Originally written by Erik Thomas.
Why can’t the ubiquitous Lord K (God Among Insects) and Jorgen Sandstrom (ex-Grave/Entombed, Death Breath) and their cohorts get a steady, consistent, multi album, respectable record/distribution deal? Massacre/Pavement Records, then Threeman, then Candlelight and now the non metal label owned by Swedish almost famous character actor Peter Stormare… what the fuck?
Anyway, delivering their now perfectly crafted take on Swedish mid range death metal mixed with tribal techno beats and Anti-Christian ethereal female vocals, The Project Hate don’t veer from the sound of their previous albums, that’s to say the seven lengthy tracks are still essentially interchangeable with any of the other tracks from any of the other albums, but on In Hora Mortis, TPH seem to have really found the perfect mix and balance of their trademark elements that meld together far more seamlessly than prior efforts.
Whereas previous TPH tracks were simply a few minutes of down tuned, earthy Grave styled mid paced death metal, then a female fronted, techno beat section, then more death metal, In Hora Mortis is far more varied and slightly less formulaic. The tribal moments are ingrained and interwoven more into the character of the songs rather than a piecemeal midsection. Of particular note is female singer Jonna Enckell who replaced Mia Stahl on Hate, Dominate, Congregate, Eliminate, as she really comes into her own, with more of a lead vocal role, delivering some hypnotic, angelic yet spiteful lyrics–never has Anti-Christianity sounded so beautiful. Also, Lork K and his crew (now with a real drummer) seem to have added some surprising melody to the mix, making for the band’s first really ‘complete’ album.
In Hora Mortis is just chock full of huge, down tuned grooves and some truly spectacular moments of techno, death metal and female fronted goth artistry coming together into one epic display of Christ hating heft and grandeur. Of course, all the songs are rather long, with the shortest beingeight minutes, but they are all far more memorable than anything the band has done in the past. Of particular note is the three minute mark of “Crawling Through the Infinite Fields of Carnage”, 2:20 mark of “For Our Name is Chaos Eternal”, the ominous grooves of “And Damnation is Forced Upon the Weak”, the slow foreboding burn of closer “The Innocence of the Three-Faced Savior” and standout “Tearing Down the Walls of Heaven,” with its crushing rumble, huge tribal drum injection, haunting melody and evocative, disturbing vocals where Enckell really shines.
Lord K and co have finally delivered the fully symbiotic, memorable album they have hinted at throughout their consistent career and this looks to be one of my personal favourite albums of 2007. Now all we need is a US label to step up and get this thing distributed outside of Swedish record stores (good luck finding this thing until that happens).