Hymns of Ghastly Horror

Even though I’ve always thought Rogga Johanssen was a bit of a second rate Dan Swano with all his projects, most of them sounding a little too similar, last years Revolting effort, my first exposure to the band, In Grisly Rapture pleasantly surprised me and had me locating the bands previous works and a gaining a new found respect for ‘Revolting’ Rogga.

It’s no surprise the ultra productive Johanssen has another Revolting release out so quick, but what’s surprising is how good it is. Adorned with the same striking Desmond Root artwork and essentially having the same playful and melodic take on Swedish death metal, Hymns of Ghastly Horror ups the level of melody and catchiness to truly impressive levels making for a really fun death metal album.

Even though most of the songs have the same overall gait and pace, each song has some sort of melodic lead running through the main riff or chorus that’s just catchy as all get out.  Even the albums most ‘brutal’ track, “Ravenous Alien Spawn”, settles into a melodic little ditty later on. But all the other tracks simply gallop along with the same semi D beat canter and rumble laced with a harmonic melody. It’s simple and often repetitive, an never quite death n roll or campy horror metal (i.e recent efforts by Rocking Corpses or Splatters) as it retains a gruff and tangible Swedish death metal tone,  but boy is it addictive and fun.Even with the typically horror themed and gruesome subject matter, you will find yourself humming or whistling along to the likes of opener “The Mother of Darkness”, “The Black Queen”, groove and sample laden instrumental “The Thing the C.H.U.D Not Be”, “Pray to Katahdin”, and “The Hatchet Murders”.

Hymns of Ghastly Horror is far better and memorable than anything  Rogga’s other 2012 releases by Ribspreader (though this years Kult of the Pneumatic Killrod is still worth it, as you get virtually every Ribspreader release in one package) or The Grotesquery and hopefully will become his main focus band and put a little something extra into an already enjoyable formula.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 17th, 2012


  1. Commented by: vugelnox

    man I really tried to get into this album but the songwriting is just so damn bland. I’ll put it on only to find 3 or 4 songs have gone by and that my attention had completely drifted away.

  2. Commented by: Devils Lettuce

    And what is it with their artwork? Two albums with naked headless bodies. Yeah do something else guys.

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