Project Hate MCMXCIX – Hate, Dominate, Congregate, Eliminate

Project Hate MCMXCIX – Hate, Dominate, Congregate, Eliminate – 4/5

Looking for more female fronted bands, particularly in the more extreme ends of the genre I came across this band, which whilst featuring prominent female vocal work doesn’t constitute a majority. Apprehensive would be the word as I approached this band with the dreaded ‘industrial’ label like the plague, hoping for this to be that time I was wrong about the genre.

As it turns out, they didn’t need even one minute of my time, listening to the first track to proudly display just how wonderfully industrial tones can work in death metal. The guitars keeping a solid deep riff going, whilst the drums prominently keep things running smoothly from there end, juxtaposed with an annoyingly catchy synth/keyboard riff that wouldn’t sound out of place in a trance track. In fact, combining two opposites is something they excel at, slowing down the pace for the female vocals, suddenly vanishing into a short violin interludes, before blasting back into the trance filled death riff. And that’s simply the first track in their repertoire.

They keyboards are done in two ways, the overt mannerisms where much of the industrial tones come from, and the soft keyboard backgrounds for the softer passages. Both succeed in doing very different aims, being slow and emotional (and rather unusual for death metal, it must be said) as well as being electronic and catchier than the riffs could be alone. The guitar riffs are often fairly simplistic, but when its required of them they overpower the keyboard in creating something memorable and distinct.

The drums work well, being heard but blending in, particularly with the keyboard work. The occasional ‘overuse’ of cymbals never feels as such, as the way they are done is short and blunt, working with the synth sound to add a sort of grinding crash to the sound produced. The bass too often plays a prominent role, in keeping things deep, so as not stray overly far into catchy-trance territory. This, combined with the growls ensures that every track stays well within the confines of the genre.

Despite all this, none of the aspects used feels particularly well done. The guitars whilst good aren’t brilliant, the drums subtle but rather simplistic, even the vocals, failing to really reach an emotional note, the growls not overly aggressive in tone, and the clean vocals rather predictable, and performed in a good, rather than excellent fashion. Instead it really is the composition, the way every aspect is seamlessly blended together in a unique and interesting manner that creates an album that has few definitive highs or lows.

This album has successfully produced tones that are quite simply unique, the riffs and chorus lines succeed in being catchy, the industrial influences tastefully dispersed with a plentiful prominence and the end result is a worthwhile one. Don’t go in expecting high-tempo aggressive affair, and you shouldn’t be disappointed.

Highlights: Hate, Deviate, Burn

By T. Bawden