On 2002's Project 11-41, Slapshock still works within the rap-metal genre, but takes an amazing change of direction. Where the band's past two albums were centered on harsh vocals and a menacing sound, Project 11-41 incorporates far more melody than before, and the music is far more accessible. The Pantera-like growling that dominated the first two albums is kept to a minimum, and the band's vocalists sound more appealing in both the rapping and singing. Significantly, the producer for Project 11-41 is the talented Rico Blanco, whose own music in touted rock band RiverMaya is highlighted by the use of melody. Project 11-41 is one of the most ambitious efforts ever attempted in the Philippines. The production is impressive, and the band attains international standards on a number of songs, including, among others, "Wake Up," featuring blistering guitar riffs working in synergy with the intense vocals; "Queen Paranoia" and its innovative rapping; "Mother's Eye"," which contains an alluring acoustic guitar figure; and the sweeping "Anino Mo" (Your Shadow). However, some songs are too ambitious for their own good. "Numb," for example, contains a strong melodic figure, but instead of highlighting it, the band rarely plays it, and spends time on other things. The song starts on a soft rap, followed by a hard-edged rap, and then the very catchy, sung melodic figure. But instead of making this melodic figure the song's centerpiece, it gets buried under another type of hard-edged rap, a lengthy (if appealing) rap, some growling heard over another guitar riff, and some punchy guitar-chord explorations. The song has so many parts that it's hard to remember any of it, including the melodic figure, which should otherwise have strong recall. "Sunday Shivers" and "Windshield" also get bogged down in the number of parts and directions taken. "Swallow" could be an outstanding single if more emphasis were given to the strong melodic chorus. Nonetheless, the album deserves wide Asian distribution. The album contains 14 songs, and all but one is sung in English. Project 11-41 is one of the Philippines' most ambitious, most accomplished efforts, and it almost seems a shame that anything less than positive is said at all.
AllMusic Review by David Gonzales
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2