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PROTEST THE HERO

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Canada


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Protest the Hero picture
Protest the Hero biography
Ontario,Canada's PROTEST THE HERO was formed in 1999 when the band members were only 14 years old under the moniker HAPPY GO LUCKY.The day after their senior exams the young band went out on tour to gain exposure.

Their sound was originally hardcore punk,and in 2002 and 2003 they released "The Search for Truth" and "A Calculated Use of Sound" EP's respectively.In 2005 PROTEST THE HERO signed to Vagrant Records and released their first full length album "Kezia".A concept album,"Kezia" signalled a dramatic shift in their sound.The band began experimenting with unconventional song structures,incorporating elements of metalcore,mathcore and progressive metal into their music.

"Fortress" was release in 2008.Although the album is broken into three movements,it is not exactly a concept album but an album revolving around a single concept,which according to their bassist and lyricist Arif Mirabdolbaghi,is more akin to "goddess worship in the tradition of Robert Graves".

PROTEST THE HERO is an excellent example of a band taking elements of various genres and creating intelligent,original and jaw-droppingly complex music and are highly recommended.



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Approved by the Progressive Metal Team



Discography:
Kezia, studio album (2006)
Fortress, studio album (2008)
...

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PROTEST THE HERO discography


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PROTEST THE HERO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.78 | 79 ratings
Kezia
2006
3.56 | 116 ratings
Fortress
2008
3.50 | 73 ratings
Scurrilous
2011
3.59 | 40 ratings
Volition
2013
4.00 | 4 ratings
Pacific Myth
2015
3.86 | 31 ratings
Palimpsest
2020

PROTEST THE HERO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.36 | 8 ratings
Gallop Meets The Earth
2009

PROTEST THE HERO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

PROTEST THE HERO Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

PROTEST THE HERO Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

1.21 | 5 ratings
Search for the Truth
2002
2.57 | 9 ratings
A Calculated Use of Sound
2003
4.20 | 5 ratings
Heretics And Killers
2006
4.04 | 7 ratings
Sequoia Throne
2008
1.38 | 5 ratings
Sequoia Throne Remix EP
2008
4.00 | 3 ratings
Ragged Tooth
2015
4.00 | 3 ratings
Tidal
2015
4.67 | 3 ratings
Cold Water
2015
4.67 | 3 ratings
Cataract
2016
4.50 | 4 ratings
Harbinger
2016
4.67 | 3 ratings
Caravan
2016
0.00 | 0 ratings
Fabula & Syuzhet
2020

PROTEST THE HERO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Palimpsest by PROTEST THE HERO album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.86 | 31 ratings

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Palimpsest
Protest the Hero Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by ssmarcus

3 stars I must admit, Palimpest and I really got off on the wrong foot. Here were a bunch of emo Canadians out to tell Americans everything wrong with their history was my initial impression when listening to the record shortly after it first dropped. Thankfully, I recently realized how silly and defensive this was and understood that a group as talented and influential as Protest the Hero deserved serious consideration regardless of how I may have misinterpreted their intentions. By putting my ego aside, I discovered a record full of beauty, rockin' riffage, and some genuinely refreshing takes on some of America's lesser known historical episodes and milestones. The preachy emo character of the music definitely lingers throughout but it is backed by real substance that is worth your attention even if you are not the biggest fan of the post-hardcore vibes.

The case can and will almost certainly be made by many that this is Protest the Hero's finest record. And while I can certainly understand this position, I don't quite share that same level of enthusiasm. For my personal taste, Protest the Hero is at their best when they pull together frantic technical riffage with big and maniacal choruses and melodic passages. There are just too many moments on this record (e.g. "Migrant Mother", "Rivet", etc.) where the post-hardcore influence is just too dominant. If you are a prog fan with a soft spot for the likes of My Chemical Romance, this album is all world. For the rest of us, a 3 of 5 stars will suffice.

 Palimpsest by PROTEST THE HERO album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.86 | 31 ratings

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Palimpsest
Protest the Hero Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by oliasunhillow

5 stars Masterpiece.

