PUTREVORE: Miasmal Monstrosity
Release year: 2021
Label: Xtreem Music
If you’re into death metal, more than likely you’ve come across extremely prolific Swedish guitarist Rogga Johansson or one of his bands such as Paganizer or Johansson & Speckmann (where he teams up with Master-head honcho) or Down Among The Dead Men or Revolting or Ribspreader or The Grotesquery or… well, I think you get the picture. He’s in a lot of bands. He’s also released an amount of albums in the magnitude of a shit ton.
Sadly, his prolific nature does come at the expense of quality. Whilst Johansson is by no means a no-talent hack, he does seem to go for quantity over quality too often: churning out one fair-to-middlin’ death metal album after the other, when more time spent on honing riffs and abandoning the chaff, keeping the wheat would result in more worthwhile releases.
Sadly, Putrevore, one of his numerous projects, suffers from this as well.
With Putrevore, Johansson has teamed up with Xtreem Music bossman Dave Rotten, who provides the vocals in his considerably deep, guttural death breath. It is these that, above all else, define the sound of Putrevore: brutal and heavy.
Putrevore’s previous album, their third full-length Tentacles Of Horror, was an okay effort. I liked it enough to buy it but, I have to admit, haven’t since then spun it more than once. I guess that’s somewhat endemic of Johansson’s projects: they’re definitely not bad per se, but too often a rather forgettable row. The kind you listen to once or twice, and then forget all about.
Miasmal Monstrosity does not deviate from this pattern. At first listen, the deep guttural vocals, down-tuned brutal old school riffs and the overall abrasiveness of the music sounds kind of good. However, pretty soon you’ll come to the realization that there isn’t much substance under the surface here, not much meat on the bones: the songs aren’t memorable, the riffs aren’t memorable, the overall sound is more akin to a pastiche of other bands of this ilk than anything truly original. More than an album, it feels like a sketch: a rough idea of how the band should sound. Too bad they forgot to fill in the parts that would make it interesting.
Miasmal Monstrosity isn’t a bad album. There definitely are – like there usually are on Johansson’s albums – moments when things click and you hear what the album could have been, but then it’s back to the nondescript run-of-the-mill churning. It’s a bit deplorable really, that an album with so many nice elements such as this, from awesome covert artwork to pleasantly monstrous vocals to an old school, mainly mid-tempo, riff-driven style, falls into the gray mass.
Still, I suppose it’s worth a spin just for curiosity’s sake, at least from some streaming platform or such, to see if this is up your alley.
Summary: Ever prolific Rogga Johansson churns out another album in a style and quality familiar to him.