Album Review – Leper Colony / Leper Colony (2023)

***Review by Luke Hayhurst, writer for Morbid Wings (Print) ZineVM Underground Fanzine and Doom-Metal.com***

I’m very much of the opinion that Rogga Johansson doesn’t sleep! How can he sleep with a list of bands and projects that would keep a civil servant happy for a decade? His latest endeavour is the Death/Thrash Metal triumvirate Leper Colony, who have chosen Friday the 13th of January as a suitable date to unleash their debut self-titled album through Transcending Obscurity Records.

You can’t ask for a more powerful opener than The Human Paradox; a blistering track of intensive Death Metal ferocity and wild thrashing aggression. Deep growled vocals bring to life a very captivating chorus section whilst chugging riffs and frenzied drumming complete with punishing bass and extravagant guitar melodies. ‘Perdition’s End’ is a more direct and hard-hitting track with simpler riffs and in-your face vocals, though the rhythm guitar here has a cold tinge to it that is rather enigmatic.

There is little variation to this opus which spans just over the half an hour mark, save for the odd passage of slower, groovier rhythm such as during tracks like Rapture Addict. However, the ferocious aggression, raging guitar solos and fuck you attitude certainly make up for that! A very listenable album full to the gills with mighty riffs, energetic urgent drumming styles and unadulterated violence.

Best moments of the album: The roaring opener that is The Human Paradox.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2023 by Transcending Obscurity Records

Track listing
1. The Human Paradox 4:22
2. Perdition’s End 3:19
3. The Surgical Undeadvors 3:43
4. Tar and Feathers 3:15
5. Rapture Addict 4:40
6. Leper Colony 4:35
7. A Flow So Greatly Macabre 3:20
8. Flesh Crawl Demise 3:24
9. Gruesome End 2:55

Band members
Marc Grewe – vocals
Rogga Johansson – guitars, bass
Jon Skäre – drums

Links
Leper Colony Facebook | YouTube | BandCamp | Spotify | Apple Music | Amazon

Album Review – Just Before Dawn / The Dead And Those About To Die EP (2016)

Put on your military gear, give no quarter and bang your head to the excellent Death Metal crafted by these belligerent men-at-arms.

Rating5

CR-043CD_ARTWORKI must warn you that the first review of 2016 will be as devastating as a blitzkrieg, leaving you completely disoriented after this 27-minute bloodthirsty onslaught is over. I’m talking about The Dead And Those About To Die, the brand new EP by Swedish Death Metal infantrymen Just Before Dawn, who above all things are here to lead us all into the battleground with their refined and belligerent metal music.

Formed in 2012 and having already released the full-length albums Précis Innan Gryningen (Swedish for “Just Before Dawn”) in 2013 and The Aftermath in 2014, Just Before Dawn are back with a more solid lineup, also including some guest troopers armed with their screams and guitars (including Swedish musician Benny Moberg, who was also responsible for the artwork). As a matter of fact, the EP was already “released” in 2015 as a cassette under the Till You Fukkin Bleed label, but the official release as a CD by Chaos Records and by the band itself on BandCamp  (also in digital format) is set to January 2016, which means now it’s the right time to get to war.

And let me tell you that the warfare bred by Just Before Dawn will be brutal based on the opening track, the old school Counterbattery, where heaviness is taken to a higher level thanks to the carnivore growls by Jonny Pettersson, the demonic riffs by Jonny and the band’s mastermind Anders Biazzi, and the imposing beats by drummer Brynjar Helgetun. Next, the voice in the background only adds more wickedness to Otnumbered, slightly faster than the previous song but as heavy as hell, with Jonny getting insanely aggressive on vocals while the song’s riffs drag the listener to the battlefield.

Inlaysheet.epsThe following tune, Graves Without Crosses, presents hints of Doom Metal, which end up making the atmosphere a lot denser in its 7 minutes of obscurity, therefore sounding like a deadlier version of Blackened Doom. Besides, how not to get excited with its warlike lyrics (“A war is fought by man / At the gates of every battle / He stands strong / Stand his ground and face his enemy face on / Defeat is not an option / Surrender, he will never do”)?

Anyway, it’s time to accelerate the rhythm and consequently add more fuel (and blood) to the battle with Into The Iron Mist, an amazing composition showcasing how metallic this army can be. Simply put, it’s top-notch Death Metal, with highlights to the impactful combination of its hawkish growls and headbanging riffs. And the last tune, beautifully entitled Through A Rain Of Fire, keeps up with the offensive ambience generated by the rest of the EP, breaking your neck mercilessly. Bombs explode into pure Death Metal in this hellish chant, not to mention its chorus which, albeit being excellent already, gets even more electrifying due to the song’s pounding drums.

You can find more about Just Before Dawn and their music at their Facebook page, and order your copy of The Dead And Those About To Die at the Chaos Records’ official BandCamp page or webshop. What are you waiting for? Put on your military gear, give no quarter and bang your head to the excellent Death Metal by these unstoppable men-at-arms from Sweden.

Best moments of the album: Into The Iron Mist.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Chaos Records

Track listing
1. Counterbattery 5:30
2. Otnumbered 5:17
3. Graves Without Crosses 7:03
4. Into The Iron Mist 4:38
5. Through A Rain Of Fire 5:12

Band members
Jonny Pettersson – vocals, guitars
Anders Biazzi – guitars, bass
Brynjar Helgetun – drums

Guest musicians
Rogga Johansson – vocals
Håkan Stuvemark – lead guitars
Vesa Kenttäkumpu – lead guitars
Marko Palmér – lead guitars
Benny Moberg – lead guitars, artwork