The is the second full-length release from Canadian black metal band The Projectionist, following on from last year’s Poisonous Engagement. The band has also released an EP, The GallowForest Eulogy, meaning that this is the band’s third release in little over a year.
The band haven’t progressed a lot in that year, with this result repeating last year’s debut in sound and intention. The band plays pretty basic (but not primitive) black metal at times, with tinny guitars and clattering drums fighting for space in the mix underneath the startling vocals of Lörd Matzigkeitus.
Whilst obviously holding a torch for the old way, The Projectionist do at least nod to modern black metal, especially with Matzigkeitus’ vocals. At times his unholy howl becomes completely inhuman, a roar that swamps the ‘song’ structure without actually seeming to enunciate anything, much in the vein of BM latecomers like Deafheaven or Ghost Bath, albeit in a far more brutal, at times terrifying vein. I suspect the comparison would be most unwelcome, but there you go.
The obverse of this comes in the three minute acoustic track If Erased: So Fertile Ought, wherein Lord Matzigkeitus croaks quietly, accompanied by a folky acoustic guitar. This is a different side of The Projectionist, and one which is perhaps as shocking in its delivery as the absolutely brutal Drive Away a Disconnect at the other end of the spectrum. When the band is drawn away from these two extremes, it is noted that they become noticeably more prosaic, although still very listenable.
In fact tracks like Chapel of Astaroth are very enjoyable to listen to, despite the chaotic production which sees various instrument levels swoop up and down in the mix. Drummer Malphas in particular draws the attention with some massive contributions, though, like so much black metal at this level, the overall sound is more important than individual virtuosity.
The Projectionist have proved with this album that they are here to stay, and that they are capable of consistently delivering brutal, subterranean black metal. Now if they could maybe refine they attack a little (in relative terms), then their third album will be well worth the world’s attention.
The Projectionist album Exalted Solitude is out now.