The Project Hate MCMXCIX - "Bleeding The New Apocalypse (Cum Victriciis In Manibus Armis)" (CD)
"Bleeding The New Apocalypse (Cum Victriciis In Manibus Armis)" track listing:
1. Iesus Nazarenus, Servus Mei
2. They Shall All Be Witnesses
3. A Revelation Of Desecrated Heavens
4. Summoning Majestic War
5. The Serpent Crowning Ritual
6. Bring Forth Purgatory
Reviewed by Progressivity_In_All on May 12, 2011
Some bands write about riding a three-horse chariot of fire through the sky as the apocalypse rains down on earth. Other bands, like The Project Hate MCMXCIX, make that experience real. With "Bleeding the New Apocalypse (Cum Victriciis In Manibus Armis)," you can almost feel the heat. This is the band’s eighth album in their 13-year existence, and may be their magnum opus.
Right away, the stamp of famed death metal producer Dan Swanö is revealed in the sound of the mix. "Iesus Nazarenus, Servus Mei" kicks into gear immediately, stampeding through the speakers with riffs aimed to kill. All of the guitar and bass parts were done single-handedly by Lord K. Philipson, who also does all of the programming, keyboards and backing vocals on the record.
The bass playing is very audible, as sharp as a saw blade, and thunderously heavy to boot. The guitar sound is reminiscent of Bloodbath and Exodus, with hints of My Dying Bride and Cannibal Corpse. The guitar solos are tasty and numerous, with exceptional technicality and feel to them. Drummer Tobben Gustafsson plays with fury and skill, rivaling the death metal greats and also boasts a huge drum sound.
A stellar point of this album is the addition of female vocalist Ruby Roque, who lends her forceful and full vibrato-heavy voice to the picture. Tracks like "They Shall All Be Witnesses" stand out with a lot of help from her boisterous classical voice and the lower snarling growls of vocalist Jörgen Sandström. Another point of note is that the music frequently changes keys, which should really draw listeners from the Opeth and Daylight Dies camps. "A Revelation of Desecrated Heavens" begins with piano and evolves over nine minutes to become a multi-faceted highlight of the album.
"Summoning Majestic War" is a blend of doom and death metal that ups the ante on heaviness, using clever riffs involving octaves backed by oppressive warm synths. "The Serpent Crowning Ritual" takes even more liberties with bringing in unorthodox piano sections backed by ethereal vocals and programmed beats. "Bring Forth Purgatory" unfortunately takes two and a half minutes to get going, with a needlessly long synth passage. The only real complaint with this album is that Dimmu Borgir might have already done that synth passage before.
Listeners of modern death metal will love that the band is exploring new territory and accepting higher production values in their recordings. Listeners of classic death metal will love that the band never forgets their death metal roots and is dedicated to crushing riffs worthy of banging your head until you can’t feel your body anymore. "Bleeding the New Apocalypse" is the record that Vintersorg was too nerdy to write, Dimmu Borgir was too symphonic to write, and Cannibal Corpse was too traditional to write. That’s why it had to be written by this blend of truly unique individuals and had to be produced by Dan Swanö.
Highs: Huge production by Dan Swanö, merciless old school death metal feel, long tracks with many passages
Lows: The synth intro on "Bring Forth Purgatory" is needlessly long.
Bottom line: With this album, symphonic proggy death metal just had the bar raised and lit on fire.
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