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DEATH ORGAN

Progressive Metal • Sweden


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Death Organ biography
Death Organ are a Swedish Progressive Rock/Death Metal band based in Stockholm that play a Hammond Organ rich fusion of classic symphonic prog and death metal, complete with clean and growled vocals. The band uses no guitars in the creation of their sound, depending heavily upon the driving keyboard sound of Per Wiberg (of Opeth fame). Death Organ released their debut album 9 to 5 in 1995, and a follow up second album Universal Stripsearch in 1997. Both albums were released on the Ad Perpetuam Memoriam label.


Death Organ is:

Per Wiberg
Klass Hägglund
Markus Källström
Patrik Schultz
Jocke Sjöström

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Universal StripsearchUniversal Stripsearch
Ad Perpetuam Memoriam
Audio CD$22.99
$26.34 (used)

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DEATH ORGAN discography


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DEATH ORGAN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.05 | 2 ratings
9 to 5
1995
3.00 | 2 ratings
Universal Stripsearch
1997

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DEATH ORGAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 9 to 5 by DEATH ORGAN album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.05 | 2 ratings

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9 to 5
Death Organ Progressive Metal

Review by ozzy_tom
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Is it possible to mix death/black metal with organ-driven retro-prog style? Guys from Swedish band "Death Organ" believe that it's a very good formula... but I'm still not so much convinced.

Anyway "Death Organ" is a music project led by Per Wiberg, keyboardist famous from progressive death metal band "Opeth" and old school heavy metal/hard rock outfit "Spiritual Beggars". On their debut album we can listen to very untypical exclusively Hammond-driven prog metal style full of angry growling vocals. Extreme metal without any electric guitars!! Does it really work? Let's check these songs one by one:

1. "Hate" - album begin with headbanging, ultra-mean organ riffing and heavy drum beats. Really not bad, unfortunately soon after vocal part comes...and horror begins. I just don't like growling "singing" at all to be honest and it's too much of this kind of vocals here. Thankfully three people deliver voices on this album so except growling screaming guy we can also listen to some new-metal, almost hip-hop like one and more conventional one. All three guys (lead vocalist, drummer and organist) are singing together and give us impression of constant "conversation" between them. Not bad idea, if I'd be forced to listen only to this rusty, screaming guy I would become crazy very fast! Anyway "Hate" is a fast-tempo track with crunching organ chops and rather annoying vocals. BTW great Hammond solo included.

2. "Sane?" - pretty much more of the same but this time featuring more hip-hop like, "talking" vocals which I "enjoy" only a little more than ugly, growls. "Enjoy" is not a good word, I just tolerate them a bit more. Anyway growling guy also provides lots of his trademark screams so lovers of death metal should be satisfied. But surely I'm not! Thanks God middle, instrumental section is quite long and deliver us from "evil". Sane? For sure these guys aren't sane :-P.

3. "Workers" - of one the best songs on "9 to 5" begins with long, organ-driven "intro". And it's a damn good beginning! However after that screaming pals are coming back. Fortunately quite melodic refrain "Working, working, dying..." saves the day. Organ work is as usual fantastic and a real reason why I still more-or-less enjoy it.

4. "Abuser" - it begins as fast tempo, almost "lively" song...but with definitely pessimistic lyrics ("Loser, abuser", "Abuse your life", etc.) but later becomes heavier and heavier and almost doom metal atmosphere is created. Very dull speaking parts (about "verbal masturbation"??!!) also don't help. Fortunately organ/bass guitar soloing in the second part of the song are a truly redeeming feature.

5. "Greed" - one of more "catchy" tunes from this record. Fast tempo rocker with dominating "clear" vocal. Includes very long and inspired organ soling: at first avantgarde-like and later very smokin', 70s style. Along with "Miles away" it's my favorite tune here.

6. "Control" - oh, man, it's an one ugly bastard. From the beginning we are attacked by ultimately angry and ugly death/black metal screams. Uhhhh. Thankfully whole second part of the song is mostly occupied by organ performance in courtesy of Per Wiberg. I could also swear that I can clearly hear some electric guitar licks, however guys from "Death Organ" swear that no electric guitar was used there, so I assume that probably Klass Hägglund can play such bass lines that I can't distinguish them from normal guitar. Maybe...

7. "Miles Away" - without doubt it's the real highlight of Death Organ's debut. Not only because we don't have to suffer any ugly, rusty vocals (it's pure instrumental composition) but mainly because it's truly fantastic, almost nostalgic, "Scandinavian" feeling track, full of 70s inspired organ passages and bass guitar licks (is it really only bass??). More than 9 minutes of sheer beauty which let as forget about previous vocal excesses on "9 to 5".

Overall it's very difficult to judge this album for me. I love all of these Hammond chops, riffs and solos played by Per but I really hate about 70% of vocals. I just don't think that death metal fits to progressive rock formula so much. Death metal is rather a big enemy of any ambitious music (yes, I know, "Opeth" fans will want to kill me but I really think so). I'm afraid that extreme metal fans won't like Death Organ's music 'cause it's too retro and sometimes too mellow for them, while prog fans will hate it because of annoying, growling and/or almost nu-metal vocals. However I can recommend this album to fans of such combination represented by other progressive death/black metal groups which like to use old-school keyboard gear like: "Sigh", "Borknagar", "Solefald", "Ansur", "Sculptured", "In Lingua Mortua" or "Vintersorg". I still enjoy occasional listening to "Death Organ" and all of these similar bands I mentioned just now but it's surely not my "cup of tea".

BTW I've heard that their second and last album called "Universal Stripsearch" is much better but I've never listened to that one so I can't say anything about it.

P.S. I know that I mixed such names as "black metal", "death metal", "extreme metal" here and specialists of these genres can blame me for that. But really, I don't see much difference between them, so sorry guys... I just described this music the best I could.

3,5 stars for "9 to 5" from ozzy_tom

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