Starting off with “Memento Mori” Sissi’s voice entrances me and I’m already caught in a spell… at the 1:00 mark the music hits in a different, surprising way which I found extremely cool. I love being blindsided like that. When Ondrej’s voice hits I said “hell yes!” And then they both duet, and all is right with the world.
I’m loving the production. Sissi’s vocal is distorted and buried at the end behind a wall of sound and it’s beuatiful.
Sometimes I expect a band to sound similar on each recording and I think I can predict what I’m going to hear before the album plays. Not so with this album. From the first song into the second, “Sabotáž”, I’m met with something I did NOT expect. The sound is different; I can’t explain it. Sissi’s voice is so good here. Ondrej’s music is just as violent as it has been before, but it’s kind of nicer this time around. That’s a good thing – I like it. This song hit me like a robbery. A beautiful woman luring me around a corner, off the street, and into a jungle… where a group of thugs are waiting to kill me and steal all my stuff. “Sabotáž” isn’t exactly what I’d call “classic” Projekt. It’s actually a wonderful evolution into similar yet dangerous territory. It is happy and mad at the same time!
Next up we get the single “Horiace bariéry” which, in the interest of honesty, I heard before I got the album… because they filmed a video for it a while back. Projekt203 is really evolving, and the first evidence for this was the video, as they were decked out in a new style of clothing; they almost look, conceptually, like The Road Warriors, and I’m not speaking of Mad Max here. I mean the Road Warriors from pro wrestling! Without the full-on face paint, of course, but it reminded me of Hawk and Animal – futuristic, badass, fighters from a post-apocalyptic universe, ready to take on all those who would oppose them. Sissi’s voice never fails to grab me and throw me into a strange world. I can not explain what I mean. I’ve never heard a singer like her. Ondrej’s music and her vocals go together better than most musicians. It just comes together. This was a good choice of a single for a video. You can see it on Youtube or on the USB version of the album, along with another video, but more on that later. I love this song; I loved it from the moment I heard it and I love it just as much now.
The next song has a weird feel. It’s like a future cowboy film, and really cool! Wow, some good harmonies. Sissi hits some highs in the beginning where I was taken aback. What a voice! This track is called “Putá”. I had to look the word up, apparently it means “shackles” or “handcuffs”. It sounds kind of like shackles…like in the New wilder west of America after the nuclear armageddon. The reason I had to translate it was because I knew they weren’t writing this in Spanish…and in Spanish there is a similar word that means something quite different, so it made me laugh thinking of Ondrej writing a song with the Spanish translation in mind, or Sissi singing about it, but this song is no laughing matter, because the music attacks and the singing draws you in. Around 4 minutes in, Sissi takes you to Heaven; I can’t think of any other way to put it. Ondrej joins in, and they duet me straight into the aethyr.
“Buď môj strach” starts out unassuming and then at :33 forget about it, because you’re thrown back into your seat. This is killer. Good job, Ondrej. The vocal melody here is wildly pretty. It weaves in and out like the music does. There’s a video from the studio of this on the USB and getting to watch that was really fun. I could listen to Sissi sing every minute of every day, so seeing her sing was wonderful. I think this is my favorite song on the album. In fairness I must admit this isn’t my first listen. I have listened to this record repeatedly during work, and I keep coming back to this song in particular. My brain keeps coming back to it, it’s unforgettable. This is a weird song, and I like weird, the weirder the better for me. It’s like a cellphone became possessed, and threw itself into a video game from 1990. Then an angel came and exorcised the game while you’re playing it in 2020 on an illegal emulator. That is the only way I can describe this tune.
The next track, “Miluj ma” has some wild twists in the music that I very much surprised by. I don’t know, there’s something about Sissi’s harmonies with herself. They take you one place (a paradise) and then Ondrej will hit you over the head with his music. 1:40 is a good example of the dual nature of this group, and the stringy guitar sounds stuck in there just add a strange, American feel to it…If America was Mars. Actually I’m pretty sure it IS Mars most of the time. You don’t hear music like this here, and I can’t fathom anyone working this hard together to make something this good. This is my second favorite song on the album. It bounces you… off your head. It holds you upside down and literally bounces you on your head.
