Protest The Hero - Scurrilous review
|Band:||Protest The Hero|
|Release date:||March 2011|
01. C'est La Vie
07. The Reign Of Unending Terror
10. Sex Tapes
Protest The Hero, the band that posts the stupidest and least informative studio updates in the world and makes unbelievably good music for a third record in a row; a band that managed to set itself apart in the modern technical metal world full of highly proficient musicians repeating each other's ideas or doing nothing more than demonstrating their skill, or both. Protest The Hero could have easily become just another group of wankers and a vapid screamer switching to familiar cloying singing on choruses. But this demented Canadian quintet have been different from their very first LP Kezia followed by the brilliant Fortress, and after a three year wait, Scurrilous has set the band even further apart from the trend.
Protest The Hero is a kind of band that writes a lot of music for their records. Just like on the first two albums, there are 10 tracks on Scurrilous that clock it under 45 minutes, but there is a lot of music. Get it? A lot. So much that, if they were paid note by note, they would be millionaires by now. The major difference from the previous two records is that this time there are fewer abrupt changes within songs: they are simpler and smoother. There is a new feeling of lightness that surrounds the album. There is more melody and more "songs" in the classic meaning of the word, and the band feels relaxed, like a group of accomplished musicians having fun and experimenting with their music.
Nevertheless, Luke Hoskin seems to be not able to stop soloing for more than 15 seconds, but that has somehow always worked with this band, and this almost perpetual soloing has never overshadowed the emotional vocal lines of Rody Walker, who has opted for almost exclusively using his clean vocals on this record, and, as usual, impresses with his almost operatic delivery. At the end of "Hair-trigger" he is joined by Jadea Kelly, who sang Kezia's parts on the self-titled concept album. As usual, there is a lot of variety in Protest The Hero's songs: technical riffage, complex progressive rhythms, slower melodic interludes, melancholic leads, and arpeggio-backed choruses. All these are performed with virtuosity, positioned with astounding taste, and poured out with great sound, which has become richer and cleaner. Special kudos to the drummer, Moe Carlson, for keeping the whole thing so solid and structured, making the drums truly complement and emphasize all the various parts that guitars are playing.
While Scurrilous does not top Fortress, it is an amazingly strong effort with tons of great music; some of this year's best by the way. If this is your first encounter with Protest The Hero, you have just spotted one of the best and most original modern metal bands. Go ahead and have fun with Scurrilous, an album that is complex inside but genuinely enjoyable song by song.
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