The Project Hate MCMXCIX
Armageddon March Eternal (Symphonies of Slit Wrists)

“ONCE AGAIN WE BRING ARMAGEDDON!”

Apt opening to start the album as “At The Entrance to Hells Unholy Fire” kicks off album number four from this legitimate Swedish super group comprised 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 rounded out by the darkly angelic voice of Jo Enkell, now fully established in replacing Mia Ståhl. If that wasn’t enough talent and big name allure, Armageddon March Eternal also has a whole host of guests performing back vocals that’s reads like a who’s who of Swedish death metal including Gustaf Jorde (Defleshed), Jonas Granvik (Without Grief), Morten Hansen, Linus Ekström, Peter Andersson, Anders Eriksson, Lalle Levin, Tobben Sillman, Jocke Widfeldt, Matti Mäkelä, Insulter of Jesus Christ!, Jonas Torndal (Grave), Anders Schultz (Unleashed) and Björn Åkesson.

Dedicated to the memory of the late Mieszko Talarczyk, who helped produce the last album Armageddon March Eternal (Symphonies of Slit Wrists) is simply put, a The Project Hate album. For the uninitiated, that means a healthy does of anti Christian, down tuned lumbering Swedish death metal a la Grave (of course), mixed with some techno/trip hop, ambient electronica and ethereal female vocals. It’s a unique mix, which TPH has pretty much perfected now and basically continues to purvey with little meddling from the formula of the last three albums. With Lord K himself and Dan Swanö producing, the album retains its crushing Swedish girth and attentive listeners will notice a slight upping in the electronica, with even an entire song (“Loveless, Godless, Flawless”) being dedicated to the tribal beats and Jo Enkell’s voice alone.

The songs are still pretty lengthy, to the point of overdrawn, as in my opinion they could all be condensed to 5 or six minutes instead of the standard eight, but that is part and parcels of TPH’s shtick. Truthfully, the opening track “At The Entrance to Hells Unholy Fire” lacks attention gripping initial punch beyond the opening vocal line, but the nine minute monster “The Bleeding Eyes of a Breeding Whore” brings the pain with a deadly crunch and far more haunting beats and interludes that creep and slither with far more menace than the opener. Ms Enkell’s with the aid of a vocal coach, has elevated her game and is now part of the assault, not just female compliment, as her voice is supine yet deviantly sensual, like a fire eyed succubus tempting the innocent. “I See Nothing But Flesh” has tough acts to follow, but lumbers along more directly as the piano tinkers under the massive riffs. “Resurrected For Massive Torture” starts with delicate Enigma like beats before delivering arguably TPH’s most melodic, atmospheric and hauntingly controlled track that even features an extended solo followed by an insanely heavy groove.

While “Godslaughtering Murder Machine” has a nice violin segue and some surprisingly somber riffage and “Symphony of The Deceived” is a higher octane, ominous, punisher, to be honest other than the hypnotic “Loveless, Godless, Flawless”, the rest of the album has trouble retaining the early high quality, more so due to the long track length, but partly due to the fact that TPH’s sound is pretty much the same theme for each track. That’s not a real negative per say and it’s certainly not limited to this album as honestly you could put all four albums on a random CD player an be hard pressed to identify what tracks came from what albums; But at the same time be utterly blown away. If anything, TPH are consistent, you know exactly what kind of beating you are going to get with a TPH album.

All the traits of a fine TPH album are reliably here; monstrous production, painfully heavy riffs, darkly elegant synths and female vocals all littered with well-placed industrial/techno elements. That being said, TPH is an acquired, coppery taste that requires the acceptance of techno dance beats and a pretty rigid and lengthy approach to song structures. Still though, personally, TPH enthrall me with virtually every note and every release and Armageddon March Eternal (Symphonies of Slit Wrists) is a fitting addition to their Christ raping techno death anthology.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
October 5th, 2005

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