Sound — 10
Project are an interesting classification when it comes to sound. They dance around the genres of Metalcore, Alternative Metal, and Heavy Metal... it really just depends on which song is playing. Without being burdened by a one-track sound, Project 86 have plentiful opportunities to bring forth well-rounded albums, and Truthless Heroes has the band hitting its stride from start to finish. Not only is the greatest commercial effort Project 86 have put forth, it's the band's biggest statement in a still rising metal genre (especially for the time). Truthless Heroes passes from all-out blitzes to incredible atmospheric moments from track to track with incredible ease. You might have been comparing Project 86 to groups like Rage Against The Machine in previous records, but here Project 86 takes the lead and makes a powerful anti-corporate statement that even RATM would have to admit is perhaps one of the greatest metal albums of the new millenium. The production makes the music meaty and aggressive, but leaves moments for the listeners to break away (dynamics). Lead singer Andrew Schawb can use his unique voicing to spurt eerie chants that almost infect your head as if you were a drone being programmed. It's scary awesome and it's one of the many things that make both the album and this band great.
Lyrics — 10
The message of this album is simple: music and media are being riddled with filth and compromise (see "Hollow Again"). No longer is it simply music for the sake of artist expression. A quiet agenda of corporate capitalism, or "selling out", also makes a statement in the lyrics (see "Little Green Men"). And the great thing is this is all incredibly true. Even in 2002 music was quickly fleeing from what made it truly great and had slowly become about what was popular and what sold. Project 86 also ask a lot of questions concerning life as it is and life as it could be. Questions of faith lightly surface throughout the album, and Schawb even stops to make the statement "who I am, who I'll be, has been decided for me" ("Salem's Suburbs"). It's not a secret that these guys have strong Christian ties and have been devoted to a Christian music label (Tooth N Nail), but what is surprising is the level at which these guys operate without having to Bible bash their audience and ask legitimate questions that other A-list bands are asking themselves (what happened to the music?).
Overall Impression — 10
This album not only compares to anything else out there, it stands on its own. Truthless Heroes is a pillar by which all other works in a related genre should be measured. There's accessibility and depth, heavy hitters and dynamic moments and great writing all around. If you find yourself a fan of Tool, Rage Against The Machine, Dead Poetic, Static-X, and Demon Hunter, then this band requires a listen. Especially this album.