“There ain’t enough holy water in this world to cleanse me” – The Project Hate.
There is beauty in opposition, a secret The Project Hate has discovered. Vicious, guttural growls meld with soft, angelic vocals. Intense drums crumble into eletronic dance beats. A gnarled, distorted guitar track plays alongside keyboards. On paper, none of these things would work this well together. Somehow here, it does.
Hate, Dominate, Congregate, Eliminate is the fourth album from the Swedish band The Project Hate, and their most musically advanced to date. The Project Hate’s sound has evolved in something almost unclassifiable. One moment, the band is as heavy as heavy gets; machine-gun kick drums, violent guitars, screaming vocals, you name it. The next, they’ve shifted into electronica, with guitars trading punches with dance beats. A few moments later they’ve switched gears again; this time, it’s a vintage piano sound, with soothing female vocals layered on top. Unlike franticly paced bands like Mr. Bungle or Dog Fashion Disco, the song changes found here dissolve slowly, methodically, and logically. The shortest track is just over seven minutes long; the longest is over twelve. That gives each track plenty of time to breath and grow. These aren’t just songs — they’re journeys.
The band’s punishing sound is surpassed by their brutal lyrics. If you thought “I Smell Like Jesus… Dead” from the band’s When We Are Done Your Flesh Will Be Ours album was savage, get ready for a whole new level of darkness. HDCE deals almost exclusively with the battle between Heaven and Hell, and TPH leaves no question about which side they’re on. “Burn, weak one, burn / Now I am god / There´s no return / Once you´ve tasted My blood / Demons lined up / Grant angels Hate / Dominate, Congregate / It´s time to Eliminate.” Most of the lyrics are growled low enough that it’s tough to catch them the first time around, but reading along with the lyrics will send shivers up your spine.
Production on HDCE is impeccable. Jörgen (Grave/Entombed) Sandström’s screams perfectly express the pain and hate found within the lyrics. The dual guitar attack by Petter (2 Ton Predator) Freed and Lord K. (Leukemia/House of Usher/Lame) Philipson presents one of the most wonderfully crunchy guitar sounds ever. The real genius comes in Philipson’s other contributions — the programming of all drums and keyboards on the album. TPH’s drums sound more “real” than half the bands with real drummers out there. The quartet is rounded out by Jo Enckell, who provides enough relief with her heavenly vocals to keep TPH from boiling over.
At 70+ minutes, the album feels twice that length with all the changes found within. First time listeners might find the album somewhat overwhelming, due to the long song lengths and lack of sonic variety between tracks. Other than that, the album borders on perfection — a fact Lord K will be reiterate on any of the many forums he visits (including ours). Those looking to mix a little Heaven with a whole lotta Hell should definitely check out The Project Hate’s latest opus.