Genre:Melodic Death
Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
Year: 2021

In Ancient Greece the myth says that  when Zeus, the king of the gods, resolved to destroy all humanity by a flood, Deucalion constructed an ark in which, according to one version, he and his wife rode out the flood and landed on Mount Parnassus. According to a story found first in the Roman poet Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Book I, upon offering a sacrifice and inquiring how to renew the human race, they were ordered to cast behind them the bones of their mother. The couple correctly interpreted this to mean they should throw behind them the stones of the hillside (“mother earth”), and they did so. Those stones thrown by Deucalion became men, while those thrown by Pyrrha became women. In early Greek versions Hermes told the couple directly to cast stones behind them.

In modern times in Sweden before COVID-19 resolved to destroy humanity Rogga Johansson started to cast riffs after riffs and melodies among brilliant solos, ferocious growls, moody tremolos and his “stones” became marvelous albums, gems of extreme sound. Probably the allegory is a bit overrated as Johansson never claimed to save extreme sound or something, but Rogga seems to be a workaholic and his creativity unrelenting in terms of extraordinary for a common artist. Yet Johansson and his many side projects are all well-crafted, but ok sometimes you think that you have heard before one idea or a riff. Still his “main” band Paganizer and Ribspreader have only excellent releases (personal speaking), the duo Johansson & Speckmann has two really strong studio albums and the Bolt Thrower like war-themed Just Before Dawn was the surprise of the year. No need for a break for the crazy swede and after eight or nine (I hardly can keep counting…) Rogga-related releases for 2021, another Johansson side project  is here, under the moniker Eye of Purgatory (originally formed in 2018) featuring members of Ribspreader and Venom Inc.! 

This is their sophomore studio full length, entitled “The Lighthouse”, out via Transcending Obscurity Records. The album is a decent melodic metal release full of catchy riffs, synths and focused on atmosphere. The sound is old school as it was born in the early 90’s but nothing close to sound retro. The production is clean wisely in order to give space to keyboards to be audible among tasty riffs and soft interludes, pummeling drums that combine mid tempo passages and fills with furious blast beats. The bass lines could be more thick as Kling (Inhuman Condition, Venom Inc. is giving a great performance with nice ideas. Featuring nine tracks and a little over 35 minutes long the album isn’t a masterpiece, but it is a pleasant hearing of melodic death metal as the ones we grew up in the 90’s and for some reason stopped being a choice for metalheads as bands turned their backs on this specific music route and preferred instead a hybrid of power metal with growls or a Kreator meets Maiden mash up that made some to rename Gothenburg to Gaytenburg…

Just buy “The Lighthouse” along with the new At The Gates album and make your summer a lot better…

Highlights: “Rebirther,”  “They Silently Await”, “Fornever to Awaken” and “Carved in a Stone Bleeding”.