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Johansson & Speckmann – Mask of the Treacherous Award winner

Johansson & Speckmann
Mask of the Treacherous
by Marcos “Big Daddy” Garcia at 29 January 2015, 6:39 PM

Well, the name of Paul Speckmann, MASTER’s bassist/vocalist, should be praised as many as extreme Metal fans could do that. He is one of the forefathers of Death Metal, along with Chuck Schuldiner (I’m sorry to say that, but POSSESSED came later as a band, and just had luck to release an album first, just that), and maybe one of the main men of the style, and the only one active and ferocious since 1983. And he has a lot of side bands, one of them JOHANSSON & SPECKMANN, an international effort of creating Death Metal along with Rogga Johansson (from Sweden, another workaholic musician, with lots of bands), and having the drummer Brynjar Helgetun (the third workaholic, from Norway and that play in many bands). And their combined efforts bring us their chaotic second album, “Mask of the Treacherous”.

Besides the band’s description on their Facebook page says “Old School Death Metal”, sorry to say, but there are many touches that run away from this. It’s ful of life, with some doses from more extreme Death Metal sometimes (on the drums, especially), some riffs are played with a different feeling, and the solos have a melodic insight sometimes, in the vein of earlier MOTORHEAD works. And the vocals… Well, we are speaking of Paul Speckmann, so you can expect tons of grunts with a clear diction. And how this album is good!

The sound quality is a bit harsh and raw, of course, as a Death Metal band in this way must sound. But don’t get in despair: the instruments and vocals are sounding clear and fine, and of course you’ll understand their songs’ arrangements with no difficulty at all. But be prepared for a massive Death Metal attack.

I should not say that this album could have an especial song or highlight. These nine songs are all fine pieces of what Death means, with a clear personality, and very particular. Here, there are no clones, just abrasive and harsh Death Metal, with perfect songs like “Mask of the Treacherous”, the abrasive and slow “Through the Filth and Riddled Ages”, “Bringer of Pain” (here you’ll hear clearly what I mean about more extreme and modern influences on their work. Hear these drums), and “Within Reach”. But this is a perfect album.

5 Star Rating

1. Mask of the Treacherous
2. Inhuman Lust
3. Through the Filth and Riddled Ages
4. The Wicked Marches On
5. The Bringer of Pain
6. I’ll End Your Rotten Life
7. Within Reach
8. Enslaved in Filth
9. A Grave for this World
Paul Speckmann – Vocals
Rogga Johansson – Bass, guitars
Brynjar Helgetun – Drums
Record Label: Vic Records


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