Protest The Hero : Scurrilous
Canadian outfit Protest The Hero are the kind of band that you could call the quiet achiever. Despite garnering huge critical acclaim for their first two albums, the five-piece still remain a somewhat underground act, with an ever-growing diehard following. Now returning with their third effort Scurrilous, it looks like Protest The Hero may have a chance of making a bigger dent in the progressive metal scene.
On the surface, Scurrilous doesn’t represent a huge change of sound for the band compared to their two previous offerings. But upon closer inspection, the subtle differences between their latest album and their past become more and more apparent. C’est La Vie is an ideal introduction for newcomers, with most of the band’s signature sound blended and spliced into a concise three and a half minutes.
The much promised addition of progressive elements to the band’s sound this time around are evident in the guitarists technical wizardry, while Rody Walker’s predominately clean vocals and the reliance on more straightforward themes on the lyrical front give the song a sense of accessibility that has at times eluded the band.
The follow-up Hair-Trigger is a definite highlight with vocalist Jadea Kelly taking on the role of Walker’s ‘sweet little redhead’, while outstanding tracks such as Moonlight and Tapestry show a greater melodic emphasis in the choruses working alongside a greater complexity of guitar riffs in the remainder of the song’s construction.
Elsewhere, tracks such as the driving The Reign Of Unending Terror, the dazzling flourishes of guitar work in Tongue-Splitter and the off-kilter melodic chaos of Sex Tapes (which features a guest appearance from Propagandhi’s Chris Hannah) are the definitive picks from the remainder of the album.
Scurrilous certainly leans more towards the melodic side of things, but has enough technical finesse to keep the fans of progressive metal more than pleased. And for those who have yet to discover the band, this album may well be the best place to start.
Best Track: Sex Tapes
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In A Word: Technical
BY JUSTIN DONNELLY