I've been collecting hard rock and heavy metal CDs since the late '80s.
Project Resurrect, "False Reality"
Genre: Power/Speed Metal
Release: Independent, 2021
8 Tracks / Run Time: 36:28
It's always a treat to take part in introducing a "new" band to the world, and the subjects of this album review are so new that they don't even have a page on Metal-Archives yet. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present... Project Resurrect!
This New York-based power/speed metal unit was formed by drummer Wayne Noon (formerly of Phoenix Reign, and host of the Rat Salad Review metal podcast) and guitarist/bassist Peter Rigopoulos in 2016. The duo began writing songs together for an EP, which slowly turned into a full-length album over time. When attempts to form a full "band" never quite came together, the pair decided to go the DIY route and drafted Brazilian-born, German-based session vocalist Leandro Bastos via the Internet to help bring Project Resurrect to life.
Project Resurrect's debut, False Reality, is due to be released independently by the band in May 2021.
Project Resurrect may be American, but their brand of crunchy, aggressive power metal has a distinctly European flair to it. On their Bandcamp page, Project Resurrect says they are "influenced by...Iron Maiden, Helloween, Metallica, Judas Priest, and Mercyful Fate," and I can definitely hear bits of all of those (especially Helloween and Iron Maiden) in Rigopoulos' energetic guitar riffing and Noon's hyperactive drum work. If you're a fan of any of the bands I just mentioned, then False Reality's impressive combination of intensity, melody and heaviness should fit nicely into your rotation.
False Reality kicks off in fine Iron Maiden-ish form with the slick speed burner "We Are One," which waves the classic metal flag most admirably. When the vocals kick in, Leandro Bastos' gritty style provides just the right counter-balance to the polished precision of the instruments. His throaty snarl reminds me quite a bit of Piet Sielck from German power-metallers Iron Savior.
The sweeping chug of "Keep Moving On" has a nice hooky chorus and a killer solo from Rigopoulos, then a hint of thrash seeps into the proceedings with the four-on-the-floor "Kill or Be Killed," my favorite song on the album thus far.
The six-minute, forty second "Dead Mountain" is the album's centerpiece, a sprawling power-metal epic about the infamous Dyatlov Pass Incident of 1959, in which a group of Russian hikers died under mysterious circumstances. After that comes the thrashy "Ride or Die," a cool, all-men-play-on-ten speed metal anthem in the vein of early Helloween, and the pummeling "No Cure," where Bastos' hissing vocals resemble the great Peter "Peavy" Wagner of German power metal legends Rage.
The anthemic "Blood on My Hands" marches along at a mid-paced chug ala vintage Iced Earth, and False Reality comes to an end on a satisfyingly metal note with the four-on-the-floor closer "In My Dreams."
Summing It Up
In a nutshell, False Reality is 37 minutes of pure, good ol' fashioned meat 'n' potatoes heavy metal the way it should be played -- without any Gothic choirs, death growls, female opera singers, or other gimmicks.
With two band members are in New York and one in Germany, I'm going to assume that Project Resurrect is bound to remain a studio-only band. I do hope that Noon and Rigopoulos continue to work together, because they obviously have great musical chemistry.
If and when there is more Project Resurrect music in the future, I hope that they will continue their working relationship with Leandro Bastos as well; this guy is a real find.
When it is released in May, False Reality will only be available digitally at first, but the band is hoping to raise enough money from fan donations to fund a limited run of CD copies. You can learn more about those efforts on Project Resurrect's official Facebook page or order the digital version of False Reality from their Bandcamp site.
I guess there's nothing left to say except "nice work, fellas." Till next time, enjoy this Project's journey into False Reality, and as always, support underground metal!
© 2021 Keith Abt