What’s great about this project is that while the music – take the opening, title track, for example – has a thick sense of hard rock about it (the distortion, the passion, the high energy), the guitar riffs themselves have something of a folk-rock, even traditional Irish-folk feel to them – you could hear that very same opening riff working well on a violin. The final third of the song, the instrumental break down, actually reminds me further of this. There’s an acoustic potential in among the weight, and that adds even more value. It’s an appealing start to the experience, and Project Sapiens continue to embrace and enthrall in several other ways as the EP goes on.
Project Sapiens are a hard rock band, without question – there’s weight to their music, intensity and pace. It’s energizing, it fills the room with volume, but more than this – there’s skill to the arrangement and the performances, and there’s also a hell of a lot of heart and depth to the writing. Here We Are has a sense of optimism mixed in among the weight and the chaos. It’s a beautiful kind of chaos, and the song has been thoughtfully, precisely crafted so as to let each and every element stand tall as and when it should, and so as to also let them all work in smooth unison when necessary.
All that we see, all that we know – what have we reached, what lies beyond?
We are the ones who will find out, find out if all we have is now – maybe we will live to see the end, we may never understand…
Uprising follows the opener and lays out more of a clear cut story-line – a softer verse vocal sets the scene (softer than before, but still gritty enough to carry this hard-rock, emotional sentiment in a fitting way). Afterwards, My Prison Cell emerges as a rather epic and mighty soundscape – meandering guitars and expressive bass and drum-lines pave the way for what is a deeply revealing song of personal torment.
My Prison Cell is a song that utilizes contrast powerfully, the whispered verses have genuine delicacy, and this creates a huge sense of anticipation as it leads up towards the heavy hit of the hook. The instrumentation unites with the melody and the changing levels of emotion in a stunning way – a definite highlight from the whole EP. In among the creativity and passion is an inherent desire to care for others and to push for positivity, starting with the self, offering flickers of darkness to keep a level of realness alive, but presenting a general sense of hope and brightness that again contrasts with the weight and overall aura of the music.
Anger creates a stop and start feel within the project that appears as a welcomed reminder of certain metal albums from the early 2000s. The lyrical honesty and the rising intensity again is perfectly well executed. You can genuinely turn the music up loud and escape into the moment with the band. They scream out on your behalf, or even with you if that’s what you need.
The final fifth of the project is a song called Keepers Of The Realm. If you didn’t know by now the depths of the band’s reach, the emotional connection they have to music on the whole – not merely in terms of a single genre’s appeal – this song sets that fact in stone. The acoustic ambiance emerges as a welcomed touch here, the lead singer’s voice laid bare works beautifully, and as the track emerges – contrast again sees a rising soundscape evolve and grow into something multi-layered and totally immersive, with a notably anthem-like hook that screams togetherness. A great way to finish, and with this being a fairly short collection, the perfect nudge to send you back to the beginning to listen through these songs again. Project Sapiens are keeping the skill and grit and heart alive and well in creative rock music. Well worth exploring.