Project 34 - Project 34 (2022)


Unleashing a whole musical experience on its own, Project 34 is set to release their eponymous third release in December of 2022. Led by Chris & Renee Lahoud from Australia, this project combines over 30 musicians from over 13 countries, creating one of the most distributed collaborations we have heard in the dark corners of Metal music. Clocking in at 64 minutes, this album is composed of three different chapters divided in 19 songs that cover many genres of Metal and non-Metal styles.

Instead of reviewing track by track, we will focus more on each of the three chapters, the first one is comprised of tracks 1 to 5 and it kicks off with Middle-Eastern instrumentation and it quickly leads into heavy distorted guitars and a certain Ihshan-esque proggy vibe as the saxophone comes into play. The guitar leads are quite intoxicating and perfectly blended between moments of aggression and great melody, particularly in the third song of this chapter which sounds a bit like if Opeth would play both their old stuff with some of their groovier newer elements.

The second chapter, tracks 6 to 12, quickly adds nice string instrument arrangements while creating some enigmatic and at times ritualistic soundscapes. However, there are always distorted guitar passages for some sporadic headbanging alongside very sultry jazzy and lounge-y arrangements. The free-flowing Neo-classical passages are a nice addition and create very unique transitions between the more straightforward and direct Metal sections. We particularly enjoy these tempo changes, reminding us a bit of Subterranean Masquerade and their weirdness.

Closing with the third chapter, tracks 13 to 19, Project 34 takes listeners down a dark rabithole with sinister atmospherics and pretty heavy passages. Over the course of the six tracks in this chapter, we get all kinds of different moods and nice escalations reminding us of Elend. However, what truly captivates us is the seamless way that everything is blended allowing for the band’s sound to be truly cinematic while being experimental and Avant-garde, always keeping the listener guessing what else is coming their way.

As a whole, this release is quite masterful and needles more than a couple dozen spins to be really understood and digested. This album is highly recommended to Metal fans that dabble in more than a few genres, and while not as weird/Avant-garde as bands like Solefald, Project 34 has a truly unique and very expansive sound that is quite hard to describe, but a true delight to enjoy and dissect.

Band: Project 34 Album: Project 34

Label: Self-Released

Release: December 1st, 2022

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Genre: Experimental/Avant-garde Metal

Country: Australia

Rating: 94/100

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