Canadian prog prodigies Protest The Hero release their third studio release on Vagrant today. Returning is Julius “The Juice” Butty, who produced their previous two albums. Vocally, Rody Walker is on point, but the violent backings from bassist Arif Mirabdolbaghi are not nearly as prevalent as they are in their previous release, “Fortress.” Musically, the band is at the top of their crop in the metlcore kingdom, relenting nothing. A fist-to-face style consistency ensues onward through the album as Walker belts out fiery and forlorn lyrics, which seem to be grounded more in reality than the conceptual myth and fantasy of their previous works.
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I had to break out my dictionary [.com] to find out what “Scurrilous” means. Defined as 1.grossly or obscenely abusive and 2. characterized by or using low buffoonery; coarsely jocular or derisive, I laughed and thought it was a perfect representation of Protest The Hero. For those who aren’t familiar with their live and behind the scenes footage, this accurately sums up how these crazy Canucks get down.
Blistering right out of the gate, “C’est la vie” starts the album off with ”don’t you wish you could sing like this” vocals followed by “envy my guitar skills” chorus riff that just begs to be listened to over and over (which I did). The song deals with suicide and the feeling of insignificance. I might also note the lyrics were written by bassist Arif Mirabdolbaghi, along with “Moonlight” and “Sex Tapes.” The one thing I was really looking forward to was Arif’s massive guttural growls. However, “Tapestry” was the only song that really delivered. “Tongue Splitter” had a few interjecting booms, but nothing like “Bone Marrow” or “Sequoia Throne,” and general presence overall on “Fortress.” Also lacking were some sweet funky bass solos.
Guitarists Tim Millar Luke Hoskin have really outdone themselves in technicality. The attention to detail, timing, and precision ring true through the whole album. None of this would have been possible without drummer Moe Carlson keeping the whole band in line and in time. We really get a great listening experience as he really ties the band together (get it?).
Rody Walker delivers the best performance ever in “Scurrilous,” bending the genre lines between heavy and glam vocals with his sweetly swooping voice. His lyrical content is straight forward and doesn’t leave you guessing what he’s talking about. Also, Jadea Kelly reunites with the band on “Hair-Trigger.” She was the lovely female vocalist from their 2006 release “Kezia.”
This album is Protest The Hero performing at high intensity and reality. This record continually graces my iPhone and I really haven’t stopped listening to it since I got it. I recommend this to any one with a feel for metal and rock of amazing vocal talent.