Project Renegade – Ultra Terra (Pavement Entertainment)

Monday, 24th July 2023
Rating: 9/10

After slugging it out for quite some time on their own, Greek alternative/modern metal act Project Renegade have returned with their second full-length album with a new label in Pavement Entertainment in tow. Ultra Terra sees the band continuing to do what they do best at increasing levels of prowess and technique. Those who have sought out the band in the past will be quite pleased at the fruits of their efforts, while newcomers (thanks to a lift in the promotion department) should be thrilled to find a top shelf act emerging from the shadows upon giving Ultra Terra a listen.

Injecting a more hard rock flair alongside a gothic and modern metal backbone, Project Renegade notably tend to fall on the heavier side of what one might expect to find. The guitars are heavy and really dig into the dark grooves. Even where they could have went into more of a classic ‘heavy verse, soft chorus’ that some acts tend to favor, Project Renegade instead bears some teeth even in those sections. “Bloodwitch” brings in massive crunch to the chorus while the verse effectively pulls in some electronic elements atop Marianna Florou’s vocals. Likewise, “Token” puts some energetic stomps and growls into the mix, not to mention accelerating the tempo into some of the heaviest moments on the record. But if there’s one distinct characteristic that it seems the band has really pulled out the stops on, it’s their melodic flourishes. Some songs are absolutely breathtaking, such as the soaring atmosphere of “Apex,” or the almost instantly ‘stuck in the head’ nature of the groove-forward melodies and chorus of “Civil Unrest.” While some may hear some similarities to acts such as Lacuna Coil or Evanescence, the more modern elements tend to give them more of their own space to play in – something like “The Millennial March” gives that breath of familiarity yet the revving guitars and catchy beats gives it a more individual vibe.

Ultra Terra is a strong sophomore effort that showcases Project Renegade to a hopefully wider audience that should be drawn in by their sweeping melodies and chunky riffing. It’s a strong record from start to finish that is bound to grab your ear and never let go. Those who enjoy a more modern and hook-y experience are going to find plenty to get excited about.

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