As We Fight / The Psyke Project


Written by: AP on 17/04/2011 16:13:23

"Ebola" is the moniker for a collaboration between two of the most prominent and successful metal acts in Denmark, As We Fight and The Psyke Project. Both bands date back to 2001, and it was felt the best way to commemorate the tenth anniversary was to join forces and journey into the past, extract the essence of what made (and continues to make) both bands unique, and distill it into nine brand new songs representative of their colourful careers.

The first half of the release is dedicated to As We Fight, whose contributions are raw and stripped down renditions of old school metalcore. "Shattered" pummels in with a simple but effective main riff that persists in the undercurrent throughout the song - some people say that five chords do not a song make, but in this case the evidence is certainly mounting that it can, if done with the subtlety and restraint showcased here. As such the emphasis is on hardcore rather than metal, so fans expecting a definitive return to the death metal influenced sound explored on "Black Nails & Bloody Wrists" now that former vocalist Laurits Medom has returned to the ranks will be sorely disappointed. But rather than pass where the fence is lowest, As We Fight have taken care to include sufficient amounts of variation into the palette as well, as demonstrated by the slow burning dirge of track two, "Save Me", which sees the band indulge in Crowbar / Kingdom of Sorrow type stylings, never forgetting their own signature sound of course; periodic insertions of melody ensure the six plus minutes do not outstay their welcome. "Bitter End" continues from where "Shattered" left off, mimicking its less-is-more approach otherwise, but introducing an emotive chorus backed by a subtle ringing melody halfway. "Black Heart", too, is hardly a departure from the five chords presented in "Shattered", suggesting that As We Fight are bent on sounding as uncompromising and destructive as possible, like a less chaotic, less metallic offshoot of The Psyke Project during their "Daikini" era.

Which brings us to the following five songs, courtesy of The Psyke Project. For the purposes of this split effort, The Psyke Project, too, have made a deliberate backlash toward their origins, coming across as far more dirty and primal than their recent ventures into progressive hardcore, post-metal, and doom, on "Dead Storm". Fans that have stuck with the band since the "You're So Beautiful" demo will instantly recognise the rampant d-beats and punishing breakdowns of "We Came From Earth" and "Battles"; the annihilating force of the heavily drop tuned instruments; and the ferocious Zao-inspired vocals. True to tradition, the songs are kept as low key as possible, but in contrast with the frantic urgency of "Samara" and "Daikini", the stuff here sounds fucking menacing, like some foul demon risen from the underground indiscriminately laying waste to all that stands in its surround. Elements of "Apnea" have penetrated the retrospection, too, reflected in the bleak, resounding atmosphere of "This Road to Hell" and "Only I Remain". But it is "A 1000 Frozen Bodies", with its (deliberately?) confusing title, that takes the prize as an extrapolation of The Psyke Project's career prior to "Apnea" - a bellowing, choking maelstrom of prehistoric metalcore showing no mercy and no relent during its two minutes of airtime.

As such, people hoping to form a rapid overview of As We Fight and The Psyke Project is not the target audience of "Ebola". The album is intended as a celebration of two revered careers for fans that have remained faithful since the early years, and as a chance to experience the origin of the two bands. Old material from The Psyke Project in particular, is becoming difficult to find, let alone purchase, so to listen to what essentially defined their sound under modern disguise is an opportunity to cherish. And it certainly does not hurt that the songs on offer are nothing short of fantastic.

Download: Shattered, Save Me (As We Fight); Battles, This Road to Hell, A 1000 Frozen Bodies (The Psyke Project)
For the fans of: As We Fight, The Psyke Project

Release date 02.05.2011
Lifeforce Records

As We Fight:

The Psyke Project:

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