Progressive metal band Protest The Hero hail from Canada and they’ve released two full-length albums so far. The band recently completed work on their sophomore album, entitled Scurrilous. Their latest offering is the centre piece of this review, so let’s take a closer look.
On Scurrilous the band managed to find a better balance between between their technical prowess and their song writing abilities. The guitar parts are as technical and complex as ever, but they seem to fit the song material better. Other changes can be found in the vocal department. Rody Walker keeps his screams to a minimum and he uses his clean vocals more often. He reminds me a lot of Cedric Bixler Zavala of The Mars Volta fame.
The music on Scurrilous is somewhat reminiscent of The Mars Volta, however Protest The Hero remain closer to the regular confines of progressive rock and metal. The song material on Scurrilous is quite memorable as well. C’est La Vie, Tandem, Moonlight, Dunsel, The Reign Of Unending Terror and Sex Tapes are compelling evidence of the band’s song writing abilities. Two tracks feature guest vocals by Jadea Kelly and Chris Hanna, namely on Hair Trigger and Sex Tapes respectively.
Scurrilous has a rather stripped down and dry sound, which enhances the progressive rock feel of this album. The great thing is that literally every instrument used is clearly audible.
Protest The Hero delivered a balanced, diverse and mature progressive rock/metal record with Scurrilous. Some may miss the wilder edge of Kezia and Fortress, but I feel the band have really come to their own on their latest effort. Impressive!
Written by Raymond Westland