Genre: Modern Hard Rock
Label: Bloodblast Distribution
Release Date: Out Now
Josh Rand (STONE SOUR guitarist)
Casandra Carson (PARALANDRA vocalist)
1 Ignite ,
2 Purgatory ,
3 The Nothingness ,
4 Worthwhile ,
5 A World On Fire,
THE L.I.F.E. PROJECT is a collaboration between Josh Rand, guitarist and songwriter of STONE SOUR and PARALANDRA vocalist Casandra Carson.
With Stone Sour on indefinite hiatus, thanks to a certain Mr Taylor deciding to have a crack at the solo album market, Josh Rand has found himself in a position to try something new.
With the pandemic granting the unexpected ‘opportunity’ to start writing and focus on new material, the end result has seen him team up with the stunning voice of Casandra Carson. In a series of connected events and individuals, in the same way that everyone is only 6 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon, both Rand and Carson were clearly always meant to meet up.
The end result is this 5 track e.p. which bursts through the speakers with an immense bass line and riffs that are so heavy they equate to a 32oz steak being served up in front of you.
With the meaty riffs front and centre, you may think this won’t be an album for the fainthearted. Unlike Stone Sour however, balance is found with the gorgeous vocal work from Casandra Carson. Powerful, roaring, soulful, smooth, silky, even smokey at times, these are all terms that accurately describe the range and versatility that Carson employs to help her bring her own unique style and sound to the compositions.
If you’re a fan of Lzzy Hale’s vocal style and Halestorm in general then imagine the heaviest of their numbers and then crank it up a notch. Tracks like ‘The Nothingness’ hammer home the music and will definitely resonate with Ms Hale’s fan-base along the way. The surprises however come from what else the duo can achieve together and on ‘Worthwhile’ we get a heartfelt, slower, piano driven number that is no less powerful but could easily become a soundtrack entry for many many movies over the next few years.
The album cover does stand at odds with the music on offer as it has a feel of Americana / Tom Petty / Stevie Nicks with perhaps a dash of Devin Townsend thrown in for good measure. It’s certainly enough to potentially make you pass it by unless you knew the quality of music on offer. The overall sound is wholly down to Rand though. It’s written, arranged, recorded, and produced entirely by the multi-instrumentalist, a person who clearly knows where the next chapter of their musical career needs to go. He has already said that The L.I.F.E. Project presents an important milestone in his career, a career that many would have happily put on hold whilst they waited for their vocalist to kick start the next album. Thankfully with Corey Taylor off doing his on thing, Josh Rand has stepped up and created a new outfit that proves his credentials and shows that he’s not in any way reliant on his Stone Sour sparring partner.
The e.p. closes with Carson’s vocals on ‘A World On Fire’ and they simply punch skyward and when mixed with the energised guitars deliver the definitive sound for the duo. If an album could come from them and maintain this level of songwriting then we’d be looking at a contender for album of the year without a doubt. Tough, melodic, modern, hard edged rock as written by someone who knows the fine line between rock and metal and can exploit it perfectly. There aren’t many acts that can tread that path as well as The L.I.F.E. Project.
Reviewed by Adrian Hextall