The Rickety Old Shack

The Project Hate MCMXCIX — CyberSonic SuperChrist

The Project Hate MCMXCIX - CyberSonic SuperChrist, cover

The true beginning of this band, Cybersonic Superchrist came out of nowhere to establish The Project Hate MCMXCIX as serious players on the death metal scene. At the time of its release, I knew literally nothing about the genre — and the "produced by Dan Swanö" sticker on the album, likewise, held no special meaning to me. As an ignorant 16-year-old, I bought the record based solely on a glowing review at DFL Music, a long defunct website I used to frequent. At the time, I listened to Metallica, Rob Zombie and a lot of lamentable nu metal; the description of an extreme metal album with symphonic and industrial elements really piqued my interest. At the time, death metal was an impenetrable genre; I needed something to make the brutality digestible, but this was still a gamble — I bought the album solely based on the praise of some random guy with a website.

For a kid just getting acclimated to heavier and heavier music, via bands like Machine Head and Fear Factory, CyberSonic SuperChrist was almost indescribably eye-opening. Never before had I heard death metal vocals like those of Jörgen Sandström; vicious, powerful, and — most importantly — intelligible! I could actually understand the lyrics; something that played a large role in my developing a willingness to indulge even more over-the-top vocal styles. The savage intensity of Jörgen's vocals is still an amazing thing to behold. Aside from a generous dose of reverb, there are no studio tricks — not even overdubs — and the vocals are massive in tone and force. A contrast in styles, with ferocious death metal roars juxtaposed with dark, brooding, female singing, the music itself is similarly diverse and varied. To describe The Project Hate MCMXCIX as merely a death metal band is woefully insufficient.

The use of mechanical, programmed drums was something I had never considered in extreme metal before. Sure, a lot of underground metal drummers sound like machines, but the notion of programming drum beats in lieu of a live player was something I had never considered. Later, when I looked into bands like Mortician I realised that it's very easy to use drum machines if you don't care about the music sounding robotic, sterile and monotonous. The Project Hate manages this feat; it's not impossible, it is a lot of work however. The execution of the programmed drums, as well as the integration of keyboards, strings, and other electronic sounds produced such a unique combination; at the time I didn't think such brutal music could groove so hard, or include so many disparate elements. Massive, rhythm-heavy guitars, first rate death metal and clean vocals, and just the right mixture of soaring synths and somber paino — the best of so many worlds, combined.

Listening to CyberSonic SuperChrist in 2012, and it really does sound dated — moreso than any other release, except for Deadmarch: Initiation Of Blasphemy. The album is still quite listenable, and it doesn't suffer from the technical issues that its aforementioned predecessor does, but CyberSonic... still pales in comparison to the audio engineering on subsequent efforts. As The Project Hate progressed, every aspect evolved — the complexity of the compositions, technical proficiency of the players and the production. As far as debut albums go, it is difficult to imagine asking for me. This was a key album in my development as a music fan; from the opening roar of "The Divine Burning Of Angels," I was hooked; 13 years later, and I still consider The Project Hate to be my favourite band.

Summary

The official debut of The Project Hate, CyberSonic SuperChrist really only suffers from a dated sound. The material stacks up well, though it is much more stripped-down and basic compared to the compositions on later albums. Personally speaking, this record was the game-changer that forever altered my tastes in music. The absurdly downtuned guitars, and the unparalleled death metal vocals and the mixture of symphonic elements — and chilling female vocals — were everything I wanted out of music, I just didn't know it yet. Looking back at CyberSonic SuperChrist, it is amazing to consider everything that has followed in its wake; the evoling of The Project Hate since this record has been something wonderful to behold. Not essential listening at this stage, but still a quality album and one I will never tire of — the opening to "Shape, Memory, Murder" still gets me pumped up to this day.

Album Information

Release date: February 14th, 2000
Record label: Massacre Records

Jöorgen Sandström — vocals
Mia Ståhl — vocals
Kenth Philipson — guitars, bass, keyboards, programming

Track Listing

  1. The Divine Burning Of Angels
  2. The Swarming of Whores
  3. Self-Constructive Once Again
  4. Shape, Memory, Murder
  5. Nine Spectrums Of Impurity
  6. Soul Infliction
  7. Oceans Of Seemingly Endless Bleeding
  8. Christianity Delete
  9. With Desperate Hands So Numb

—by Derek

Published: December 8th, 2012