Can a heavy metal rock group release a CD without having ever being in the same room together or to have never met face to face? Amazingly, it is being done; and quite remarkably. Project-43 is one of the first “Internet” groups to record, mix, produce and engineer a CD from three different countries and five locations around the world.
Meet Project-43, five exceptionally talented musicians from different parts of the globe. After band mates Charlie Wardick (who hails from the state of Arizona, USA) and Steve M. Mann (from Wisconsin, USA) hooked up on Usenet in the alt.guitar newsgroup, they knew that they had happened upon something special.
Using this framework, the two enlisted other musicians to join in their cyberspace journey. When Antti Heikkinen (Finland) was added on vocals, things began to gel. The group then added Scotland’s Scott Wallace to play drums and the NYC guitar virtuoso Christopher Bell-Boudreaux to complete the quintet.
Their debut CD “Silence The Quiet” was released and met with rave reviews. But it is their follow up CD called “Ticket To Infinity” that proves that this is not a novelty act and that creating intoxicating heavy metal music in this unique process can not only be done, but accomplished with awe inspiring adventure.
Logistics make it difficult to all get together, but that is not an obstacle. As Steve explains:
“We have really progressed on this new CD; it shows our growth and improvement as a group. One person may come up with an idea for a song, then the others download this ‘model’ and start to add their parts and the mixing process begins. We don’t have some of the personality issues or conflicts that other bands have; our process is very accommodating to growth and helps us move forward. We feel we are on the cutting edge of recording and marketing and like to feel that we are moving forward in the right direction; kind of a modern spin as well as a new model of music creativity.”
After a listen to their new CD, one can hear elements of some of the band member’s influences, such as the Scorpions, Judas Priest, Queensryche or even a heavy set from Foreigner. But what Project-43 does so eloquently is meld these aforementioned groups, classic rock qualities, and heavy guitars and move them progressively into the new millennium.
The cut, “Bye Bye” has a classic blend of eerie lyrical content blended perfectly with instrumental mastery, fast guitar licks and the powerhouse pipes of lead singer Antti Heikkinen. “Secrets Never To Be Told” would be right at home on any classic rock album by Uriah Heep, complete with rich vocals, heavy rock guitars and a rapid-fire lead that adds a unique harmony to the lead vocals.
The cut “In Exile” could remind some if Alice In Chains unplugged, with smart lyrics and crisp acoustics, with tasty contributions from all five musicians. “Silence The Quiet” is full of classic Scorpions-like riffology, with complex instrumental structures and superlative vocals and I could see it bolting to the top of the heavy metal charts.
Their whole CD is full of energized music, heavy guitars and bass lines and expert musicianship. Comparing Project-43 to other bands may be a compliment, but it is their unique methods of making emotionally charged rock and roll that makes them genre defining and captures the essence of their collective musicianship.
Could Project-43 be called musical experimentalists? If so, the group has definitely laid the groundwork for others to attempt to make music in this intuitive manner. But I doubt that any group can match the hard-edged, slashing guitar riffs and seminal melodic invention that Project-43 has already mastered. Cyber group, novelty act? Not a chance- their songs are a musical collective of hard, heavy rock that will soon take the music world to a whole different level.