30 Reviews in 30 Days: #1
There is an offshoot of National Novel Writing Month called Camp NaNoWriMo but the rules of camp are a little looser than the 50,000 words in 30 days that the organization challenges writers to do in November. My challenge for the month of April is to get myself back on track and do 30 blog posts in 30 days, each about a 1000 words each, totalling 30,000 words for the month. Doable, right? With my crazy life, it will take a deadline to get back into the writing habit and to slow down and listen to music with that critical ear. So here I go back to my plan that I set out in January to do, review all my CD’s and cassettes as I go through them cataloging and reorganizing.
The Project Hate MCMXCIX The Cadaverous Retaliation Agenda
2013 (Mouth of Belial Productions)
I don’t quite recall how I first heard of The Project Hate. It might have been from a friend or a link or a rabbit hole late one evening. They are for the most part, one person, Lord K Philipson, based in Sweden, and funding everything through crowdsourcing. One of the first posts I read was Philipson posting about how angry he was that his latest, The Cadaverous Retaliation Agenda was shared after the initial digital only album (at the time) in the wild wild west known as the Internet. I listened to some samples and was turned on enough to send the gentleman a PayPal payment to get my digital copy of the album, in both a lyriced and an instrumental version. Philipson was very responsive and we exchanged emails.
Late last year, a new endeavor, due to popular request, was to print a limited edition release of said album. Again, I paid Philipson, and received a signed and numbered (#153 of 200) digipak with full artwork and booklet that includes the lyrics. I wanted a physical copy because 1, the music is well worth paying for again, and 2, because the track naming puts a proper listen in order to all out of whack when I transferred it to my other listening devices. Hence, here is now the overdue review.
1. DCLXI – This track is a symphonic, black metal-esque intro that sets the mood for the entire symphony that is The Cadaverous Retaliation Agenda.
2. I Feed You the Flesh of Your Poisonous Christ – Oh, such delicious blasphemy in the eyes of the Christians. The way I’ve been feeling about the state of my living situation makes these lyrics speak to me all the more. “The image of Christ infests you / The light of your God, now gone!” But these are not the usual drivel of Christian belief bashing that you hear out of so-called Satanic/Black/Death metal bands. Philipson’s lyrics bespoke an imagery that transcends. The melody under the vocals envelopes the listener at high volumes (which is the only way to listen to this album). Ruby Roque’s elegant voice breathes even more life into the first major movement of TCRA. Yes, movement, as the track clocks in at a second shy of 15 minutes. As the song rises to a near call to action crescendo at the end, we end with a near lone piano that is joined as the track bleeds into the next.
3. DCLXII – In between each vocal movement is an instrumental outro/intro. A darker mood mellows into a darker shade of the night.
4. We Watch in Silence as the Earth Turns to Blood – Awaken, open your eyes and ears and witness the carnage. This track’s overall feel is more death metal in the opening as an in your face transition jolts you from your mellowness of the interlude of track 3. Danny Tunker’s guitar solo in the first bridge of this movement soars as a pit swirls. It is a continuation of a call to action that was introduced in track 2. Ruby’s vocals continue with a juxtaposition of the harmonious graveled growl of Peter Dolving alternating sections of the lyrics. Magnus Soderman’s solo in the second bridge reminds me of Yngwie Malmsteem. A picture of painted of a reaping.
5. DCLXIII – This interlude instrumental shifts seemlessly from the death growl to an industrial style that I could loop over and over when I’m in mood for such, something that would blend in well with Fear Factory and Scorn.
6. Conquering the Throne of the Cadaverous – This opening bars here from the previous interlude is not quite as seamless as the prior transitions. A death metal song with jazz overtones and brushwork on the drums in the first bridge. Dirk Verbeuren’s drumwork is steady precision throughout the album, even when it comes to the rapid fire double kick that comes. Each movement is a marathon of sweat for him, as he transitions from rapid to mellow and back again over the course of the opus. Philipson’s “clean” guitar in this movement picks to a delight worthy of a flamenco-ist. At this point, I have to say that I am adoring Ruby’s voice. She’s not to high strung in tone, but soulful and easy on my ears. Her range is not great, but it is not needed when singing over a lower register in this metal opera. I close my eyes and wave my arms as I am now fully immersed, as the tune carries me and reaches my soulful depths.
7. DCLXIV – This interlude includes samples, taken from sermon broadcasts, I can only presume, underneath an industrial, dance hall melody.
8. The Great Retaliation is Upon Them – We enter a new act here as the curtain rises. The Beast has risen at this point and taken his place on the throne. “See us now invoking the beast.” Philipson showcases his chops on the bass guitar, evident in a near solo in an early bridge. Continued guitar work serves to keep my interest by immersing me in a wall of layered sound, that blends and lifts my spirits, as the poetry continues: “The moon is now bloody red.”
9. DCLXV – A more judicious use of a sample from a sermon, a plea from a televangelist type, which some backmasking effects?, in many layers over a symphonic, epic movie like melody the evokes a doomsday feel.
10. Carving Out the Tongues Which Speak of Salvation – In the intro of this movement, the bass sounds like it is hand played rather than picked, as it has a fatter sound. Lyrics tell more of a call to self-empowerment at a deeper level rather than the reliance on a unknown god that may not exist at all – almost a LaVeyian Satanism, which is more akin to atheism, in its true, between the lines approach to self-reliance, self-empowerment of mankind. Bongos, or at least hand patting are heard in the first bridge here, very subtly and well under the mix. Single bass plucks are slightly behind the beat. So many layers and moods roller coaster through this last movement that contains vocals. “It’s time to resurrect what’s inside of me.” I can just picture long bass player fingers walking their way through this movement (just presuming, I have no idea how long Philipson’s fingers are).
11. DCLXVI – Wraps with a sound that nearly is a continuation of DCLXI, and leads us to a slow curtain close on the scene, fading out of the AM radio broadcast noise of Christian preaching to a peaceful solo guitar that could be a lullaby, easing into . .
12. Welcome to the Judas Agenda – In the liner notes, it is shown as a breakdown into six parts. Lars Johansson is featured in the first section, ending the lullaby melody. Danny Tunker is in the “Gravo” portion, with Petter S Freed. The third solo “Exhum” Johansson takes the lead on the acoustic, segueing into the fourth portion “Neco” where Magnus Soderman gives his final solo of the opus. “Demlito” the fifth section again taps Danny Trecker. And we end with “Appello” and Johansson brining us to a close. The final movement uses a left to right mix which is more evident when listening with headphones than blasting from car speakers or in my office. Fade to black. Curtain falls. Audience rises with a crescendo of applause and begs for an encore.
I often listen to this album since it’s first digital purchase when I need mental help to get me through a stressful day – those days when if it weren’t for music, I might end up on a future episode of “Snapped.” It will forever remain in heavy rotation. I encourage you to visit the band’s site and purchase a download of this album, and help them finance their next project through crowdsourced funding. Philipson has a strong Facebook presence and is interactive with his fans. He is worthy of your support.
Listening notes: Last listen was on Windows Media, Samsung laptop running Windows 8.1 through the widest range of earbud sounds that $5 could buy. Other sessions are through cheap speakers mentioned in prior blog review entries and my stock Chevy 2006 HHR LS speakers. One of these days I’m going to fully blow those things out so I’ll have to get some new ones.