If there’s one thing it should be pretty obvious that we love around here, it’s death metal. The wave of incredibly talented bands all bringing back some classic death metal sounds with aplomb has reached fever pitch as of late, with releases in the past few months from Temple of Void, Necrot, and Father Befouled all standing tall next to the giants of the 90’s. The effect this has had can’t be understated: far from just providing us with some new music to obsess over, it’s given us all a great reason to go back and revisit classic albums, rediscovering just what galvanized our love for death metal in the first place.
It’s in this mindset, one of understanding exactly what makes death metal such an exciting and timeless genre to explore and enjoy, that I bring to you Land of Weeping Souls, the newest album from underground Swedeath bad boys Paganizer. In the four-year span since the band’s last full-length album – the longest the group has gone since their inception in 1998 – they’ve refined and honed their sound, sharpening their brand of Swedish death metal to a razor’s edge. This is absolutely, unequivocally the band’s best album to date, one on which they show the young lions ruling death metal at the moment that the old guard still has a few tricks up their sleeve.
To put it bluntly, this album fucking rips. Every element of Paganizer’s formula is locked in exactly as it needs to be, and it’s impossible to find yourself not being swept away in the ensuing maelstrom of auditory carnage. The guitars sound like an orchestra of chainsaws, tearing through everything in their path and leaving only shreds and splatters of what was there before, the drums ring out like gunshots, and the vocals invoke an atmosphere of acid rain and deadly fog over the whole affair.
Paganizer may not have a particularly new sound, but they certainly aren’t pretending to reinvent the wheel on Land of Weeping Souls. This is a record for lovers of Swedish death metal, by lovers of Swedish death metal, and anybody who’s so much as flirted with the genre before is going to find a lot here to like. Anybody who likes what they hear – and I’m sure there’ll be quite a few of you – can preorder the record for its release tomorrow on the group’s bandcamp page.