on 6 May 2006
i heard the lead single off this album recently on mtv2, that being "blindfolds aside" and since hearing that i purchased the disc of a certain auction site for a fiver, and its one of the most refreshing albums i have heard for quite some time.
to give you a description of this album in the simplest terms possible, this is a progressive technical-metal concept album. Obviously there is far more to it than this, but the one thing that made this band stand out for me is the choice to use a melodic, or 'emo' vocal style over the top of their speed metal assault.
the result of this is nothing short of spectacular, with the band's sound comprising a conglomerate of influences, ranging from the melodic death metal precision of in flames, through to the progressive pop sensibilities of coheed and cambria. Along the way we see glimpses of other bands such as the dillinger escape plan, meshuggah, megadeth and even the traditional/folk twinges that have also been used successfully by from autumn to ashes.
quite simply this album has made me sit up and take notice- they are playing download 2006 and i am making them my number one priority on that weekend. for an indication of how much they have impressed me this is the first review i have ever written on amazon in nearly six years of being a customer. i just feel the need to recommend this band to every person i see.
do yourself a favour, if you have any interest in heavy music get this album. if you dont, you may find yourself having to jump aboard the bandwagon instead of starting it. oh, and for the record, these kids are only 18 years old; things like this really make you want to smash your guitar and just give up. it makes you sick.
the whole album is stellar- but my personal favourite tracks are: "no stars under bethlehem", "killers & heretics", "blindfolds aside" and "turn soonest to the sea".
on 30 October 2006
You can't fault these Canadian youngsters for ambition. In the space of a few years, they transformed themselves from a straightforward political punk band into a highly technical metalcore act, and the product is a three-part concept album of very high quality.
The standard of instrumental playing is high throughout, although the production sometimes means the bass is a little hard to hear, but it's the vocals (almost all clean) which set PtH aside from the rest of their genre. The most striking case is the sing along passage at the end of 'Turn Soonest to the Sea' - for me at least, this was definitely a case of reaching for the rewind button again and again. Others may hate it, but that's music. The standout tracks on the album all feature memorable vocal melodies - 'Heretics and Killers', 'She Mars the Skin of Gods' and 'Blindfolds Aside' are the best for me. Add some acoustic passages and a female vocalist (not the best) to the mix and you have the album.
Bottom line: if you like technical metalcore (Between the Buried and Me etc) and can tolerate clean vox, or if you like 'emo' vocal melodies but long for some more intricate song structure and technical playing, this album's well worth a listen.
on 18 July 2006
Protest the hero have been around since 1999,and this is their full length debut and the first thing that strikes you is the way they blend clean vocals into a heavy guitar sound,there is very little screaming on here at all,so they have taken the music of between the buried and me and dillinger escape plan and metallica for example,and challenged it by singing rather than screaming and the result is stunning.
In explaining the bands sound certainly mathcore can be attributed to it due to the alternating time signatures and complex rhythmic patterns but metalcore is here as well as they throw in solos and the odd breakdown,but yet for the most part the vocals could be deemed emo in style,i may get screamed at for this but rody walkers vocal style is like matt davies of funeral for a friend despite the band being canadian,you get the idea now i suspect,anyway onto the songs!
The album opens with no stars over bethlehem and from this 4 minute song you get the idea that this band aint afraid to challenge the concept of the genres they dip into,its exciting stuff,other crackers include bury the hatchet,turn soonest to the sea,which has a stunning end to the song,a plateful of our dead and my favourite and the first single from it,blindfolds aside.
This is an album that is pretty flawless,a band that sound original despite mixing the sounds of various bands and thats a very difficult thing to do,the future could well be protest the hero's.
on 20 March 2007
This album is wicked, the singing reminds me of coheed and cambria, but then there are some pretty big growls on there which coheed aren't in the business of doing. The music is very technical and very fast. The drumming is very fast and sounds nice and clean. The production in pretty damn good. I'd recomend this for hardcore and emo fans, although a lot of hardcore fans may find the clean vocals not to their taste. I personally prefer slightly more screaming and growling, and a few more beatdowns, however it's a good album to put on when the girlfriend comes round. I also really like keyboards in heavy music, I'm a big fan of underoath and drop dead, gorgeous. If you're not sure I'd recomend checking out their website/myspace for some previews.
Kezia is the debut full-length studio album by the Canadian band Protest The Hero. It was released in 2005 on Underground Operations. The record is a concept album which tells the story of a woman called Kezia's death from three different perspectives on one level, but serves as a political statement or social commentary on another level.
The band have been described as many different things, such as Mathcore, Metalcore and Progressive Metal. They certainly mix elements of all three. It may sound a little clichéd, but its almost like a band playing a medley of different sections from dozens of different songs by all sorts of artists, like At The Gates, Children Of Bodom, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Dream Theater, Sikth, Dillenger Escape Plan, Gallows, Parkway Drive, Coheed & Cambria, Fair To Midland, Funeral For A Friend and Panic At The Disco all at once. There's even a brief moment that calls Queensryche to mind. Its not they they specifically rip off any one of the individual artists mentioned, but just that they try so many things there'll be bits here and there that's a bit reminiscent of someone else.
It's a very eclectic mix of influences. They can sometimes switch from one to another at the drop of a hat, and some of the songs are filled with so many different parts in different styles that it could almost be viewed as overwhelming. Rather than sounding muddled, confused, or cheesy, they somehow manage to pull off this mixture with an absolute flair and perfection. The song structures seem as though they should be obnoxiously bizzare but somehow they mysteriously manage to feel natural. Initially the sheer scale of the diversity and virtuosity may feel pretentious or ostentatious, but upon numerous repeat listens I've definitely come to believe that there isn't anything cynical at work here. It feels like a labour of love and not merely an exercise in wackiness.
There's just such a brilliant spark of creativity, every single section in this gigantic puzzle of a record is brilliant in and of itself, and each one perfectly compliments the next, and indeed the next few along. Every song is a well thought out and surprising journey that flutters between styles, tempos, time-sigs and vocal styles in a way that somehow flows smoothly. There's no too-cheesy ballads or momentum-breaking intros to skip either. There aren't any out-of-place comedy vocals and nothing to take you out of the listening experience.
Its difficult to choose highlights because every track is packed with countless memorable riffs, fun drum beats, inventive lyrics and sing-along vocal lines. If I had to choose a favourite however, it would probably be `Heretics & Killers.'
Overall; I highly recommend Kezia. It's a super-technical yet super-melodic mixture of impressive virtuosity and catchy hooks with enough talent and interesting parts to fill up ten albums by less brilliant bands. It really rewards repeat listening and every spin will uncover a new little gem you never noticed before. If you have even the slightest interest in the band this is an absolute must-have.