PROJECT 86

"Knives to the Future" (Team Black Recordings; 2014)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This is my third review (so far) of Project 86. These guys are billed as Christian rock but they lean more towards the post-hardcore sound because of the vocal styling which is filled with emotion -- raw, unmitigated emotion. This is their ninth studio disc and they've gotten better with time. They are hard-hitting and I'm still smarting from "...And the Rest Will Follow" (2005). I started my journey with them via "Drawing Black Lines" (2000).

The band has a new line-up on this disc: Andrew Schwab is still the headmaster who will school your view of the world but he continues to offer hope as a cure. The lyrics, although blasted from his vocal chords, still hold truth.

The sound on "Knives To The Future" is two-fold. Half of the tracks are hard and gritty and the ones where Andrew shows off his vocal range sound sort of trippy. It never gets predictable or stagnant. The music is always changing and this line-up might be new but they've gelled quite nicely. Andrew described this album as a continuation of "Wait for the Siren" in thematic terms.

Download these tracks: "Knives To The Future," "Son of Flame," "Ambigram," and "Oculus."

Project 86: Andrew Schwab - vocals; Dustin Lowery - guitar, backing vocals; Cody Driggers - bass, backing vocals; Ryan Wood - drums.

For more information about the band, check out http://project86.com and https://www.facebook.com/project86.

"...And the Rest Will Follow" (Tooth & Nail; 2005)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Project 86 is Christian hard-core. They power up their music with loud guitars, hammering drums and vocal growls. The first track, “Sincerely, Ichabod,” sets the shaky stage for a full on stomp fest. Branding themselves with a post-hardcore label they also use melody to keep you singing along.  

Their songs are about faith but when Andrew Schwab is belting out his angst you kind of forget and let the music move you. It’s only after you’ve had a chance to let it soak into your psyche that you realize the emotional lyrics.  

The guitar of Randy Torres is heavy, his riffs are powerful. The bass of Steven Dial thumps and creates an intense mood. They stew with some of their songs and, although a blast seems eminent, it may not happen. That creates mystery.  

“My Will Be A Dead Man” has an awesome heavy metal riff that knocks holes in the wall. The vocals are the twin guitar equivalent; it slows down for a second only to build a scraping guitar solo, and it’s the song that could stop a clock. 

Since Project 86 fought hard to be a Christian hard-core band they fight even harder to make their music mean something to listeners. This is one band that is going to rocket around the world.  

Project 86: Andrew Schwab – vocals; Steven Dial – bass; Randy Torres – guitars & keyboards; Alex Albert – drums. 

For more information, check out http://www.project86.com.

"Truthless Heroes" (Tooth & Nail; 2002)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This is a concept album that deals with one trying to gratify themselves with whatever they can: fame, fortune, food, lust. I'd name the Seven Deadly Sins but you know what they are, right? Anyway, this is nu-metal mixed with some alternative metal. Each song has a hard rock edge to it and since this is a concept album Project 86 is allowed to have short little songs that allow you to turn the page in this book with an unhappy ending.

There seems to be more rapcore/hard core songs on "Truthless Heroes" than on their later discs. This is their third album and it sounds like they are finding their sound. It's not sloppy, but it's unpolished and maybe that's the aim they're going for here. Again, this is a concept album and I guess you can do what you want when that label is affixed.

The guitar, when it comes roaring in, is downtuned and heavy. There are a few solos and they sound awesome. The drums are tribal on a few songs and the bass can be heard on all the songs. The vocals are clean and gravelly to show a struggle between the subject of self gratification. There isn't one song that begs to be picked for radio and the fact that Project 86 who are a Christian band would attempt to talk about the evils of man ... well, that sounds a little like preaching to me. But it's not! These guys lay down some stomping tracks and the nu-metal crowd would just have their hands in the air flowing along with the music anyway.

This disc clocks in at 55:33 so it's not a quick listen and then be on your way. I recommend sitting down and soaking this up. The music rocks in spots and Project 86 knows how to keep you interested in their message.

By the way, the seven deadly sins are: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony.

For more information, check out http://www.project86.com.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Revised: 18 Dec 2016 12:46:22 -0500.