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[12th December 2012]

02. I feed you THE flesh of your poisonous Christ
04. We watch in silence as the earth turns to blood
06. Conquering the throne of the CADAVEROUS
08. The great RETALIATION is upon them
10. Carving out the tongues which speak of salvation
12. Welcome the Judas Agenda

The Project Hate MCMXCIX is an industrial death metal band hailing from Sweden and have a bit of pedigree, featuring former members of Swedish death metal legends Entombed, Grave, and Vomitory in their lineup. Calling them purely ‘industrial death metal’ seems almost a disservice to the wide range of sounds and ideas that are on display on this album, The Cadaverous Retaliation Agenda, their 9th studio album, and features multiple guest guitar solos. They make use of both a male and female singer, and have quite a bit of variance in tempo, mood, and dynamics. It’s very tempting to label them as a progressive death metal band, which would probably be not far off the mark.

The album consists of twelve tracks, six of which are actual songs, and the other six are interludes. The interludes vary in sound, some of them are more trance-like, with almost a dance-y feel to them, while others are symphonic occasionally including strange distorted and ominous voice samples. With one between each full track, the interludes help the album flow marvellously between songs. The atmosphere and tone are kept intact without any silence to disrupt the mood the album creates. Where the flow problems are, however, is in the songs themselves. Many times on most of the songs, there are a few points where a section ends and another one begins without a smooth transition, making it sound like two separate songs have been jammed together into one track which creates a slightly awkward listen. It is a minor concern, however, as the ideas represented are of excellent quality and quantity.

The Project Hate are considered industrial death metal, but there is much more to this album than that genre label indicates. The drumming is excellent, provided by Dirk Verbeuren of Soilwork. It melds perfectly with the strange hypnotic rhythms provided by the music itself. The guitar riffs and programmed orchestral and synth elements, while occasionally lacking fluid transitions, offer up one great idea after another. They create an almost dance-like feel at times. Other times, they create a driving, pummelling pace, the kind to headbang to until your neck snaps. The orchestral elements are hard to do without being too cheesy, and for the most part they succeed here. It helps that it’s not all bombastic symphonic hits, and that there are some parts that leans towards more electronic sounds rather than purely symphonic. The electronic elements add a nice texture to the songs without being overdone. The combination of female clean and male growled vocals works well, though not spectacularly so.

The Project Hate have been making albums for a while, so it’s fair to say main man Lord K knows what he’s doing by now. The Cadaverous Retaliation Agenda is a very solid album, with some good ideas that are strung together a little haphazardly. The songwriting is ambitious, with only one track coming in under 10 minutes, and the promise is only partially delivered on. The guest solos are generally excellent, but the transitions between sections are what really keeps the album fro achieving greatness. Hardcore fans will love it, and for the casual fan it’s worth a listen, but if you’re not into this kind of music, it’s not the ideal place to start.


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