Protest The Hero

Fortress

Written by: AP on 19/03/2008 19:42:41

If they purposefully wrote the material for \"Kezia\" too difficult for the band to play, as is rumored, to better themselves as musicians, then Protest The Hero should be applauded for having achieved just that. What begun as a high school pop punk ensemble has since evolved into a mature, multi-faceted post-hardcore group with a taste for math rock, and although the sound is still primarily punk, the sheer amount of stuff that goes on at any given moment on the band\'s sophomore album \"Fortress\" is enough to intrigue even the most hardened masters of musical theory.

There are moments where \"Fortress\" nears the playful ingenuity of Between The Buried And Me and it\'s these moments that mark the evolution undergone since \"Kezia\". In fact, \"Fortress\" draws more parallels with said band\'s \"Colors\" than it does with \"Kezia\", such is the instrumental proficiency on display here. Throughout \"Fortress\", Protest The Hero rarely settles for less than light speed shredding and melodies that\'d make any beginning guitarist shiver. Fortunately the band has also understood that in light of such magnificence on the guitarists\' part, there\'s an urgent need to emphasize the rhythm section, which just as the guitars defies the boundaries of what is possible with a mere musical instrument.

Rody\'s vocals steal this show though. Not only has he widened his range, he\'s disciplined it to avoid exaggerating as was sometimes the case with \"Kezia\". He delivers each politically charged lyric with passion and personality, stopping only to experiment with using his voice as an instrument in the literal sense or to unleash some pretty brutal growls and screams.

But even if \"Fortress\" oozes with creative complexity and is about as original and unique as this type of music can get, it somehow fails to strike with as much intrigue as \"Kezia\". With such an immense amount of complexity taking place so consistently, the novelty quickly wears off to reveal a very good album as opposed to the masterpiece it could be. Perhaps it\'d be wisest to exercise the same discipline Rody commands to every other instrument, too, so that the instrumental wanking had enough contrast to actually sound like instrumental wanking. Nonetheless, \"Fortress\" is a logical and well-executed, intriguing piece of hybrid metal that I wouldn\'t hesitate to recommend to everyone.

8

Download: Bloodmeat, Palms Read, Goddess Bound

For the fans of: Between The Buried And Me, The Fall of Troy

Listen: Myspace

Buy: iTunes

Release date 04.02.2008

Vagrant

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