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Protest The Hero – Volition

Becci Stanley

Triangle

Far from their debut album Kezia in 2006, Protest The Hero have used the diversity they brought to the metal scene to their advantage and to stages all over the world. Now seven years later they deliver Volition, a testament to the maturity and excellence that has been reached within this relatively short space of time.

Opening track Clarity instantly sums up this band in one neatly tied up package. From riffs soaring high above the gritty chugging of frenzied chords, to infectious vocals accompanied expertly with the most foot-tappingly tight melody you’ll have heard in a long time; this song sets a very high standard for the album. This is a challenge gladly accepted by follow up track Drumhead Trial which if anything, raises the bar even higher with a deliriously fast intro thrusting into fast-fretting and sharp hooks that will spear the interest of any listener, metal fan or not.

This album isn’t just about being heavy and metal as hell – although it does a fantastic job of that. Protest The Hero are all about diversity and flicking the finger up to any genre conventions, and no songs show this off better than Plato’s Tripartie, Underbite and Mist. The former tracks display a frenetic and fraught ode to the bands punk influence, laced with harsh vocals and a crunching drum beat against sudden bursts of bitter-sweet melody. Mist takes a totally different approach to diversity by displaying the harmonious and almost beautiful side that Protest The Hero also possess; it’s a long and winding journey through an ocean of tranquility despite still possessing a fast-paced and edgy beat amongst an incredibly fraught and ballzy album.

Closing track Skies winds the album down with a haunting introduction, breathy vocals and single guitar chords before spinning out of control in a crazy array of screaming guitars, booming drums and roaring vocals all battling it out for domination until the very last poignant note of the release, leaving a listener thoroughly breathless.

Generic conventions come to be expected within a genre, they make it recognizable and almost safe to listen to, you know what you’re getting. Protest the Hero completely break into your comfort zone whether you like it or not, but let’s face it, you’re going to love it if this album is anything to go by with its deliciously perfect instrumentals, crafted with love and affection under a harsh and visceral guise.