The Project Hate MCMXCIX
Hate, Dominate, Congregate, Eliminate

Thanks to our friends at Candlelight, this album is now available in the US and it was worth the wait. One of my favorite bands has released the album they’ve hinted at for 2 decent but hard to find efforts. Both Cybersonic Superchrist (2000, Pavement Music) and When We Are Done Your Flesh Will Be Ours (2001, Massacre) hinted at excellence, but you were lucky if you could get your hands on them. Finally reverting to basically the only label worthy of them, Threeman Recordings (home to Entombed and Murder Squad and run by Rickard Cabeza, Matti K’rki, Uffe Cederlund and Peter Stj’rnwind), “supergroup” The Project Hate have released utterly crushing Stockholm death metal album that still maintains their quirky electronica and hateful lyrics.

Featuring my favorite guitar tone of the year (courtesy of guitarist Lord K. Philipson and Nasum’s Mieszko Talaczyk) a new female singer, and now free from label issues, TPH have basically peaked. Hate, Dominate, Congregate, Eliminate is a tour de force, with rumbling malevolent down-tuned riffs, haunting female vocals and song structures that the last two albums couldn’t quite find consistently. With all the songs over 7 minutes, TPH manage to hold your attention for the entire time, whether with Jo Enckell’s ethereal voice, Jorgen Sandstrom’s (ex-Grave) massive bellow, or injections of essentially ‘techno’ intermissions, the album both stuns and entertains. New Singer Jo Enckell has a more delicate presence than former singer Mia Stahl; she is more subdued but more evocative and sorrowful. Her addition to the songs make for a more ominous mood that’s already pretty brooding thanks to Lord Philipson’s and Peter S Freed’s (2 Ton Predator) massive riffs and liberal use of keyboards.

Essentially those looking for a layman description, this is basically Grave with some Goth overtones and experimental trance/trip-hop beats thrown in. But it’s also so much more. Hate, Dominate, Congregate, Eliminate also features a handful of guest vocalists to add to the chaos as Magnus Caligula (Dark Funeral), Mogge Lundin (2 Ton Predator), and Rikard Alriksson (Genocide Superstars) add some vocal variety to the proceedings. With not a single blastbeat in sight, the huge guitar tone wades through eight equally hateful hymns of anti-Christian dissent laden lumbering grooves, epic dirges and eclectic ambience.

Standout tracks are hard to pinpoint, as all the single themed songs are pure Stockholm heaven. The 12 minute “Burn,” has to be mentioned though, as it never lets up for its entire duration, and there’s not many 12 minute non-doom songs that can hold my wicked short attention span. “Dominate,” with its sublime piano-laced interlude, also had me enthralled. ‘Eliminate’ starts with a classic Stockholm riff, that could have been culled from any early Sunlight Studio album, but it’s quickly given an injection of Ms. Enckell’s mournful diction.

Most of the songs feature some kind of “techno” break, either alone or backed by the monstrous guitars, and while those segments may have death metal purists grimace, I rather enjoyed them. Rather than come across as pure filler, they are done just right, as come across like Fear Factory or Avulsed’s full-on committed forays into techno, rather than a piecemeal gimmick. The breaks that surface most insistently during “Hate” and “Nailed” are violent exercises in Prodigy-esque tribal dance beats mixed with classic Swedish death metal – how cool is that? However, to their credit, those moments are never as drawn out or forced, as they sometimes came across in the last two albums.

Hate, Dominate, Congregate, Eliminate is simply magnificent album that harkens to Stockholm’s storied past, but with injections of futuristic nihilism that creates an pretty unique style that only TPH can claim. A sure-fire, top ten contender for 2003 or 2004 (depending if you got the initial Threeman version or the Candlelight licensed version).

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
August 25th, 2003

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