The Project Hate MCMXCIX – The Lustrate Process

The Project Hate MCMXCIX – The Lustrate Process – 4.5/5

Since discovering their unique brand of industrial death metal, with distinct beauty and beast vocals, yet making no compromise on aggression, I have sought out more of their back catalogue, finding little truly distinct or performed in a unique enough manner to warrant an update, seeming contently stuck within the unique niche sound they’d created. That is of course until this – their newest offering – struck my speakers, and with Dan Swanö producing it comes as little surprise that they have succeeded in delivering what is possibly their finest work to date.

What this album does is less of a modification to their old style, but rather a pushing outwards towards the extremities; with more abrupt transitions between death metal fury and soft keyboard interludes, a tone thicker than ever before oozing with a fiery intensity, retaining a uniquely catchy sound with riffs to sink your teeth into, this sees them begin to stray into more experimental territory without ever feeling like an outcast of an album in their impressive discography.

Unquestionably in my mind the largest commendation goes to the guitars, successfully topping their work in every way imaginable, combining a thick tone which only serves to make the transition between the more expected raw aggressions of the death metal portions greater in contrast to the softer trance-like interludes. Once again with no shortage of pulsating riffs, he goes one step further and provides some of the most carefully created solos I’ve heard emerge from the genre. The bass also makes his most notable appearance to date, combining with the drums in a whirl of hard hitting energy supplying a sold base with which to work from, if neither are top of their game its at least comforting to hear them giving it their best.

The keys are less successfully integrated within this wall of sound, relying more heavily on the guitar work but perform with a majestic manner providing soft piano interludes, as well as the more noted industrial trace-like style. The female vocals feel thin, which whilst an excellent contrast to the thicker guitars, lends a less prominent feel, if not for the backing perhaps feeling too unenergetic and lacklustre, certainly not performed poorly but simply not to the standard she is capable of. On the other hand, the beast of the vocalists once again proves his worth, roaring with an intensity that lives up to his impeccable reputation.

This album is one that will rapidly grow on you. Different enough to revive interest in their work, yet familiar enough to feel like a natural evolution of their sound, and it is their sound that has been pushed beyond what it ever was before. The riffs are thicker, bass deeper, growls more aggressive, the interludes paint a more majestic picture than ever before and once all that sinks in their past work simply feels tame by comparison.

Highlights: Descend into the Pits of Eternal Possession, The Locust Principles, The Burial of Gods