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Project Assegai - Project Assegai

Project Assegai
Project Assegai
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 08 November 2018, 12:05 PM

PROJECT ASSEGAI was formed from the ashes of Newcastle band VENDETTA in 2014. This is their self-titled debut album, release the 13th of September 2018, and contains eleven tracks. “Crimson Dawn” is a mood-setting opening instrumental song, reminding me of a band like QUEENSRYCHE, with gentle clean guitars and an ominous tone hanging in the background. “Judgement Night” roars in with an easy listening riff and some twin guitar harmonies. It sound like some old school 80’s metal, with that DOKKEN like riff and ballsy chorus. The guitar solo is very dexterous and alive. “Revolution in Mind” is a hard driving rocker, with a mid-tempo pace and some fairly average lyrics. They play with a lot of energy but this is the kind of music that you have heard before for sure.

“Outworld” has a bit of a different sound, reminding me of early FATES WARNING, with a slow grind of clean guitars and the charge of distortion. The guitar work is strong here and some of the vocal harmonies shine as well. The vocals are just a bit off in pitch in “In your Eyes,” which is otherwise a fairly solid tender song. He guitar solo bleeds with emotion as well. “Transfusion of Fear” opens with that three-note bass pattern that Steve Harris made so famous with IRON MAIDEN. They lay on that easy-listening riff throughout the song, adding some vocal harmonies in the chorus. “Motherlode” features a heavier riff and some straight up aggression. The lyrics are a bit cliché, though the band plays with some genuine energy.

“This is Armageddon” is another mid-tempo song with a tired, re-used riff. It’s like you stepped back into the 1980’s, but not the part that flourished with new bands and various styles. They have to be able to inject their own personality into their music, or they will just exist as a copy-cat band from the 80’s. “My Ship has Sailed” is the obligatory “ballad” on the album, performed with some genuineness and honesty, but it’s just more of the same. Box seems to sing better when he stretches out a bit into the upper ranges.

Overall, I’m just not sure where this album has a place in today’s Rock/Metal scene. The riffs are nothing new, and it’s as if you took a time machine back about 30 years. I hate to say it, but even if it was released at the height of the times when this sound was in, it would be buried by other, stronger releases. Box doesn’t have the vocal stability to compete with the Dickinson’s, Dio’s, and Halford’s of the time, and although he is a good guitarist, he doesn’t distinguish himself enough. The artwork is great, but that’s about the best thing that the album has going for it.

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 3
Memorability: 3
Production: 8

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Crimson Dawn
2. Judgement Night
3. Revolution in Mind
4. Outworld
5. In your Eyes
6. Conform
7. Transfusion of Fear
8. No Holds Barred
9. Motherlode
10. Is This Armageddon
11. My Ship has Sailed
Lineup:
Edward Box – Guitars, Vocals
Gary Foalle – Bass
Ronnie McLean – Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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