The Project Hate MCMXCIX — Bleeding the New Apocalypse (Cum Victriciis in Manibus Armis)
Picking up 2 years after the release of The Lustrate Process, we find The Project Hate releasing another album after signing a deal with Season Of Mist. With the new label came other changes, including new guest musicians, the group's third drummer in as many albums, and more. The last change is the most significant: Ms. Jo, who provided stunning clean vocals on the past 4 albums, does not return this time, with newcomer Ruby Roque taking her place in the group. While I am unfamiliar with her other band, Witchbreed, I can say she definitely brings a new element to the tried-and-tested Project Hate formula.
The change in the female vocal position really stands out as one of the bigger shifts The Project Hate has undetaken. Where Mia Ståhl and Ms. Jo had excellent melodic voices, their styles were consistent with "secondary vocalist"; great sound, tone, and performance, but ultimately more passive in their presentation. As the new clean singer, Ruby brings an extremely commanding lead vocal presence; while not quite as melodic and serene as her previous two counterparts, Ruby still acquits hereself quite well. I will admit, it took me a little while to get accustomed to her very different vocal delivery — and a fair bit of delay, reverb or both on her tracks — but it works very well with the material. The dynamic of contrasting singing with death metal growls remains, but Ruby isn't doing much in the way of mournful lamentation.
Those who listen to the band's back catalogue in order will notice the continual progression of the song writing, in terms of complexity, song length and overall technicality. As usual, the tracks on Bleeding The New Apocalypse are even longer than ever — the opening track, "Iesus Nazarenus, Servus Mei" clocks in over 13 minutes. Sonically, this is the group's most crushing effort to date; the guitar tones are unbelievably massive and yet still leave plenty of room in the mix. One of many things I appreciate about the mixing on The Project Hate albums is the presentation of the bass, this new record being no exception. And still, somehow, there is room in the mix for an array of backing samples, strings, keyboards, and electronic loops, and the superb drumming of Vomitory's Tobben Gustafsson. The riffs are the expected amalgam of death metal and addictive grooves, this time with a more noticeable hint of black metal influence with more fast tremolo riffs than in the past.
At the time of this record's release, The Project Hate had been in existence for 12 years. Each album release has me wondering how the new material will stand up to an extensive back catalogue of quality releases, and each time I am pleasantly surprised. Bleeding The New Apocalypse is no different in that regard. While it did take me some time to adjust to Ruby's vocal style, the transition period was very short. Jörgen Sandström turns in another top-tier performance, putting down truly terrifying death metal roars — he's still one of the best vocalists in the game. Everything about The Project Hate is on-point here, spread out over 65 minutes of epic, symphonic death metal.
Over a decade in existence, The Project Hate continues to refine their craft, giving listeners a taste of both the new and the familiar each time. Conceptually, every record is more or less the same, painting vivid pictures of an endless war between heaven and hell, and yet somehow they avoid truly repeating themselves. As with all the albums released before it, Bleeding The New Apocalypse presents everything the band does well, giving exisiting fans everything they could ever want and providing newcomers with the perfect starting point to begin listening.
The seventh album from The Project Hate, showcasing some added nuances to the trademarked interplay of demonic, death metal roars and clean female vocals. Devastatingly heavy riffs abound, this latest offering is another welcome addition to their discography. Bleeding The New Apocalypse doesn't skimp on any of the ingredients that make a Project Hate record great.
Release date: February 14th, 2011
Record label: Season of Mist
Jörgen Sandström — vocals
Ruby Roque — vocals
Kenth Phillipsson — guitar, bass, keyboards, programming
Tobben Gustafsson — drums
Mike Wead — solos
Magnus Söderman — solo
Christian Älvestam — vocals
Leif Eidling — vocals
Jocke Widfelt — vocals
- Iesus Nazarenus, Servus Mei
- They Shall All Be Witnesses
- A Revelation Of Desecrated Heavens
- Summoning Majestic War
- The Serpent Crowning Ritual
- Bring Forth Purgatory
Published: April 30th, 2012.
Edited: January 31st, 2018.