Their bio says that while they are currently in Nottingham, UK, they hail from the east coast of South Africa, which I have an issue with, as that’s over 2000km worth of coast to figure out where they come from. That said, where The Medea Project reside or come from is irrelevant when it comes to their broody despondent music which is also gentle and beautiful.
The opening track, “Prelude” is stripped down discordant keyboards with a light drum tap for tempo accompanying mournful vocals that could easily bring a tear to the eye, if the keyboards didn’t do so first.
When the guitars slide in for “Babylon” they are full and fuzzy with Brett Minnie’s vocals taking on a much rougher edge as he nearly barks out his lyrics.
On “To Know Us Is To Fear Us” Brett used a death growl over his fuzzy guitars, but it’s his heady bass that is the true highlight of the song while Pauline Silver keeps time and plays the appropriate fills on her drums to emphasis the changing moods the song works through.
In a similar vein, “The Ghosts Of St. Augustine” has slow buzzing guitars, but the drums are predominantly caressed cymbals that rattle and shimmer over the steady tempo kept on the tom-toms as things go from growls to whispers then back to growls with the music following suit.
“Gloam” reminds me a little of a favourite South African band of mine, Angelic Fraud (nee Rabbi Adolf), as the dark goth vocals resonate over a choppy guitar rhythm that’s accentuated by the sharp drumming that should be, but never becomes overpowering.
The guitars take on a far more powerful sound for “Reaver” as the buzz is less pronounced, but the distortion is far heavier, matching the long drawn out growls far better than they would otherwise. The second guitar however keeps a pleasant melody raging behind the heavier rhythm.
“G.E.O.F.F.” has an Americana vibe to the warbling guitars, while the clean vocals portray a wide range of emotions, least of which is raw frustration.
The bass notes accentuate the guitars as the swish of cymbals fade, before the roar of “FEAR” come in loud and clear for the chorus then fades back to the subdued verse with popping bass notes behind the guitars.
The shakers and morose guitars are a perfect intro for “The Desert Song”, but it’s the even more sombre vocals over the sustained guitar whines that achieve the prefect desolation the song requires.
All in all, a nice album to listen to on a gloomy overcast day, but just as good to listen to when you’re locked indoors with the sun shining.
(8/10 Marco Gaminara)