Project Renegade – Order of the Minus
Out of Athens, Greece comes Project Renegade – a four-piece metal band which borrows from various genres and blends them into a cohesive sound. Released in the latter part of 2019, their first album, Order of the Minus, brings a mix of electronic, industrial, symphonic, and ambient elements to cement a pretty solid debut.
Order of the Minus opens with the electronic and ambient elements in The Big Boss then envelops the listener with one of their singles off of the album, Liber8. Vocalist, Maria Ioanna Florou, flourishes with a welcomed level of harmonies. The back and forth between samples in the song and Marianna’s singing balances well and feels natural. The feat in the first song continues throughout the rest of the album which surprisingly doesn’t begin to feel repetitive. There’s something going on there.
The album features some incredibly uplifting choruses which could almost confuse the band with power metal. Yet Project Renegade is anything but that. Both rock and heavy metal powers through each song and rarely gives the listener any down time. While songs like Sylar may showcase more restrictive guitar riffing from guitarist Nick K., it’s moments in songs like it which let both the guitar and electronic tones shine through – reminiscent of something off newer Evergrey albums.
Songs like The New Joker or the bridge in the song The Strain, offer some great variation within the album, showcasing drummer Odey and bassist Jay away from the vocals and guitar tones. That’s not to say there’s too much vocals and guitar. In fact, the mix of the album, given how electronic-like it began, does blend extremely well.
Nothing on Order of the Minus feels overproduced or exhaustive. The levels and balancing act in the mix are darn-near perfect. After a few spins, I still struggled to come across any faults with their sound.
If there was anything that came as a surprise to me was the flow of intensity from transitional songs: The Big Boss and A Demon Has Escaped the Triangle. Both transitions featured builds that I felt ended with a whimper. I had expected them to blow right into the next song with full force, but I felt they ended up taking the wind out of the sails. They’re not bad transitional songs – I just felt they didn’t transition well which is surprising given how well every song transitioned into the next, like The Strain into Respirator, or The New Joker into In Another Life.
That being said, the final and longest song, Black Mountain, features some of the coolest effects and transitions in the album. The slow, symphonic and harmonic build, “in search of a harmony,” finds itself as one of the strongest songs, ending the album on a high note.
With an extremely solid debut, Project Renegade’s Order of the Minus brings together a lot of varying musical styles together which can appeal to various listeners across multiple genres. Order of the Minus is a welcome surprise.