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Sweden's The Project Hate MCMXCIX (what a name!) has a few rodeos under its belt. The atypical band has been the author of several acclaimed albums that mix a corrupting frontier of death metal into industrial overtones often branded by techno beats or computerized touches, female vocals, and colossal tracks usually tipping the scales past seven minutes, which is quite antithetic overall. Nothing and everything about The Project Hate can be expected, and "Bleeding the New Apocalypse" progresses this visionary project through its stern abnormality and systematical mechanisms, even though the album marks the departure of longtime vocalist Jonna Enckell. But have no fear, for these cyber-blasphemers still zap and crunch like the savage Swedes that they are.
I guess it's important to mention that even though The Project Hate sounds crazy to the discovering newbie, they aren't impossible to digest. In fact, most of the riffs featured in "Bleeding the New Apocalypse" are made of typical techniques and grooves found in most death metal, like mid-paced punches and sharp technicality. Things get weird (in a good way) when the band calculatedly drops programmed beats and haunting synthesizers over their musical attack, which is actually an interesting method; the group's multifarious identity becomes so dazzling it actually stresses the band's performance into an organized mess that the listener will strangely appreciate, jaw on the floor and all. It's actually amazing how they can force so many sounds and thoughts into one song without tripping over their own feet.
The bombastic tirade against Christianity carries on for over an hour, spread over just six tracks of shuffling landscapes which roll like tanks over the endless destruction caused by the band's engulfing carnage. I think it's rather surprising how much they have up their sleeves, even though certain parts of the album (the middle of the thirteen-minute epic "Bring Forth Purgatory") bounce on aimlessly. However, The Hate hardly attracts such redundancy despite these huge tracks, which is always a plus. The record's various cameos provide unique contributions from Mercyful fate shredder Mike Wead, Candlemass' Lief Edling, and Christian Älvestam during certain intervals of the CD as well, another custom of The Hate's ritualistic execution. Not bad pop-ins by the visitors, not bad at all.
Lord K Philipson (the Hate's headhoncho) has interestingly been the subject of some scrutiny regarding the addition of Ruby Roque on female vocals instead of Jonna Enckell, who was exiled from the group prior to this record's birth, making "Bleeding the New Apocalypse" the first release to mark her departure. Any doubts the listener may have about Roque are immediately shattered the second her vigorous, sublime bellows lift the opening "Iesus Nazarenus, Servus Mei" to Olympus. Her voice is unparalleled and sensational; one of the finest female voices you'll ever hear, in fact. Roque's presence makes "Bleeding the New Apocalypse" colorful when it's grey, mighty when it's submissive, and balanced as the monolithic offering begins to tilt. Amazing, amazing performance.
"Bleeding the New Apocalypse" is not a record anyone can easily devour. It requires substantial attention and an acceptance of the coated tunes that slice from here to infinity and stop everywhere in-between; The Project Hate refuses to obey any rules but its own. If you're one of those folks often disgusted by such variety quoted in this piece, then that's fine, but those of you that are willing to let the band take control will probably find a gem worth a spot in your collection. Everything about the Project Hate is perfect on paper: ten-minute songs, industrial overtones, massive riffs, glorious cameos, shearing atmosphere, Ruby Roque's elegant vocals, and other factors that continue The Project Hate's ongoing offensive against the heavens.....someone should stop and ponder whether or not this flawless idea has become a flawless product. Maybe yourself, valued reader?
This review was written for: www.Thrashpit.com