Project 86 – Rival Factions

20 01 2008

Release Date: 19 June 2007

Tracks: 10

Length: 34:55

External Links: Wikipedia Article – (The first version was written by yours truly), Evil(A Chorus of Resistance) Music Video, Official Site

Let me start off this review by saying that I am biased towards Project 86. They are simply the most awesome band in the whole world, and even if they release a CD that sucks, I would still buy it and probably force myself to love it. Luckily, this was not the case here, with Rival Factions, however, as it is awesome. To be honest though, initially, the different style of the music was a bit of a shock, and I was not sure if I was going to like the new album. In the end, Project 86 pulled through, and I was convinced of the greatness of their latest full length release.

When you first buy your CD and get it home, the first thing you will probably notice is the amazingly blue CD cover. This is not just to attract attention, however, as the extensive booklet that comes with the CD changes when viewed through this CD cover. To get a taste of the effect that this gives, I recommend that you scroll up a little bit and click on that link up there that says “Official Site”. This site is extremely well done and is just awesome. Ok, time to do the music.

Track 1 – Evil (A Chorus of Resistance) 3:03. The first track on the album is excellent. Like previous Project openers such as Sincerely, Ichabod from …And The Rest Will Follow, The Spy Hunter from Songs to Burn Your Bridges By and Stain’s Theme from Drawing Black Lines, it really sucks you into the album, and prepares you for the rest of the intense musical experience that you are about to experience. A very nice way to start the CD.

Track 2 – Put Your Lips to the TV – 2:49. This song starts off with a piano intro, and when I first heard it, I was shocked. I had no idea what was coming and was a little scared that it would be a soft ballad. However, after a few seconds, the guitars and drums come screaming in, totally annihilating my expectations of the song. Needless to say, this song is amazing, with powerful lyrics that speak of leaving a small town behind to follow your dream.

Track 3 – The Forces of Radio Have Dropped A Viper Into the Rhythm Section – 2:51. For this song, I recommend taking out your awesome booklet and following along with Schwab’s singing with the attached lyrics. I say this because they are hard to make out, and it would be a shame to miss these lyrics. However, even if you don’t comprehend them, the song is still excellent, with heavy guitar riffs and drumrolls.

Track 4 – Molotov – 3:12. Molotov is the fourth track, and it a departure from the previous three tracks, as it features entirely clean vocals by Schwab, which is a nice change of pace. That does not diminish the song’s power, however, as the guitars are still incredible, and the drumming is really outstanding on this song. As usual with Project 86, Schwab’s lyrics also deserve special mention, as they speak of being part of the clubbing scene, drinking and being unfulfilled by the whole cycle. This is one of my favourite tracks on the album.

Track 5 – Slaves to Liberty – 3:02. When I first heard this song, I was not that impressed. However, like the rest of the CD, it grew on me, and now I love it. Technically, it is an excellent track, with furious drumming and the guitars screaming, literally. Vocals are sung at a rather frantic pace, and will probably take a few listens to actually hear what they are about. All in all, another excellent track, especially the guitar solo that is present during the bridge.

Track 6 – Pull Me Closer, Violent Dancer – 3:56. If I had to pick a least favourite track on this album, it would be this one. After the frantic pace of Slaves to Liberty, the slower pace of Violent Dancer just doesn’t do it for me. I think the best way to describe it would be “heavy”, as it seems there is just too much that is dragging the song down. That said, it is still a decent track, and the bridge once again deserves special mention, due to its use of synth clap. So random it just works for me.

Track 7 – Illuminate – 2:40. Another personal favourite track, Illuminate is a lot “lighter” than the previously mentioned “heavy” Pull Me Closer, Violent Dancer. There is not much to be said for this track, lyrics, vocals, drums, guitars, they are all excellent. The guitar hook at the start of the track especially is one of my favourite parts.

Track 8 – The Sanctuary Hum – 5:01. I am in total awe of this track. It is by far the best track on this album, which just shows how incredible it is, considering the caliber of the rest of the songs. The guitar hook at the start sets the pace for a tale of corrupt church officials, set against the backdrop of heavy guitar riffs and incredible drumming. Midway through the verse, the style of the song changes from the hardcore to a softer, more sinister style, as if the corrupt minister is directly addressing you, the listener. And then Schwab starts screaming again, acting as the narrator in this tale, telling us that “This is the reason the sanctuary hums”. The guitar riffs will probably stick in your head for days, and rightly so, because this song is just that good.

Track 9 – Caveman Jam – 3:18. Another story song, just like the one before it. Caveman Jam tells about Schwab’s interaction with three different fans. The first two fans are confused and shocked by Schwab’s lyrics and his seemingly furious attitude. However, the third fan is a fan, and tells us that Project’s music saved his life. The bass guitar in this song, while repetitive, is amazing, and will probably also get stuck in your head for a while. As usual, the drumming holds the song together nicely as well, and the semi-screaming suits the song well.

Track 10 – Normandy – 5:03. Phew, the final track on the album. What a wild ride it’s been so far. Normandy is a softer, quieter track than anything else on the album, and it is really a nice way to end off the album. It serves to calm the listener, while still entertaining them. If you actually listen to the lyrics, it is quite a sad song, dealing with the end of a relationship, metaphorically car crashes (or is it literally referring to a car crash? Hmmm…) and misty beaches of Normady. The drumming is excellent, as usual, especially during the start of the bridge, which features no vocals and just guitars and drums. A nice way to end off the album and an excellent song as well.

Bonus Track – The Kane Mutiny – 3:26. While strictly not a part of Rival Factions, The Kane Mutiny was offered as an exclusive bonus for those who pre-ordered the album through iTunes. It was also mentioned in all the album previews that appeared online. Therefore, I feel justified in adding it to this review. I can’t understand why this track was not added to Rival Factions anyway, it fits in so well. Possibly, right after Slaves to Liberty… Oh well. Awesome name aside, The Kane Mutiny is an excellent addition to the album, as it is such a great song. Starting off with a heavy guitar growl, and intense drumming action, it then launches into Schwab’s vocals. The song tells of betrayal, murder, treachery and plans of mutiny, all seemingly set on a boat out at sea. Amazing song, my favourite after Sanctuary Hum.

Well that is my thoughts on each individual track on Rival Factions. My overall impression of the CD is that it is amazing, awesome, legendary and all other good things, but it is over too soon. It is like a roller coaster ride – incredible while it lasts, but over so soon that it leaves you craving for me. It goes without saying that this gets 5 stars straight away, simply by virtue of being a Project 86 creation. But even if it wasn’t, I would still rate it highly, because it is that amazing. Check the review of Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces for my rating guide.

If you are interested in buying Rival Factions, I recommend checking your local Gospel Direct store, as they seem to have quite a decent stock of them. But make sure that you get the one with the blue CD cover, because I have seen some with just a normal cover, and you will be missing out on the full booklet experience without it.




One response

25 02 2008

oh yeah! this album rockz!!! this is one of the best CCM albums that i bough last year…btw thanks for visiting my blog :D.. more albums will be added on 😀

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