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Project 34 - Volume 2

Project 34
Volume 2
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 31 May 2019, 2:57 AM

Sydney, Australia based PROJECT 34 represents a journey through the unknown. PROJECT 34 released “Volume 1” in 2018. Focusing heavily on atmospherics, chanting, hypnotic guitar loops and laced with vocals evoking the extreme range of human capability, “Volume 1” set the mood for what is now to follow. “Volume 2” is a year of musical and artistic reflection through a timeless atmosphere. With the envelope pushed further, this is a release to immerse yourself in and be transported to another realm. This is not a band, rather a boundary-less view within ones subconscious soul, unlocking the endless stream of creation once believed unattainable. PROJECT 34 features members of Australian progressive metal act SANCTIUM and many other guest performers who remain nameless so the music can truly do the talking. The album contains ten tracks.

“Breathe” leads us off, with hushed guitar notes and a somber feeling. The vocals are odd…grunts that turn into screams that are somewhat subdued. When the main riff hits, the drums roll in as well. The vocals are still all over the place….Black Metal at times, hateful always. Experimental music doesn’t begin to describe what you are listening to, but we’ll get to more of this a bit later. “Forever” brings more weirdness to the table. The music is almost Jazzy, but the guitars maintain a haunting presence while more of those vocal grunts can be heard. The sound begins to have some structure as the vocals even out, but not for long. A traditional guitar solo sounds like it was dropped in via truck on a fly-by.

“Distant Eradication” has a bit more of a traditional sound out of the gates. Those vocals though, I have a feeling you are going to love them or be extremely annoyed by them. Dissonant guitars attack while double bass drums roll. The sound shifts at around the half way mark, to dark and mysterious tones. “Birth” moves quickly with anguished vocals and speedy drumming, marked with guitars that have some droning qualities and overall feeling of disconnectedness. “Deceased” is another one that starts off heavy and aggressive, before falling to despair. Like the last man standing, you reach inside for whatever is left and fight back. “Judgement” is a shorter song, opening with mysterious bass notes and some background ambiance. The vocals are beginning to grow on me now and I can appreciate their unique style.

“Morality” opens with pure hatred in the vocals and support from the guitars. Then, the sound suddenly drops. The guitars provide some feedback while the vocals wail like a tortured soul. Through this, piano notes are played as if by a boy who hasn’t a care in the world. The juxtaposition is truly amazing here. “Anguish” is a short, two-and-a-half-minute song that pulses with energy, slowly and cautiously. “Last Breath” is a mid-tempo, grinding song that is heavy on the front end but dies down into a bass groove that is covered in feedback and light vocal groans. The atmosphere they build here is pretty amazing. It springs back to life for the remainder of the track, light enemies closing in around you.

“Never” closes the album, and seemingly culminates the album with its spellbinding sound. All of the previous anguish and hate seem to come out most in this song. It is fierce and as deep as the deepest hole in the earth. Overall, this was a deeply personal album that leaves the listener open for interpretation. As I mentioned before, experimental is a loose term when it comes to describing the music. The vocals…you are either going to love them or hate them. But if you dig deeper, you will find their purpose in the music. They are often at complete odds with the music, but it works in an unconventional sort of way. This is one of these albums that just has to be heard a few times to appreciate.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Breathe
2. Forever
3. Distant Eradication
4. Birth
5. Deceased
6. Judgement
7. Morality
8. Anguish
9. Last Breath
10. Never
Lineup:
Christopher Lahoud
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 07 July 2022
 

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