“Život je bastard” made me go “why is ‘bastard’ in there?” so I ran a translation search and got “Life’s a bastard.” I like that, because everyone says “life’s a bitch” and…it isn’t. It’s a bastard. This song stuns you into submission just 7 seconds in. What a wacky song and I mean that in a good way. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to just hang out with Ondrej and try to figure out where exactly this music comes from. This guy’s brain must be traveling here from the Pleiades, Venus, Jupiter… It’s pretty amazing.
A hard driving drum beat, a different, faster rhythm than I’m used to from Projekt203. Just like always, just like every other time, it works, and I really like the way Sissi sings over this particular track. This music is ultra-pop. It’s like pop music from the best part of Hell. Where demons are happy and the damned get to listen to good music during their torture sessions.
Now we bring you to “Chcem viac” – a distorted LSD trip. Duet vocals over a strangely beautiful crackling song. Love Sissi’s backup vocal line starting at 1:13. Her voice travels from left to right, once more luring you into a false sense of security. You begin to expect the song to turn on you and just punch the living shit out of you. It’s a true testament to the songwriting ability of Projekt203 when the song does NOT punch you. In fact, it just keeps luring you. 3:30 is the point where you start to realize, oh man I’m fucked. I’ve been lured here and I can’t find my way out. Sissi embraces you and it’s over.
The Hammer horror movie organ that starts “Očistec” threw me for a loop. Wasn’t what I thought would happen next, and is very welcome to these ears. Once the rhythm starts, it doesn’t matter because like I said before, I’ve been lured in and I’m fucked. This song is complex, and the vocal lines/harmonies are beautifully done. I find this song extremely stunning for some reason. I am not 100% sure why, it just stunned me on first listen, and stuns me each time. When the harmonies come together, I just want to tell everyone I know that they are going to be forced to listen to Projekt203 at all times, until their lives are over. I want to literally force everyone to listen to it, and if they don’t like it, I WILL PUNCH THEM. When the organ comes back in, and Sissi sings over it, you can forget about everything you previously thought about this band. It’s like a whole new band, birthed from the same band, with a new kind of music, but it’s the same kinda music, but it’s not, and it confuses me because it’s too good. I became accustomed to musical inanity over the past 25 years as a fan and musician. Yes, I meant to type “inanity” not “insanity.” Most stuff I get asked to listen to is metal. Some of it is good but similar to other bands, and I can simply say “that was okay I guess.” Some of it is terribly redundant. It completely turned me off to the entire genre of metal. I got tired of hearing the same thing repeated by different people.
I have listened to every Projekt203 song available and they haven’t repeated themselves. How is this possible? Anyway, this song is killer.
“Zabudnutá” has a weird, haunting, King Diamond type of beginning. It’s like an intro for one of his albums. Scary and unforgiving. The vocals begin and once more we get lured into a bad (in a good way) place. I wasn’t ready for what happened at 1:23. Good job, Sissi, always keeping me on my toes. Ondrej is a maniac. This song is completely nutso by the time you get to the last half. It’s pure schizophrenic disco. There are so many musical acts out there trying to capture power. This band just HAS power. It doesn’t have to capture it. It’s already there. This song is produced so beautifully that I don’t even have the mental ability to come up with any more words to praise it with. It was like being on a party boat that went over a waterfall and everyone died. And I mean that in the most sincere way possible.
“Karavána” starts with Ondrej singing. Slowly, another voice creeps in the background, ready to strangle someone. It’s Sissi. And by the
0:48 mark, she hits notes that are insane, harmonizing with Ondrej and once again, here we are in the land of chaos. In fact, chaos seems like a theme with Projekt203. Around 1:24 there’s a different kind of vocal break part that is so fucking cool and the music that follows it up is just… like a Sega Mega Drive got thrown into a trash compactor and freed itself because it turned into a gigantic monster robot devil. It then channels itself through Ondrej’s voice and starts stomping on buildings. It picks up some cars on the way, and looks at them lovingly, before throwing them down and kicking them. This song, and the entire album, is a musical Godzilla.