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Protest the Hero - Fortress CD (album) cover

FORTRESS

Protest the Hero

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.53 | 94 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Fortress' - Protest The Hero (6/10)

I have to say; on my first listen of 'Fortress,' my mind was very much blown away. There aren't a great amount of albums in metal where every band member gives an exceptional performance. The songwriting, while having spots of brilliance here and there, never passed me as being consistently superb, but I was instantly enamoured by the onslaught of systematic chaos the band produced.

Protest The Hero come on strong and heavy from the very beginning; assaulting the listener with rapidfire guitar work, soaring melodies and hardcore-styled vocals. These are the first few seconds of the opener 'Bloodmeat,' which works out to be one of the more enjoyable tracks on the album.

After listening to the album over and over (I couldn't stop listening to the album for the first few days I owned it) and having the initial shock effect wear off, I realized that while the first four tracks are indeed fantastic, the album as a whole really does not have an immense load of emotional depth in it. 'Fortress' is enjoyable and a remarkable display of talent, but the moments of jaw-dropping beauty end up being too few and far in between.

While I am certainly aware that this is technical metal, and that some over-the-top musicianship is in order, my favourite parts of the album are the parts where Protest The Hero manage to channel their technicality and blend it with a soaring, hooky melody... It always comes as a very refreshing change of pace from the unrelenting virtuosic displays.

'Fortress' is first and foremost, a guitar album. Although having a relatively short career, the guitarist has developing himself a rather distinctive hammer-on/pull-off heavy style, which is very cool. While I really wish I could award the album with another star, there are alot of parts that I don't care for, that detract from the overall product (particularly on the latter half of the album.) While the first four songs together make an unrelenting feast of musical greatness, the album doesn't quite hold up all the way through. Still, if the price warrants it, I would definately recommend picking this one up. It's certainly worth it for those first few, jaw- dropping listens.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |

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