After months wandering through some nice, but quickly forgottent tunes, I discovered PTH for 1 months, thanks to a review of Palimpsest on SputnikMusic. Since then, I just listen to this album on a daily basis. I listened to other PTH albums, but they sound like rehearsals for this one, which seems to embody all what PTH has been aiming to, during its now 13 years career.

I has all what a prog fan would dream of : themes carefully chosen (catastrophies in the 20-30's USA), epic drive, poetic and yet down to earth lyrics, complex time signatures, impossible guitar riffs, strong and full soundscape... Rody Walker really shines on this one with his operatic, catarthic singing style.

I signed in just to write this short review because I really wondered why there was not even one. I hope it will encourage others to review this album more in detail.

My advice is to listen to it from the beginning to the end, and then to start again. At first, songs sound a bit the same, but soon, you will be amazed by their individual beauty.

 Gallop Meets The Earth by PROTEST THE HERO album cover Live, 2009
3.36 | 8 ratings

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Gallop Meets The Earth
Protest the Hero Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by thwok

4 stars Here's what I'd do - buy this for the live CD. Maybe you can use the DVD for a bookmark - just kidding. In fact it's listed right now for $14 on EBay; totally worth it for the live CD. I think PTH might the most impressive musical unit under the metalcore umbrella. Their songwriting abilities, and the way they play as a unit, are rare. Going to a concert, or watching a concert DVD, is mostly about connecting with the audience. That's where the band falls short. The audiovisual quality of the DVD could also be improved. The extra features are fun if you like PTH. Obviously, I respect the band and I love their music. This just isn't the best representation of them. So, I'll have to take away some credit for the DVD. The rest if the package is terrific. I'd give it 3 & 1/2.
 Kezia by PROTEST THE HERO album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.78 | 79 ratings

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Kezia
Protest the Hero Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars PROTEST THE HERO originally had the name of Happy Go Lucky and i have to say it was a good move to make the ole switcheroonie cuz that is one totally UN-metal name if i've ever heard one. They hail from Ontario, Canada and after releasing one EP in 2002, they released their first full debut album KEZIA on August 2005 in their native Canada and in April 2006 in the US. I have no idea when for other countries. KEZIA is a nebulous concept album that vocalist Rody Walker describes as having a subtle deeper meaning below the theme of an execution of a woman named KEZIA. The overall concept symbolizes the ever quickening decline of society in general described through the life of KEZIA in prison and how she copes with day to day life until her final demise.

Personally i don't care about this concept. This is metalcore and i can't understand the lyrics anyway, but for those who do care about these things, it is a nice story that weaves around the brutal metal music with progressive layerings. If you ask me the music of PROTEST THE HERO is a hybrid of The Mars Volta and Between The Buried And Me. The Volta comparisons hold true on a few levels. Firstly Rody Walker's high pitched range and vocal style really sounds a lot like Cedric Bixler-Zavala's. I had to check the first time hearing this to make sure this wasn't another project of Cedric. Secondly, the song structures remind me a lot of The Mars Volta's as well, at least their most rocking parts. The intermissions have similarities as well but PROTEST doesn't go fully into psychedelic Krautrock tangents. There are similar guitar tones, vocal styles etc.

On the Buried And Me side of the equation, the metalcore is crisp and staccato with progressive intros and outros and odd time signatures that are abundant and this really has a lot in common. If you ever wondered what The Mars Volta would sound like if they truly ventured into brutal metal with lightning fast guitar riffs that drift from chaotic Psyopus type dissonance to melodic neoclassical shredding with pummeling riffs and percussion while dropping a big chunk of the Latin and psychedelic influences, then you don't have to go to an alternate universe to find out, it can be found in this one and PROTEST THE HERO sounds just like that to me. I don't find this band to be as adventurous as say "Colors" by Between The Buried In Me which leaves no rock unturned for influences, but this album finds a lot of sounds to incorporate into the melodic metalcore to dish out. While metalcore isn't usually the sub genre of metal i mostly gravitate towards, i do find some of the progressive types very satisfying and this one has earned some staying power in my world. It is an album that delivers in being extremely brutal, soft and sensual and above all maintains melodic developments throughout its run.

