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The Medea Project – Sisyphus

The Medea Project
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 05 April 2020, 4:46 AM

THE MEDEA PROJECT is a Gothic/Doom Metal band with origins from England and South Africa.  “Sisyphus,” is their first full length; in 2017 they released a self-titled EP.  The appropriately titled “Prelude,” is made of soft vocals and clean, sparse/ambient instrumentation.  It certainly has a Gothic feel to it but, of course, it doesn’t really prepare the listener for how heavy this album actually is.  “Sisyphus,” is a beast of an album built atop a mountain of riffs.  The guitar and bass are actually coated in a thick layer of Sludge to go along with pushing that deep Doom sound into even more crushing territory.

Brett, who also handles those guitars, has a tight command over his voice, which goes from a rough clean/shout to deep Death growls on a dime.  Both styles are very raw but then again so is the music—this is just a raw, dark, heavy album that pulls no punches. Through it all, Pauline offers up her own intense performance.  The drums often display themselves as the equivalent of a marching army—all encompassing, earth shaking, and always moving perpetually forward.

After the intro, “Babylon,” comes to us as an unrelenting force against the body and mind.  The bass guitar drops like slabs of concrete, complimented by the crashing cymbals and deep thump of the bass drum.  This whole song is the audio equivalent of a giant body bruise! By the third track, “To Know Us Is To Fear Us,” it is evident the album isn’t going to let up—if anything, it will go all the more brutal!  The death growls are perfect for the more dissonant approach to the Doom riffs, which are just going to leave you with a hurt neck from all the head banging.  Seriously, if this song doesn’t get you pumping then you might be dead!

The Ghost of St. Augustine,” brings us back to the style of the prelude track with a more quiet, ambient type of opening. It doesn’t last long however because those thick riffs make their return albeit a bit more melodic this time around.  Brett throws a curve ball with his vocals belt out in a deeper, more Gothic clean tone than before.  His growls soon explode out as the music gets slower and heavier, a deep dive dirge of Gothic melancholy mixed with the bludgeoning power of Doom/Sludge.

G.E.OF.F.” is a track that, unfortunately, doesn’t work as well for me as some of the others.  It isn’t bad, per say, but it sets between album’s two more abrasive halves so it throws off the pacing and sounds somewhat out of place. However, the album thankfully recovers nicely.  “Fear,” builds up perfectly and I loved the part where BRETT yells, “Fear!” and the music sparks up around him.  The bulk of the song alternates between intense moments and cleaner, Gothic movements highlighted by the jaunty bass and wonderful clean vocals.

The first minute and a half of the final track, “The Desert Song,” is rich with texture and filtered sounds that mimic a maddening person’s dying image of a mirage as they crawl through the endless sand.  The song’s Doom mid-section, which hits hard, is capped by another moment of textured layers that close down the album. Ultimately, “Sisyphus,” is an entertaining journey and a decent enough Doom album.  It didn’t blow me away, but it did what no doubt it was made for: destruction on a massive scale.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Prelude
2. Babylon
3. To Know Us Is To Fear Us
4. The Ghosts of St. Augustine
5. Gloam
6. Reaver
7. G.E.O.F.F.
8. Fear
9. The Desert Song
Pauline Silver – Drums
Brett Minnie – Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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