Lawson
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).