Band – Project: Roenwolfe
Album – Project: Roenwolfe
Country of Origin – USA
Genre – Power/Thrash Metal
Release Date – June 2, 2023
Label – Syrup Moose Records
Author – Hayduke X
The upcoming self-titled album by Project: Roenwolfe is a rousing, epic soundtrack of righteous and purposeful anger. The album starts with a quote from the show Andor, which speaks to the oppression of the Empire as a metaphor for the oppression we see in our world today, and the fact that “they have a fight on their hands.” Using sci-fi themes throughout as a vehicle for telling stories of oppression and the fight against them, the album is a musical masterpiece, which also serves as a clarion call to wake up and fight against the many-faced horror of late-stage capitalism.
On Project: Roenwolfe, the band’s line-up features Alicia Cordisco (Transgressive, Wraithstorm, and more), Patrick Parris (ex-Theocracy), Ernie Topran (Theocracy), and Leona Hayward (Transgressive). Cordisco and Parris share songwriting duties, while Cordisco handles guitar and Parris handles vocals. Topran is behind the kit, handling all things percussive, while Hayward takes care of the bass. In addition, Acea Lashley contributes guitar solos on six of the tracks, Lux Edwards (Soulmass, Wraithstorm) wrote the lyrics for Pearls Before Swine and provides guest vocals for the same, and Michael Goodrich contributes synths, keyboards, and samples throughout. This massive and talented lineup hints that it takes a village to compose a great album.
I’m admittedly not as grounded in power metal as I should be, but I did grow up in the early thrash generation. To me, the music sounds like ‘shiny thrash,’ if that makes sense. In addition to the Firefly definition of ‘shiny,’ there are definitely a wealth of thrashing riffs and rhythms throughout, but, for lack of a better word, the music is a little prettier than straight up thrash. While there are many times, I would suggest that description is not a compliment, that is not the case here. The music is big, with lots of melody and harmony, but it is also aggressive and driving. The album is ambitious musically, but also lives up to those ambitions. In trying to listen to the different parts, it’s clear that there is a lot going on, from Hayward’s exceptional bass work, to challenging drumming all within the rock solid drive forward, to vocal harmony, and exceptional riffs. Yet, it all meshes so well as to be one many-headed beast of purest metal.
Lyrically, there is a lot to consider as well. Given that there are two members of Transgressive in this band, and given how in your face the lyrics are in that band, I expected some political punch here. And while, I’m not disappointed, in this case Project: Roenwolfe wraps them up differently, in a veneer of sci-fi, (including the Andor quote) yet is still clearly challenging oppression in many forms. For example, the lyrics of Boundless include the following:
Dying to be heard
Your beauty is not lost
In this false dichotomy
Denial of the truth
Of who we should become
Just screaming to be seen
Given Cordisco’s experiences coming out as a trans woman, and very loud supporter of trans rights and the trans community (appropriately so – trans rights are human rights, which is not only my belief, and the belief of this website, but the truth), this reads as a reassurance to that community and a statement of truth we want to amplify here.
On Kyromid, the meaning is perhaps more obscure. The track starts out:
The ancient ones from beyond
Placed fourth life bearing from the sun
And proceeds with further lyrics suggestive of ancient aliens starting life on the planet. However, lines such as, “Subverted and disdainful, suborning our embrace, Exploiting all the lessons we tried to teach” come across as an indictment of the choices humanity has made throughout history, leading to the judgment, “We are left behind.”
Project: Roenwolfe is absolutely epic. The album will have you pumping your fist and singing along in record time, though if you’re like me, maybe not in public…nobody wants to hear me singing along to anything. The album has incredible staying power, both in terms of earworm riffs that stay with me throughout the day, and the urge to listen repeatedly, even back to back. I’m not sure the album makes me a power metal fan, but it definitely makes me a Project: Roenwolfe fan.
Biography: Hayduke X has been writing for MoshPitNation since June of 2016. He is also a contributor to The Metal Wanderlust. Prior to joining the MoshPitNation team, Hayduke published reviews on his own blog Rage and Frustration. In addition, he has DJ’ed an online metal radio show of the same name as his blog, written for TOmetal.com, done interviews for Metal Rules, and collaborated with The Art of B Productions to create video interviews with a wide variety of bands.