Furnace
The Casca Trilogy

I haven’t listened to anything from Rogga Johannson (Wombbath, Revolting, Catacomb, Reek, Massacre, Paganizer, Ribspreader,  etc), in a while, so I thought id check the latest releases from his Furnace project (along with Catacomb bassist Peter Svensson), as its one I had not heard before.

Big mistake….. as it was like a recovering drug addict swan diving into a pool of black tar heroine…

If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “Man that Rogga Johannson is a lazy motherfucker. After all, he’s only released a Leper Colony album so far in 2023, I wish he’d do more”… Well, Furnace’s latest album is for you……

30 songs, 3 Cds, and over 2 hours of music.

I’ll let that sink in.

And to top it all off, The Casca Trilogy is a 3 part concept album about an immortal warrior from his time as a Roman Legionnaire (CD1; Legionary, the Viking era , CD 2; Thralls and Blot, to World War I , CD3 :The Guns of August. Also, I might add, the whole thing is packaged and presented excellently.

Now, don’t get too carried away, epic prog rock this is not, this is still a Rogga Johansson project, so you sort of know what you are getting as he isn’t straying too awfully far from his simplistic Swedish death metal roots. But this is a little catchier like his  Revolting project, and this is certainly more melodic death metal, with a nod to early Edge of Sanity and Cemetery, and a gravelly, loose approach that reminds me of bands like Grenadier, House of Atreus, and Arghoslent.

Now covering all 30 songs isn’t happening here, but if you like any of Rogga’s projects, this is by far his most ambitious. Not by way of songwriting, as this is still his trademark, simple, repetitive, riff-based melodic death metal with a gruff, steady canter for the most part.

And the mood or tone doesn’t really change even between the 3 different era/stories, as there’s no real dynamic storytelling via the music either, even with a few slower numbers here and there (i.e. “Until We Meet Again”, “Death by Decree”, “Blood Eagle”, “In The Eyes of a Dreary Winter”, “War is My Destiny”). Only the Viking chants that start “Midvinterblot” and “Blood Eagle” from CD2 (my favorite of the three if I had to pick one) clue you in as to which particular story you were listening to. Which is a shame as CD 3 could have used some slightly more powerful, trundling riffs befitting the subject matter.

However, he does deliver some of the more enjoyable, crunchier, catchier riffs of his repertoire with the likes of “Brink of Mortality”, “Cursed with Life” “Where the Sea Meets the Sky”, “Wrath of the North”, “Thrall”, “In Hel Together” and “A War of Attrition”.

That said, I’m not going to listen to this album from start to finish anytime soon, outside of this review. There are some good tracks I’ll revisit here and there, but I think I’ve had my fill of ‘Revolting Rogga’ for a little while.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 3rd, 2023

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