The Project Hate MCMXCIX

Bleeding The New Apocalypse (Cum Victriciis In Manibus Armis)

01. Iesus Nazarenus, Servus Mei
02. They Shall All Be Witnesses
03. A Revelation Of Desecrated Heavens
04. Summoning Majestic War
05. The Serpent Crowning Ritual
06. Bring Forth Purgatory

[02/22/11]
[Season of Mist]

With a name like The Project Hate MCMXCIX [That’s 1999, for those too lazy to work it out – Ed.], I was lead to believe that these guys were just another brutal death metal band. How wrong I was; this is death metal with industrial influences, with both male and female vocals, featuring alumni from some great bands including Dark Funeral, Grave, Entombed, Torture Division and God Among Insects. Pretty impressive repertoire, but it’s far too easy to get caught up in past glories and forget the present.

Bleeding The New Apocalypse definitely contains influences from all those aforementioned bands, but the most interesting parts are definitely dominated by electronics and female vocals. Ruby Roque pulls off an amazing performance; I’m not normally a fan of female vocals in metal, but where they normally rely on an operatic style, Roque utilizes a far more direct and aggressive method. Don’t take that as she couldn’t manage it – she clearly has a huge range in her voice – just think more Tuesdae of Huntress than say Tarja Turunen in terms of the effect it gives off. As far as I can tell, I’m in the minority on this one.

The electronics are a little more hit and miss, unfortunately. There are a few forays into the cheesy synth world where rave music rules supreme: I mean just listen to the mid-section at the 7 minute mark in “Summoning Majestic War“; you’re one brass stab away from a Ministry Of Sound Ibiza collection. But you only need to skip back one track to instantly hear how the keyboards can be used to their advantage: the introduction of “A Revelation Of Desecrated Heavens” weaves in dramatic piano, pompous strings and huge riffing to good effect. The bombastic leanings even remind me a little of the more expressive moments of Dimmu Borgir because whether you like them or not, they’re on par with Behemoth and Nile when it comes to making music sound grand and majestic.

One thing I feel like I should mention is the length of the songs. These are no 3 minute pop-metal songs; the shortest song just falls short of the nine minute mark and the entire album tops an hour. Long songs are pretty risky business in the modern ADD-infested musical world, however Opeth are doing pretty well for themselves. So in that respect,  I guess crafting songs of that ilk is all about knowing when a part is outstaying it’s welcome and the distribution of new sections and ideas. Although I’m sure many would disagree with me, I just don’t feel there’s enough going on here to justify those type of song lengths. Sure there are plenty of changes but for every huge Morbid Angel invoking riff there’s three or four drab and middle of the road ones; not the best ratio.

And therein lies the problem. Project Hate are clearly made of some amazing musicians with incredible talent but I just don’t think that Bleeding The New Apocalypse is the forwards conclusion of that. Tracks like “Iesus Nazarenus, Servus Mei” stand out mostly because they’re more cohesive and keep up a good standard throughout but the majority of the tracks flick between progressive goodness and disappointingly bland. Far be it from me to say that’s a reoccurring theme throughout their extensive back catalogue, but it just doesn’t have the same kick that a really good album does; after I’m done listening I don’t feel to seek out more of their material or even listen to it again.

The Project Hate’s Bleeding The New Apocalypse gets…

2.5/5

– DL

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