Protest The Hero – Fortress

Band: Protest The Hero
Album: Fortress
Genre: Progressive Metal
Label: Vagrant Records

1. Bloodmeat
2. The Dissentience
3. Bone Marrow
4. Sequoia Throne
5. Palms Read
6. Limb From Limb
7. Spolis Isosceles
8. Wretch
9. Goddess Bound
10. Goddess Gagged

“Bloodmeat” is the first track on Protest The Hero’s sophomore album, Fortress, and from the opening chords and vocal prowess, it can be assumed that we are about to encounter more of the same from Protest The Hero. Revisiting over-the-top sweeps and lyrics that tell a story, clearly the band aims to melt your face. It is possible that Protest takes a page from Meatloaf or Peter Townshend, as the album plays out like a rock opera. I imagine a theatrical production while listening to “The Dissentience” as it’s complete with sound effects and dramatic build-up and climax. Vocalist Rody Walker displays his incredible range with screams held on minor notes, experimentation with lows, harmonies and emotional inflection. Love or hate his unique, shrill metal vocal stylings, there is no denying that Walker sets Protest The Hero apart.

I have very few contrary remarks to present, however I will say that while this album is more epic than the previous, it provides less opportunities to sing along. With decorative keyboard and guitar lines and constant changes in timing, some pop-appeal is lost. Although Protest has traveled the heavier progressive road to Fortress, the track “Palms Read” has a catchy gang vocal break that is reminiscent ofKezia. I can imagine this album influencing every young metal teenager to pick up a guitar or bass, as every track is packed with impressive non-stop tapping and scales.

Obviously, everyone needs to hear this album, and it does not matter who you are. Non-metal music enthusiasts would appreciate the quick changes in tempo and theme, as you are never left bored. Metal fans can appreciate Protest The Hero’s effort in technical riffs and their ability to present them in a fresh way. Even your mom and teenage sister may appreciate it – simultaneously they will be reminded of Broadway and the theme from Saved By The Bell. As for the fans of the band who have been awaiting Fortress, there is no doubt that you will press repeat.
*Written By: Billy Table*
GRADE: 9.5/10

James Shotwell
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