"The Van Murders, Part 2"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Along with Paganizer, Ribspreader is the oldest of Rogga Johansson's many death metal bands. They first started unfolding tales of sickness at the very end of the 80's. That's a hell of a long killing spree! Alas, I wish I could say this has the quality of Rogga's other recent band, Down Among The Dead Men. While that monster will rank high in my year end list, I just don't get the same feeling of memorability out of this.

Apparently continuing the tale of two serial killers traveling cross county by van to do their dirty deeds, a lot of "Van Murders Part 2" reminds me of a Swedish version of Autopsy. There's a kind of woozy off-kilter lurch to many of the songs and like Autopsy, lead solos can come dive bombing at you at any moment. In fact, this may be the most "shredding" album I've heard Rogga play on...his axework (pun intended) is everywhere. There's even a shred-worthy instrumental, "The Cleaners Theme 2". Rogga also churns out the sick sounding vocals, but Ribspreader doesn't match the twisted extremity of Autopsy. The songs here are short, fast and not terribly memorable. They crank hard, but they don't leave much of a trace. The album's songs sound like they were thrown together rather quickly.

It's not the usual knock-off of classic Stockholm death metal, which is admirable, it's just that I think Ribspreader can be a lot more than they show here. Not bad, but certainly not essential.