 Volition by PROTEST THE HERO album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.59 | 40 ratings

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Volition
Protest the Hero Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars There is no doubt Protest the Hero is one of the most professional and best-sounding prog metal bands in the world (2007's Fortress made that clear). With Volition, besides being a kick-ass record, PtH presents a relatively new phenomena in professional rock: an album that, in their words "was made possible by the generous contributions of thousands. Thousands of people who, without hearing a single note, put their faith in us to make them something special." Quite an accomplishment. But it is also, essentially, music to order, and presumably has higher expectations than for the new work a band would normally be hawking, a production that they or a record company had paid for.

This time it worked, and the material and performance will likely please both fans and the curious. In fact Volition would be a great starter. A touch more accessible than previous releases and with mild influence from guys like Opeth, LTE, Metallica, Coheed&Cambria, and Ron Jarzombek (who guests on a cut), my one complaint is that there are simply more songs here than necessary and the band's highly distinctive sound becomes monotone after a point. But that aside and with the beautiful artwork and packaging, the disc is an extremely healthy offering. 'Clarity' has stuttering rhythms, great chordal colors, and stuck-pig harmonics; Jarzombek's tech candy abounds on 'Drumhead Trial' with Chris Adler's (not Moe Carlson's) furious drums; Slick and spinning 'Tilting Against Windmills' is insatiable, absolutely killer, continued through 'Without Prejudice'.

Roddy Walker weaves his vocals with ease into 'Yellow Teeth', as on mid-paced and catchy 'Platos Tripartite' (a potential hit if it'd been under 4 minutes). But by 'Mist', an otherwise great track, our ears begin to tire and by 'Animal Bones' we've heard enough to know PtH's 2013 issue is very, very good. Too many notes? No. But, I would say with a fair amount of confidence, too many songs.

 Fortress by PROTEST THE HERO album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.56 | 116 ratings

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Fortress
Protest the Hero Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Emperor Mordred

5 stars This album was my favourite album of 2008 and is a very important album for me. A couple of years ago, i grew tired of most of the new music i heard from the artists that i was following for years and there weren't many new bands i got into. I had the impression that i heard everything before and no music could move me anymore like the music i grew up with (late 90's metal: Cradle Of Filth, Emperor, Dream Theater, Paradise Lost, Devin Townsend,...). I feared that i was changing into one of those old guys who kept talking how much better music was back in his day.

This album changed that, together with many awesome bands i discovered through progarchives, it was something completely fresh, unique, crazy and over the top. You can find a lot of different influences in it ranging from punk, metalcore, mathmetal, scandinavian deathmetal and prog, but most importantly this band has it's own sound.

Thanks to the "love it or hate it" vocals from Rody Walker that stay far away from the usual metal clichés and crazy songwriting skills that are both extremely complex and over the top melodic, it is very difficult to put this band in a genre or even to compare them with other bands. Which is impressive for a genre that has a few dozen Meshuggah/Dillinger clones

In my opinion this is their best album so far and the best place to start if you want to get into this band.

 Scurrilous by PROTEST THE HERO album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.50 | 73 ratings

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Scurrilous
Protest the Hero Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Slaughternalia

2 stars Okay, so Protest The Hero has obviously found an awesome sound. But that doesn't mean EVERY album has to be the same. It's getting a little old. Start off fast and noodley, move into a somewhat cheesy interlude, back to fast and noodley, tons of time signature changes the whole time. Don't get me wrong, it still sounds really badass a lot of time time, such as Hair- Trigger. Awesome track. They obviously used all their good ideas on a few songs, and then decided to just stick to their standard formula for the rest, resulting in more of what you've heard on previous albums, but a bit less inspired and interesting. If you want to get into this band, don't start here.
 Scurrilous by PROTEST THE HERO album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.50 | 73 ratings

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Scurrilous
Protest the Hero Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Scurrilous' - Protest The Hero (5/10)

In the past, I have often used this band as an example of the flash-over-substance mentality that quite a bit of progressive metal has. Admittedly, I briefly liked what the band had to offer when I was first introduced to them, but it was not too long before I realized that they had a 'twinkie' mentality to their music; being that it looked it on the outside, but as soon as I dug a little deeper, it was clear that there wasn't all too much to hold my interest. I would never deny that the band are very skilled musicians, and with their third offering 'Scurrilous', they are still dragged down by some issues that have been stinging since their inception.

