Johansson & Speckmann [Sweden/USA]
Mask of the Treacherous
Rogga Johansson and Paul Speckmann, arguably two of the biggest names in death metal these days, with Rogga being involved in a whole host of bands and projects (at least 7 projects as of last count). With the debut release Sulphur Skies by Johansson & Speckmann now being almost 2 years old, the duo returns early into the year with their sophomore album, Mask of the Treacherous.
As one would have come to expect after exposure to numerous Rogga projects, one wouldn’t be surprised if Mask of the Treacherous sounds familiar. But with Spekmann in the mix as well, things are a little bit more interesting over here. As with Sulphur Skies, Mask of the Treacherous is a relentless death/thrash assault, and the entire aural aesthetics adapted by Johansson & Speckmann quickly brings bands like Speckmann’s Master and Death Strike to mind. Apart from that identifiable vocals of Speckmann, there’s also that thrashy vibe that Johansson gives to the band’s sound with his riffs, along with the d-beat assault of Brynjar, helping to give a slight death ‘n’ roll touch to the record as well.
There is little on Mask of the Treacherous to differentiate the record from Johansson & Speckmann‘s debut Sulphur Skies. In fact, playing the two records back to back, one would find it difficult to distinguish the two records. Notwithstanding, Mask of the Treacherous is still one hell of a fun record to listen to, and those who found Sulphur Skies addictive will be in for a treat with Mask of the Treacherous.