Johansson & Speckmann – “Edge Of The Abyss” (Soulseller Records)
Simon & Garfunkel. Lennon & McCartney. Page & Plant. Some of the greatest music of our time has come from legendary duos. After collaborating on a song for the first Megascavenger album Paul Speckmann (Master, Abomination, Death Strike) and Rogga Johansson (Ribspreader, Paganizer, Megascavenger) decided that working together on an album would be a good idea – three releases later and we have “Edge Of The Abyss”! Given both Johansson & Speckmann are both death metal masters and pioneers in their own right, this collaboration is nothing short of genius in serving up premium quality death metal mixing old school US and Swedish styles to excellence! From Speckmann’s guttural, growled-with-disgust vocals to Johansson’s definitive riffing, the emphasis is here is not on being extreme but on delivering a pinnacle product that brings together the best of the style through the copious experience of these legends. That said, with Paganizer lead guitarist Kjetil Lynghaug and drummer Brynjar Helgetun (Ribspreader, Megascavenger) also enlisted, you know this ain’t gonna be a disco!!! Ably grinding into bludgeoning death or scything viciously to speed and offering no mercy in between, Johansson & Speckmann tell you what death metal’s all about on songs like ‘You’ve Stepped On A Dime’, ‘The One They All Despised’ and ‘Misanthropy’. With a liberal use of evil melodies and employing samples to great effect, the duo show no compromise while intelligently composing and arranging their material to still be incredibly catchy and memorable, possessing plenty of hooks n grooves to really separate the men from the boys. If you’re after death metal perfection then “Edge Of The Abyss” delivers it abundantly across these nine tracks. Johansson & Speckmann. Remember their names.