The unconquerable realm of Swedish death metal is something that I hope will never go away for it will always provide us with material that will never lack in any department, particularly satisfaction. When it comes to masters who continuously dominate the scene, you cannot go two bands in without giving a mention to Rogga Johansson and everyone he teams up with. The man embodies so much of what Swedish death metal has become synonymous with as his laundry list-esque number of bands he’s in continues to grow seemingly every year, it is with Eye of Purgatory that we see the legend take grab our attention yet again for a performance that is exactly as on par with his other works as any of us would expect.
It’s hard to fathom that this is already the fourth(!!!) album that Rogga has been a part of in 2021, that we know of at least, and the man shows no slight in quality nor determination to create death metal the likes of which we can always return to and reliably find excellence on every single outing without exception. Teaming up with Taylor Nordberg from Ribspreader and, my personal favorite from him, Goregäng (new album, please!), and Jeramie Kling from Venom Inc. and also Ribspreader (really, Eye of Purgatory is just Ribspreader: The Sequel), I think it’s safe to say that “The Lighthouse” was destined for glory the moment that trio sat down to pen the very first notes and beats that would evolve into this massive effort. The Lovecraftian themes that Eye of Purgatory work with throughout all of the nine tracks that this album boasts without shame, this is an album that takes all of the core aspects that Swedish death metal has become known for and absolutely runs with them to a tremendous extent. That’s something that can be said about many works that these musicians have created, particularly Rogga, but there’s a personality to what’s been done within the confines of “The Lighthouse” that I just cannot quite put my finger on as the definitive factor that allows the record to rise above to become the slab of excellence that it is the moment it starts playing. From the overwhelming melodies to how well the entirety of the album itself flows from one testament of power to the next to the uncompromising power that’s at full force in every moment to the intoxicating songwriting that puts “The Lighthouse” several cuts above what many others in the scene can bring forth to even the keys adding even more awesome layers to this already ridiculous mix of raw glory, how could Eye of Purgatory not bring forth such a massive work for this outing?
Every year is a good year for Swedish death metal no matter who is putting out material, but when the name of Johansson, Nordberg, or Kling are attached you know you’re in for something special, and seeing them together in any form is an experience destined for utter greatness without exception. Eye of Purgatory has provided us with what could very well be the first titanic work of its style that 2021 will see released, and it’s every fucking iota of “The Lighthouse” that demands to be praised for anything less than that is a true insult to what has been crafted here.
“The Lighthouse” releases on June 18th via Transcending Obscurity Records!
LISTEN to advanced tracks from “The Lighthouse” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Eye of Purgatory on Facebook here.