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Protest the Hero - Fortress CD (album) cover


Protest the Hero


Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.55 | 107 ratings

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4 stars 'Bloodmeat' tears open this 5-pieces' second release with a hungry delivery from Luke Hoskins and Tim Millar's guitars, Rody Walker's impassioned vocals and relentlessly tight rhythm section of Mirabdolbagh & Carlson. Hoskins and Millar work their clever lines broken up by subtle jazz chords as it transitions into partner 'The Dissentience', both cuts excellent samples of the aggressive/melodic approach the group takes. Tech-ier than Opeth and angrier than Spiral Architect, Protest the Hero are clearly contenders and Fortress is a balanced and consistent record full of material that, if not terribly original, is of high quality.

Four of the five members sing, providing a wide range of vocal options that the band utilizes with drama, feeling and precision, and the whole album is strung together quite well. At 5&1/2 minutes 'Bone Marrow' is the longest piece here, building on the sound established with further progressions and massive crusades against enemies. The pressure is kept on for 'Sequoia Farm', splendidly invoking Rob Halford and the Priest with much love as well as slight whiffs of the Volta now and then. Senti-metal 'Palms Read' and progmetal masterwork 'Limb From Limb', a ravenous cut featuring more Preist-like affectations, real nice melodies and Vadim Pruzhinov's keys. Killer 80s-style thrash on 'Spoils' and the energy and ideas keep coming in 'Wretch', 'Goddess Bound' and 'Goddess Gagged'. One or two of these songs could have been cut but that's a small price to pay for a good record, and if given a few honest listens I can't see it disappointing too many progmetalheads. At least not the ones with a big tent.

Atavachron | 4/5 |


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