'Scurrilous' essentially picks up where the band's second album 'Fortress' left off and offers some more of the same, with few developments to speak of. For the most part, this is an improvement over Protest's generally sporadic and irritating sophomore, and while there are none of the same standout tracks that 'Fortress' was only partially redeemed by, 'Scurrilous' is a much more consistent record, and somewhat emphasizes what I liked about them beforehand. In terms of what I like about Protest The Hero, the list begins and ends with the guitars. Tim Miller and Luke Hoskin are phenomenal musicians, and 'Scurrilous' is a virtually unrelenting showcase of their skills, delivering riff upon impressive riff of distinct arpeggios and progginess aplenty. While I may not be nearly as enthusiastic about any other quality of the band, the guitars are essential enough to the sound of 'Scurrilous' that it becomes something of a decent listen, and could have even been a brilliant one, were it not for some painfully unpleasant aspects in their sound.

The lesser of the two main concerns I have with the sound of Protest The Hero is the songwriting. While there are plenty of awesome riffs and technically sound moments for listeners to be dazzled by, the way things are structured doesn't give any sense of drama or tension, or even a slight sense of build up. While the unrelenting technicality and speed of the album is not necessarily a bad thing in of itself, the is little dynamic here, and even within the context of a song itself, the ideas rarely compliment each other. The songwriting always feels rhapsodic and without direction. The songwriting is far from the worst aspect of Protest The Hero's sound however.

The thing that really kills Protest The Hero for me are the vocals of Rody Walker, whose adolescent howl has put me off virtually from square one. Although gifted with an admittedly impressive vocal range, the sound of his voice doesn't pass me as being much more than an angry whine, and his voice has an irritating sense of vibrato to it that I can only interpret as the vocal equivalent of television static. Walker's voice exemplifies why I cannot like this band; he warbles every note to the point of overindulgence, and when it comes to the actual sound of his voice, it is fairly shallow, despite his obvious ability to go wherever he wants with his delivery. Not to mention that the vocals are paired with some equally irritating lyrics; while Protest The Hero's lyrics here are somewhat better than they were with 'Fortress' and are at times even witty, it is ironic that the times when Rody enunciates the words most clearly are the times when he decides that swearing is the only way to express his youthful angst. Of course, like anything, so-called 'bad language' can be used appropriately and powerfully, but here, it almost feels like they are trying to force the words in, in order to get some sort of badass credibility they would otherwise be lacking. The result is fairly laughable.

As one can likely tell within one paragraph of this review, I do not like Protest The Hero. While they are all skilled and flashy, the technical wankery does not tend to work in their favour when they don't have much else to back it up with. Luckily however, 'Scurrilous' earns points for me, even if only because it is a great step up from 'Fortress'. There is also some brilliant guitar work here, and I could easily see 'Scurrilous' being a surefire winner for me if it were kept a purely instrumental album. As it stands though, the good elements here are only somewhat worth bearing with the negative.

 Scurrilous by PROTEST THE HERO album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.50 | 73 ratings

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Scurrilous
Protest the Hero Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars I began writing this review in a disappointing tone but soon realized that I really can't be hard on Protest The Hero for things that I could only relate to my personal feelings regarding their latest outing. I'm referring to the fact that Scurrilous is really not a big leap from the style that the quintet depicted on their break through release Fortress. The riffs are still rapid, sharp and hard hitting as ever, making up at least 70% of the band's song arrangements. That is unless you take into consideration the lyrical maturity with a clear shift from fantasy depictions to those of personal nature.

