Sweden's supergroup The Project Hate have once again assembled the troups and put together another solid album of "death-meets-gothic darkwave" metal, this one called Armageddon March Eternal. The band is made up of Lord K Philipson (House of Usher, Leukemia, Dark Funeral, God Among Insects), Jörgen Sandström (ex-Grave, ex-Entombed, ex- Krux, Vicious Art), Petter S. Freed (2 Ton Predator), Michael Hakansson (Evergrey), and supplemented by the lovely yet mysterious female vocals of Jo Enkell. The album was mixed by famed producer Dan Swano, as well as Lord K, so you can expect a larger than life sound here littered with crushing guitars and plenty of symphonic bits. In fact, the band's sound is pretty unique, as they mix anti-Christian death metal themes with trippy, almost prog/psychedelic elements that border on techno and trance. Think Behemoth meets The Gathering via the way of Braindance and you have an idea of what to expect with these guys. The album is dedicated to Nasum's late-Mieszko Talarczyk, who was slated to produce the album but perished in the Tsunami last year, so you can imagine the tone of the album is fairly somber.
Most of the songs here are pretty lengthy (to go along with their equally lengthy titles!), even for metal tunes, but it allows each piece to build in intensity and drama. The switching off of the ethereal female vocals and the growling death metal screams works well within the confines of each song, and actually makes the album even more compelling. Tracks like the pummeling opener "At The Entrance To Hell's Unholy Fire" or the bombastic yet melodic "The Bleeding Eyes Of A Bleeding Whore", juggle the crushing death metal vibe with the gothic stance quite well. "I See Nothing But Flesh" actually has elements of progressive metal, with upfront synths and piano, pounding guitar riffs, and intricate drums, while the male and female vocals reach both calm and furious settings. Another highlight is the raging death metal stomp of "We Couldn't Be Further From The Truce", featuring some of the most intense and powerful riffs on the album, along with plenty of growls and orchestral synths.
Armageddon March Eternal is a real winner folks. Besides the fact that the CD sounds great and is heavy as hell while also having a neat gothic/progressive vibe, I'm totally impressed by the female vocals of Jo Enkell. She gives the album that extra something special that will set it apart from many of the other death metal releases that we will hear this year. Recommended stuff here, check it out!
01. At The Entrance To Hell's Unholy Fire
02. The Bleeding Eyes Of A Bleeding Whore
03. I See Nothing But Flesh
04. Resurrected For Massive Torture
05. We Couldn't Be Further From The Truce
06. Godslaughtering Murder Machine
07. Symphony Of The Deceived
08. Loveless, Godless, Flawless