Johansson & Speckmann
2013 Vic Records
Teamups are always big. Superman and Batman, Spider-Man and Daredevil, Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, peanut butter and chocolate... the list goes on and on. So a meeting of these metal megapowers had to happen sooner or later. Given that this is death metal, the teamup of Rogga Johansson and Paul Speckmann isn't comparable to any of the ones I mentioned. No, this is more like Doctor Doom working together with Thanos to conquer all existence. Only without ridiculous egos or backstabbing machinations... or some stupid hero getting in the way. On the one side, you have a true legend in the underground, in the form of Paul Speckmann. The guy has been around since before the death metal scene even started. He is, without a doubt, one of the true founders. On the other side, is a legend in the making, Rogga Johansson. The man is a riff-writing machine. About the only other guy from Sweden I can think of who even comes close is Nicke Terror (Rudolphson), known for his work in Sacramentum, Swordmaster, Runemagick, Deathwitch and Necrocurse, along with a few others. Rogga on the other hand seems to have something new going on every month. All killer, no filler. And that's the case here as well. While the guitar tone has that undeniable tone of Swedish distortion, the riffs are made of the same punk-inspired stuff that spawned Master. The production's a little thinner and drier than I might have expected or wanted, but none of that hinders the music in any way, shape or form. Speckmann's lyrics of course still things as he sees them. This world is on a collision course with oblivion, and we'd all better wake the fuck up if we want to try and stop it... if it's not too late already. For anyone wondering why this duo went with the name "Johansson and Speckmann," the answer is obvious. Nothing was brutal enough to call the band, so using their names was the logical solution.