JAM Magazine CD Review

September , 2012
Review by Scott Dworkin



Label: Yaya Papu LLC

Let's set aside for a moment the oft used "super group" label. This term is usually just a marketing ploy to drum up sales and bring attention to a record. In this instance, however, nothing could be further from the truth. Human is the new release from the band Projected. It's truly a hard rocking, heavy effort created by four members of well-known, successful 'other' hard rock acts. The music on this disc is a true representation of the continuing effort to integrate hard rock music back into the mainstream.

We are stuck in the days where most rock bands have conformed to the two or three-year album / tour cycles. This trend among bands has left a void in music that often has left fans frustrated and searching for other types of music to fill the gap. Now a new and exciting wave has emerged. Members of various hard rock bands are now getting together during their down time to work on various side projects. Recent collaborative efforts by Kill Devil Hill and Adrenaline Mob have produced outstanding albums that really excited the collective heads of the hard rock community. Now you can add the name Projected.

This band consists of Sevendust guitarist John Connelly and bassist Vinny Hornsby. They are joined by Alter Bridge and Creed drummer Scott Phillips, and former Submersed and current Creed touring guitarist Eric Friedman. The project came together as timing and schedules permitted. Connelly, as many Sevendust fans know, is one of rock's most powerful, and underrated guitarist's in the business. In addition to his instrumental responsibilities, the musician has also taken on the added task of lead singer.  He's more than up for the task.

What is truly surprising about this collaboration is the unique sound each artist brings to the album. The aforementioned Phillips displays a drum sound that's much heavier than anything most fans are used to hearing. He really locks it in with Hornsby on tracks like "Watch it Burn" and "Bring it Down" (with guest vocals from Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust). The sound is thundering and powerful.

Connelly's vocals are impressive and passionate. He brings his own unique vocal styling to the songs, even when trading vocals off with buddy Lajon during "Bring it Down." His vocals also blend very well with Freidman's backing harmonies, especially on the tracks "Stella" and "12804", a song dedicated to the memory of the late Pantera guitarist, Darrell "Dimebag" Abbott. Connelly and Friedman's guitar styles play well together. They trade riffs together – as well as solo and harmonies - throughout the record, bringing a heavy crunch attack to various songs. Connelly has always had a strong guitar style in Sevendust. With the addition of Friedman's solid playing, it brings an amazing new hard rock guitar duo to the forefront. The last track of the album, "Breaking Me", demonstrates the pair's heavy riffing creativity accentuated by Connolly's equally dark vocals.

All eleven songs on Human are solid, well-crafted tunes that prove to be a great listen from beginning to end. You can really hear and feel this music. Each member made sure to add their own unique signature to the music despite the well-known sounds they created with previous projects. No one skimped on the quality of music they individually produced, and recorded, in Connolly's home-based studio.

This recording will definitely appeal to fans of all the collected members past endeavors. If time permits, hopefully these four extremely busy musicians will find the time to tour. Regardless, Projected has definitely created 11 well-crafted tunes. It's going to bring new fans into the fold, and satisfy head-bangers for months to come.