Paganizer - Carnage Junkie
Vic Records
Death Metal
17 songs (50:15)
Release year: 2008
Paganizer, Vic Records
Reviewed by Thomas

Oh, how I love the sound of rotten old school Death Metal in the morning! This is Paganizer from Sweden with Rogga from Edge of Sanityand Deranged behind the wheel. Carnage Junkie has actually been ready for release since 2006, but was however postponed into a seemingly eternity before it was released late in 2008. The band made up for the continuous delays by adding five (!) bonus tracks to the already pretty lengthy album. We’ll come back to that later, but I must admit that 17 songs is a tad bit much. Anyway, these guys have been around since ’98 and have released six full-lengths (including this), and a shitload of demos, splits and EPs. If you’re unfamiliar with their work, I can tell you that they haven’t changed drastically over the years, and they sound like your typical Swedish death metal act. There’s elements from both Grave and Dismember here, only that these guys are not as consistent as either of those bands.

Paganizer has yet to make an impact on the death metal scene, and let’s face it; there’s certainly a reason for that. Don’t get me wrong, this is actually rather enjoyable, but they are however failing miserably in reinventing anything. Then again, who said that was their target? This is plain and simple death metal with a hint of the more brutal gore, the craziness of thrash and a little touch of melody here and there for the fainter of heart. Overall, Paganizer does deliver a pretty good performance. Rogga’s deep and rotten nightmare-ish growls, sometimes grunts are out to slay everything on their pathway to hell. The chopping and fast riffing is aggressive enough; still not as mortally morbid you’d want them to be. The drums…. Well what can I say; Matthias Flebig’s hellish blasts seem just a little of sometimes which gets very annoying when you’re noticing it. Other than that, he plays with fairly precise execution and does succeed in driving this beast forward. The problem with this is that everything is flowing together. There is not, as you’d expect, much variation. That makes the fact that there are seventeen freaking songs here unbearable. Slightly, if any, changes in tempo and style are audible.

If they could’ve cut this in half somehow, it would be much easier to appreciate. Now you’re just sick and tired after twelve songs and want to shut the whole thing off. It’s a shame really, because the things that are done properly here is more than enjoyable. Short, fast and brutal songs that does nothing but slam you in the face with blunt objects all the way through. As far as production goes, you’d expect that any established death metal band has superb and clear sound. That is also the case here. There’s a fitting balance between too clear and too raw or sharp, kind of like a blade that can cut and cut deep, yet not all the way through. The guitars have a nice and deep distortion without getting lost in bass, and the growls are often deep yet not as puke-as-much-as-I-can-on-the-mic as it easily could’ve been. In other words, there is definitely a healthy balance.

I enjoy this quite a bit even though I’m not anywhere near being the biggest death metal fan around. The problem is that they could’ve left half of Carnage Junkie out and it would be a little bit better even. Death Metal isn’t exactly the genre you’ll connect with catchy melodies and fun which means that it’ll be easily accessible. Death Metal bands is difficult enough to enjoy as it is, and seventeen similar songs will definitely not do the trick for the listener newly introduced to the scene or metal in general. Fast and brutal as they are, Paganizer fails to make an impression as a complete death metal act and merely fades into generic territory. Chances are that you’ll enjoy this as I do, but there are so many bands out there doing the same things much better that I really don’t see the point. Not bad for what it is, but you’re definitely not missing out on much.

Killing Songs :
Death Plain and Simple, Among the Unknowing Dead, Blunt Blade Surgery, The Cadaverous
Thomas quoted 72 / 100
Other albums by Paganizer that we have reviewed:
Paganizer - Murder Death Kill reviewed by Crims and quoted 82 / 100
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