Unlike the two previous releases, Scurrilous is not a conceptual piece of music, instead the band takes the opportunity to reflect upon issues that are clearly of concern to them and I definitely support this shift. What I'm having more trouble with are the music arrangements which clearly haven't progressed much since Fortress. We still get that same distinct blend of Metalcore and Progressive Metal, which has unfortunately become less original over the course of the last few years with imitators like the band Treeburning becoming more of a rule than an exception as of lately.

I vividly recall the band stating, in a recent interview, that the new album was going to be even more progressive than their previous outings but I'm not sure that this is true. There's literally nothing here that we haven't already heard on Fortress, aside maybe from female lead vocals on Hair-Trigger and the previously mentioned lyrical shift. Another disappointment comes in the fact that the album doesn't start with a great opener like No Stars Over Bethlehem or Bloodmeat. C'est La Vie is not the great single that the band is trying to market it as, good but not among their best.

Having said all that, I still find it difficult not to enjoy this album. This is literally Fortress - part 2 and if you don't have a problem with that then definitely give this one a go!

***** star songs: Tandem (5:15) Tapestry (4:34)

**** star songs: C'est La Vie (3:32) Hair-Trigger (4:49) Moonlight (4:49) Dunsel (4:53) Termites (3:56) Tongue-Splitter (4:34) Sex Tapes (4:39)

*** star songs: The Reign of Unending Terror (3:23)

 Kezia by PROTEST THE HERO album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.78 | 79 ratings

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Kezia
Protest the Hero Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Kezia' - Protest The Hero (5/10)

Protest The Hero have not been a band I've been much endeared to lately. Although my first impression with their second album 'Fortress' initially struck a chord with me, it didn't take long before the music began to grow tiresome. Although their first record 'Kezia' is a step above 'Fortress' in terms of musicality and intelligence, the end result is the same; an adolescent romp through progressive territory that comes out feeling fairly lukewarm. Although there are certainly excellent things to hear on 'Kezia', I am left to wonder how much it is worth to sift through the weak parts to strike the gold.

In what is almost certainly a matter of personal taste, it is the voice of lead singer Rody Walker which may turn me off most to the music Protest The Hero plays on 'Kezia'. Although a strong range is evident here, the sound of Walker's voice amounts to little more than an adolescent yelp. Especially during his more technically expressive moments, Walker is quick to adopt a fairly whiny tinge in his voice that is no bit pleasant to the ears, and does little to distinguish Protest from the legions of angsty new metalcore bands. The band is clever enough to change pace now and then with some female vocals and screams, neither of which ever amount to anything much better, but still more tolerable than Rody's cleans.

Luckily, Rody Walker is the only sour aspect of the band's performance. Especially for their ages, the instrumentalists of the band are well advanced beyond their years, and this shows most profoundly in the guitar work of Tim Millar and Luke Hoskin. Having mastered modular riffing and tapping from this debut onward, it is their strong work that the rest of the band builds around, although the bass and drums do well to fill out the sound. To showcase these skills, each song on 'Kezia' is beautifully arranged, featuring multiple layers of guitars, plenty of different neat ideas here and there, and a tendency to throw light and heavier moments into the course of one song; something that hasn't seen so much success in metalcore.

Unfortunately, while the music is played with precision and everything conceivable is done to make the music complex and enjoyable, the songwriting generally lacks depth and comes across as shallow, especially after a handful of listens. While Protest The Hero has invested all of their efforts into giving as much flash as possible with 'Kezia', there is no suggestion to me that there is anything worth going back for after becoming familiar with the flashy riffs and technical showcases. With that in mind, the album grows weaker with each subsequent listen, although I'll be the first to admit that the initial force of the album is quite admirable.

'Kezia' has been lauded as a masterpiece by fans of the band, and in some parts of the record, I can certainly see why. However, although the band's technical skills as flaunted here to no end and the record has some decent initial shock value, Protest The Hero have some serious issues with their craft to change or fix before I could ever call myself a fan of them.

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the artist addition.

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