It is a hard task for any band to stand out in its genre, even for a single album. What happens when a band is so good that it is defining its genre with each and every album? How do you possibly improve for the next album? This was the situation Canadian progressive metal band Protest the Hero faced in its latest work, “Volition,” released Oct. 29 through the recording company Razor & Tie.
Protest the Hero’s previous catalogue of work (including “Kezia,” “Fortress” and “Scurrilous”) have garnered the group a rabid fan base, even though it is still rather unknown to the masses. The hype for this album was unbelievable among fans. In fact, the band raised upwards of $340,000 through Indiegogo just for this album. The band thus had its work set out for it to craft a groundbreaking new record.
The work starts off with “Clarity,” a fantastic song in the vein of classic Protest songs like “Bloodmeat” or “Sequoia Throne.” From the start, you are hit over the head with punching chords before falling into a groovy beat and powerful singing. This remains a theme throughout the album: force, groove and vocal prowess. “Drumhead Trial” continues this same trend. The third song, “Tilting Against Windmills,” is the second standout song here. It speaks about repression of gay people by conservative members of society and particularly religious institutions. “Plato’s Tripartite,” the sixth song on the album, is another phenomenal song with a message, this time concerning mistreatment of women. With brutal lyrics that are not for children or the faint of heart, this song delivers a true punch and is absolutely the highlight of the album. “Mist” is probably the most radio friendly, while still remaining distinctly Protest the Hero.
If you are a fan of any of Protest’s previous work or similar progressive metal acts, I would absolutely recommend checking out this album. If you are on the fence, I would check out “Clarity,” “Plato’s Tripartite” or “Mist.” I give this album a 9.5/10 solely because it is a relentless assault of upbeat songs. It would have been nice to hear a slower tune or even an acoustic song thrown in the mix. Overall, though, it is a great album, and Protest the Hero continues to define the genre of progressive metal.
Contact the writer: