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The Grotesquery - The Lupine Anathema

The Grotesquery
The Lupine Anathema
by Martin Knapp at 15 April 2018, 9:16 AM

Who doesn’t like old school, meat and potatoes death metal, the sound of bands like OBITUARY, BOLT THROWER, or swe-death bands like DISMEMBER or UNLEASHED? If there is one person that delivers large quantities of old-school, brutish, pummeling death metal with just the right amount of technicality to keep things interesting, it is Rogga Johansson, who over the course of his career has been in and out almost 40 bands - no kidding, just look it up. He is best known as the vocalist of the band PAGANIZER, his collaborative project with Paul Speckman (MASTER); my favorite band that he has been involved in is the now disbanded project he had together with one of the top dogs of the Swedish scene Dan Swanö called DEMIURG, which unfortunately called it quits after releasing their monster of an album “Slakthus Gamleby” in 2010. THE GROTESQUERY is also one of his main projects, which is releasing it’s forth album so far.

It should be obvious from the bands that I’ve name-dropped above what to expect from THE GROTESQUERY’S news offering “The Lupine Anathema”. It is old-school death metal through and through, but because of the lycanthropic lyrical theme we also get moments of creepy atmosphere to this serving of brutish metal. The album kicks off with “Under the Curse of the Full Moon” and you can tell from the song that things are going to get serious. The song is brutal, murky and pummeling and doesn’t give the listener any breathing room except for a brief atmospheric bridge. “By Feral Ways” is a groovier cut with an epic melodic main riff. “The Faceless God” has a slow, menacing BOLT THROWER riff in the verse and a more hooky melodic riff that carries an impactful gang chanted chorus. Another favorite of mine here is the mid-tempo “Dark Cry of the Wolf”. It is also one of the more melodic cuts which has more in common with HYPOCRISY than with, let’s say, ASPHYX or DISMEMBER. The album closes with another mid-tempo song “Bloodcurdling Tales”. This song is perhaps the most atmospheric one on “The Lupine Anathema”, but after a brooding, melancholic start thing start to get more intense and the song build ups to BEHEMOTH-like levels of intensity.

My only complaint about this album is that not all songs here shine like the ones that I’ve highlighted here. I wouldn’t say that any of the songs here are mediocre, but there are some more pedestrian ones. They are not bad, but they don’t have the high replay value that the groovier, melodic cuts on this album have. That being said, any fan of old school death metal in general and mr. Johansson’s music in particular would be well advised to check this album out.

Songwriting: 7
Memorability: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Under the Curse of the Full Moon
2. By Feral Ways
3. Wrath of the Garvulves (By the Eyes of Moonlight)
4. Advent of the Werewolves
5. The Faceless God
6.  As Death Dies
7.  The Beast of the Bayou (Night of the Rougarou)
8. Dark Cry of the Wolf
9. Ithaqua the Wind Walker
10. Bloodcurdling Tales
Lineup:
Herr R. Johansson - Guitars
Master K. Lee - Vocals
Grand Master J. Berglund - Bass
Notorious B. Helgetun - Drums
Record Label: Xtreem Music
     


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