Protest The Hero – Volition


Album

Volition

Label

Spinefarm

Year

2013

For Fans Of

Between the Buried and Me - The Fall of Troy - Periphery

Summary

Bad luck if you like having a face; look forward to getting it melted clean off.

Rating

80 / 100

With fourth album ‘Volition‘, Canadian quintet Protest the Hero deliver their strongest work yet; a technical, go-for-the-throat slice of prog metal madness that’s likely their most creative and varied, all the while feeling undeniably Protest.

Right from the word go, ‘Volition‘ is a glorious metallic frenzy that never once drops the adrenaline. However, in keeping with the wild energy fans have come to expect from the band, it’s also a declaration of a band stepping outside of their comfort zone only to turn that zone into Protest territory – with gusto and grace, no less. As the band explores different sonic avenues such as the punk-infused ‘Underbite‘ and the expansive ‘Mist‘, it all feels seamless, organic and true to the band’s trademark sound.

Technically, the band sound as mature and accomplished as ever. For one, this is by far the best that frontman Rody Walker has ever sounded, exploring his broad vocal range with confidence, flipping back and forth between a menacing snarl and stirring up visions of Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson. Walker‘s pipes have been a polarising element of the band in the past, but ‘Volition‘ just absolutely nails it as far as vocals are concerned. Guitar work is as impressive as it is inventive, co-shredders Luke Hoskin and Tim Millar proving highly able at both proficiently moving tracks forward with pulverising rhythms and soaring melodies as well as maintaining composure during the album’s many bursts of blistering riffwork – see the straight-up batshit-crazy solo in ‘Drumhead Trial‘. 

In the wake of longtime drummer Moe Carlson‘s departure from the band prior to recording, Protest enlisted Chris Adler of Lamb of God to lend a hand, and it’s a welcome addition – Adler is a beast behind the kit, proudly demonstrating his own flair while fitting comfortably into the Protest The Hero fold.

Conclusion

For all the chaos of ‘Volition’ – and it comes in spades – Protest the Hero continue to shine bright as a band who know exactly what they’re doing and are damn capable of achieving it. If you enjoyed their previous work, this one’s a no-brainer. For new listeners or fans turned off by early albums, ‘Volition’ is the perfect place to start.

Tracklisting

1. Clarity
2. Drumhead Trial
3. Tilting Against Windmills
4. Without Prejudice
5. Yellow Teeth
6. Plato’s Tripartite
7. A Life Embossed
8. Mist
9. Underbite
10. Animal Bones
11. Skies

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