“The Spectral Wars”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Rogga Johansson really needs a vacation. Badly. The fiendish Swedish guitarist at this point has so many death metal projects that I doubt if even he knows what all of them are. Some are quite excellent and I would never accuse Rogga of being a second rate musician, but the constant march of old school DM bands has become tedious in many ways. Grisly is very much a boilerplate Swe-death album that offers nothing fresh in the least.

You’ve heard everything on “The Spectral Wars” many, MANY times before. It is true to the classic Swedish DM formula, with emphasis on the word “formula”. I certainly don’t expect rabid innovation from Rogga (although some of his projects have definitely tinkered with things) but after a while, you need a breath of fresh air. The tunes here are morbid, aggressive, crunchy…and stale.

Little more to say about Grisly. I suspect this will be one of Rogga’s “one and done” bands. If you’re looking for Rogga at his best, try the new Down Among the Dead Men album he did with Dave Ingram as well as the latest Paganizer. Both of those have a bite that Grisly lacks.