The Project Hate - _Armageddon March Eternal (Symphonies of Slit Wrists)_
(Threeman Recordings, 2006)
by: T. DePalma (6.5 out of 10)
With a great sense of melody and tasteful inclusion of electronic music into the stream of rote Swedish death metal, The Project Hate's _Armageddon March Eternal_ flaunts technique within natural movements between styles. In some ways their patchwork sound is an updated version of Dan Swano's underappreciated Pan-Thy-Monium outfit (and how appropriate it was that he sat behind the mixing board in place of the late Mieszko Talarczyk). There are, however, lingering faults concerning personnel and the arrangement of so many different voices and for so long a time.

As The Project Hate return with greater symmetry shared between vocalists Jörgen Sandström and Jo Enckell, the results are formulaic with stressed dynamics that manage to bring out the worst in the group's typically devilish foundation. Enckell, smooth and placid as she sings, might as well be made of wood and string, or better yet, a string sample programmed on the ivory keys; lovely and lifeless. To her credit, most of the borrowed contrivances from singer Tori Amos have been purged, now replaced with perfect, drawn out answers to Sandström's own stock growls (joined by friends from Grave, Unleashed and Defleshed). You'll see her described elsewhere as "angelic" and "beautiful", which is only too true. Enckell's talent is undeniable. However, its use on record becomes a grating and predictable ordeal. To remark simply of its "beauty" is to admit to a dull and rather commonplace performance, at least as far as a female's employment in metal goes.

Given The Project Hate's obtrusive anti-Christian lyrics (unseated only by the ridiculousness of Aeon's_Bleeding the False_ album), Enckell, on at least one occasion -- "Godslaughtering Murder Machine" -- is cast in the role of female usurper, using her cords to sweep up the remains of a cunt-conquered God. However, with all of its operatic teasing and commands for us to kneel to The Goddess, it comes off as a cheap way to grease an adolescent fan-base (at least, the mentality of).

She is at her best on the very un-metal "Loveless, Godless, Flawless", backed by a selection of piano, cello and trip-hop beats that calm down the past hour into an elegiac close. The guitar work is competent and drilling, primarily an engine of safe death metal rhythm but used impeccably in gothic melodies to match the flow of keys. For these variations, The Project Hate proves able in style and substance, profiting greatly from Phillipson and Swano's studio noodling to create a convincingly full and discernible monster.


(article published 26/3/2006)

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