Some music historians and critics would argue that it was Run DMC who helped provided Aerosmith that spark that they needed in order to reignite their career with their hip-hop/rock collaboration remix of “Walk This Way”. It also put Run DMC on the map in such a major way. Then, you started seeing Anthrax and Public Enemy making intense collaborations with their smash hit “Bring The Noise”, then the rap-metal movement was spurred on with Rage Against The Machine, 311, Limp Bizkit, and 3rd Strike all leading the charge, and Linkin Park for making it fresh. Then, Daryl “DMC” McDaniels, who has stated in numerous interviews that he is utilizing his stardom and his career in order to give back to new projects, to pass the torch so to speak, as he collaborated with Slaves On Dope last year, and now is collaborating with former Exodus vocalist Rob Dukes and they pieced the band Fragile Mortals together. On October 13th, Fragile Mortals released “The Dark Project” on Digital Launch via Entertainment One Music.
For “The Dark Project”, Fragile Mortals tapped Bumblefoot(Guns ‘N’ Roses/Scott Stapp/Art Of Anarchy/Sons Of Apollo) fame to produce this record. Fragile Mortals wanted to take various social and political issues and bring them forth to light, without trying to glorify the issues. In the media, there is this major push to bring about awareness to causes and Fragile Mortals are utilizing their platform in order to do just that.
“The Dark Project” starts off with a track entitled “Whispers Of Death”. Upon listen, the listener immediately notices the grinding of the guitars by Jason Trenczer and Jason Velez, along with the anvil crushing rhythm section led by bassist Rob Moschetti(formerly of Pro Pain, M.O.D.). Daryl “DMC” McDaniels sounds hellbound and determined in his rhyming schemes, which are more controversial and more politically charged from DMC than what the casual listener is usually accustomed to. Rob Dukes easily shows why he is one of the most underrated vocalists in metal with his shrilling screams and the passion behind the lyrics that he pens.
“You wanna bear fruits but you got no roots” raps DMC as Fragile Mortals brings into a track entitled “The Big Lie”. “The Big Lie” talks about how Hollywood is really not all about the glitz and glamour. There is a lot of truth being exposed about the dark side of Hollywood. It has a great midtempo range and although Dukes and DMC seem to be polar opposites in terms of music, they both take their vocal styles and they somehow make it work just as true musicians and recording artists are expected to do. From a lyrical content standpoint, it is deep and it talks about how easily people are willing to sell out just for that dollar. There is so much truth to the saying and Biblical quote, “the love of money is the root of all evil”. Greed and the lust for money leads to absolute corruption.
The third track of the album, “Bitch”, is probably the most driven song on the album. It is one of those songs that causes the listener to get out of their seat and gets into the mosh pit. In the bridge of the song, I immediately notice the trade-off and the collective vocal prowess of Rob Dukes and DMC. I love the instrumental break and the riffs are monster-filled and it talks about the empowerment of women as a whole, especially strong, independent women. The way the lyrics and wordplay are in the songs, it caused me to lead it to that conclusion. It is a real positive track, I am all about the empowerment of women as a whole. The bass is absolutely groovetastic and the solo in the instrumental break is skull crushing. “Bitch” is definitely the strong track of “The Dark Project”.
“Underneath My Skin” is a song that addresses that we should be united against racism and how the media and government desperately tries to divide us by skin color and ethnicity. The song discusses how we should judge each other by the content of one’s character instead of by skin color. Sadly, racism is taught as DMC raps, “white on white crime exists, didn’t you all see Schindler’s List”. I am liking DMC as a politically charged son of a gun. There are some legit anger in the vocals and a sense of unity between Dukes and DMC in the vocals! I should mention the pounding of the bass and the thunder on the drums during the bridge of the song! “Lot Lizard” addresses disease, drug use, and human trafficking in the trucking industry. The lyrics could’ve been more charged instead of it sounding cheesy about talking about oral sex and moving on to the next one if you get my drift. I felt that the lyrical content could’ve been stronger in that track to address the issues of human trafficking and prostitution.
Overall, this is a solid effort from Fragile Mortals. I wouldn’t have ever pictured Rob Dukes, formerly of Exodus, to be involved in some sort of rap-metal project with DMC, however, it works, sometimes opposites attract in music and in styles of art and it works and it fits like a glove. The lyrical content has sobering and poignant messages and are meant to be thought provoking on the issues regarding race, Hollywood, human trafficking, and empowering women. I give this album an overall rating of 8 out of 10 stars for some of the standout tracks and the thought provoking messages. It’s nice to hear political music that is about the issues and how these issues should be addressed. Thank you Fragile Mortals for writing some intelligent music for people to think about.
Here is the track listing below!
“The Dark Project” by Fragile Mortals
- Whispers Of Death
- The Big Lie
- Underneath My Skin
- Lot Lizard
- Fired Up!
- Bad Man
- Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)
Check out the music video to “Suicide” below
Find Fragile Mortals at the following locations: