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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scurrilous, a fancy word for a fancy album.
This was my first contact with the music of Protest the Hero and boy, was it a ride.
Protest the Hero have made an amazing album that doesn't really fail at any point. From the breakneck speed, through the slightly vulgar but nonetheless interesting lyrics, ending with catchy and attention demanding vocal performance from Rody Walker.
The piece opens with C'est...
Published on 22 April 2012 by Tim

versus
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A difficult album to review
Protest the Hero occupy a very fond place in a certain kind of metal fan's heart. It's common knowledge that the band take their instruments more seriously than themselves and self-consciously stand a few steps away from the rest of the metal community. They don't look like a metal band, they don't talk like a metal band and a lot of the time they don't sound like a metal...
Published on 12 May 2012 by Mr. E. A. Palmer


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scurrilous, a fancy word for a fancy album., 22 April 2012
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This review is from: Scurrilous (Audio CD)
This was my first contact with the music of Protest the Hero and boy, was it a ride.
Protest the Hero have made an amazing album that doesn't really fail at any point. From the breakneck speed, through the slightly vulgar but nonetheless interesting lyrics, ending with catchy and attention demanding vocal performance from Rody Walker.
The piece opens with C'est la Vie, an anti-suicide song I take it. The lyrics are quite straight-forward. The music is just what you'd expect from PTH. The riffs are stellar - they give a feeling of being swung by waves of a powerful ocean: left, right, left, right and so on. Rody Walker's vocal delivery is truly amazing - from his
usual singing voice (quite high) to his screams.
Hair-Trigger is quite an interesting one. Riffs here are more rhytmic than the song before. Lyrics seem to tell a story about manipulation and repentance. Rody does a really good job on the delivery again.
Tandem was criticised by some as simple and insensitive lyrics wise - it's about cancer, and it does deal with the subject using simple words. There's nothing wrong with being simple here, in my opinion the lyrics don't lack anything. They're fine as they are. The music here is a bit less attention catching than on the two first tracks, it is still, however, very good.
Moonlight features a number of interesting riffs and some deeper lyrics. Of course Rody does fine on the delivery. It is really a track you can't say much about while it still is a pleasent listen.
Tapestry is another one that deals with the life subject. This time it's about not using your life at all. The vocals on this one are really stellar. The riffs give off a feeling of irritation and anger, as if the band is trying to say "we hate those suckers who waste their lifes". It is one of the most memorable tracks on the album. Its lyrics, delivered in Rody's style, hit home for anyone who's ever thought of just wasting away, because there was nothing to do or those who drowned in addiction or are afraid of it. Truly great.
Dunsel and The Reign of Unending Terror are simply great, interesting tracks. One of them contains a Star Trek reference (Rody went there, yes!). The riffs seem to go hand in hand with vocal delivery, amplifying and enhancing it. Very well done tracks.
Termites features great lyrics and great sing along moments. It is one of the most interesting tracks. The riffs in this one seem to be crawling just like the titular termites would. Sometimes they also feel like falling, as the Salomon from the lyrics inevitably will.
Tounge-Splitter and Sex Tapes close the album with lyrics criticising the sex and money obsessed lifes of people around the globe, they pack a punch through Rody's vocal tricks and the vulgar lyrics. Those are supposed to shock and it can be felt. Riffs create mixed feelings using dynamics and very quick melody\rhytm changes. Tounge-Splitter became one of my favourites and still is, truly an amazing track.
The album retains the Protest the Hero specific style while adding some refinement. It is a worthy purchase for every fan of interesting music or a metal fix for the ones who think there's no good music anymore.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great album from a band continuing to raise bar., 29 Mar 2012
By 
J. Wade - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Scurrilous (Audio CD)
I admit, I am a relatively new listener when it comes to Protest.
I was grabbed instantly by 'Bloodmeat' the opening track of their 2007 effort 'Fortress'. This song was mind boggling from start to finish. Cryptic lyrics, bizarre timing signatures, and led by a vocalist with a truly impressive range.
I knew I had to hear more from this band, and quickly became obsessed with 'Fortress' and to a lesser extent, 'Kezia'.
'Kezia' is a brilliant debut, but you can tell that the band were still finding their feet, and whilst impressively technical 'Fortress' was a huge step up on every level.
So now we arrive at 'Scurrilous', the band's 2011 release.

The first track 'C'est La Vie' erupts instantly. No fade ins, just BOOM. Vocalist Rody Walker tells us to "Learn to let loose" as he continues his vocal assualt alongside a quartet of incredibly skilled musicians.
'C'est La Vie' would have sat nicely on Fortress, it has that unpredicatible nature that we have come to expect from the band and is an outstanding opener to the album.
Nothing much has changed musically. It is noticeably tighter, with each member stepping up their game in their own respective ways.
This is not the progression 'Kezia' made to 'Fortress', but simply the sound of a band who have spent the last 4 years mastering their craft. Having said that, the progression is there and you can tell that this is Protest The Hero's most accomplished work to date.

'Hair Trigger' opens with a brilliant tapping riff on the lead guitar, and the song's power never ceases.
The biggest improvement on this album is Rody's vocals, and this is evident in this song and notably 'Tapestry'.
From the falsetto which emerges from nowhere on 'C'est la vie' to the sheer passion Rody exclaims when stating that "Things will never, ever, ever be the same" on 'Hair Trigger', this album really does have some treats in store for lovers of Rody's vocals.
It is worth mentioning that if you liked the screaming/low growls which were prominent on 'Fortress', prepare to be a little disappointed as there are barely any on this record. The clean vocals are easier to recreate live, and as a result these songs sound great on the stage. The talent required to even write a song like 'Sex Tapes' or 'C'est La Vie' is one thing, but to play them live to such a high standard is a true achievement.

Other highlights include 'Tongue Splitter' 'Tapestry' and 'Termites', and throughout these tracks you will find yourself hammering away on your steering wheel one minute, and nodding gently the next. The songs do not get boring, as they are so rich with riffs, vocal passages and constant changes. This may divide an audience who prefer a more straightforward approach to their music, but then again they wouldn't be listening to this band anyway.
I mark the album 4/5 stars as there are parts which no matter how many times I listen, just do not fit together. In most songs, the transitions and melodies are seamlessly integrated

The band will be playing at the Hevy festival in Kent this summer, and you should try to get down and see them- You won't be disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Protest The Hero - Scurrilous, 29 Sep 2013
By 
Gentlegiantprog "Kingcrimsonprog" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Scurrilous (Audio CD)
Scurrilous is the third full-length studio album by the Canadian band Protest The Hero, it was produced by Julius Butty and released in 2011.

Protest The Hero's incredible artistic strength lies in three main fields:
1. The incredibly precise, technical and virtuosic playing of complex material that's both impressively written and bafflingly structured, without ever feeling gimmicky.
2. Really unique and characterful lyrics that actually have something to say, but manage to stay entertaining with a colurful mixture of insight and clever phrasing.
3. Larger-than-life "moments" that elevate songs beyond the sum of their parts and cause you to really smile.

Scurrilous delivers on all three fronts and not only contains the trademark style-in-the-mixture-of-styles style that you would expect from the band, but manages to elevate and refine the band's songwriting skills as well, leaving a satisfying and entertaining album on a gut level and one that you can listen to time and again to study the jarring tempo changes and all the neat little touches its so jam packed with.

Now; Protest The Hero are one of the only bands going who can convincingly go from sounding like Dream Theater to Carcass to Fallout Boy in the space of a single verse without sounding contrived or cheesy. Sometimes its almost like listening to what Coheed And Cambria would sound like if they had a sudden desire to get closer to the spirit of both Sikth and Dillenger Escape Plan, and yet also early In Flames, without loosing any of their summery catchiness or ear for good melodies.

Despite the band's signature sound being a mixture of numerous Rock and Metal subgenres blended together at incredible speeds; on this album they reign it in a bit (well, by their standards) and manage to really nail down and solidify the elements which make them such a great and exciting band. This more solid approach is melded with a new, more honest and personal lyrical approach to great success. Songs on the subject of cancer, suicide, the music industry, life on tour and the aftermath of making amateur sex tapes are dealt with using clever and inventive language, a brilliant fusion of musical expression and the lyrical message, and some damn memorable hooks.

By and large Scurrilous is neither as poppy as the more memorable moments on Kezia, or as furious and metallic as the heaviest moments on Fortress, but it seems to have absolutely perfected the band's middle-ground. The band concentrated on songwriting, creating some of their most memorable and sing-along tracks to date.

Highlights include the furiously catchy `Sex Tapes,' the diverse `C'est La Vie' and the venomous `Dunsel.'

Overall; The band have always excelled at creating "moments" and this album is jam packed with them. When "the trains were fifteen minutes late" bit, the "I don't mean this in a hateful way, but when the people you love start walking away" bit, the `I hope she knows how much I respect her' bit or the "Here's looking at you, kid, it was going to leak eventually" bit kick in, they just captivate you, stick in your head for days and beg for repeat listens. If you like the band, you need to pick up this album. If you are new to the band pick up both this and their astounding debut Kezia at the same time, and just listen to them over and over again. Its really unlikely that you'll be disappointed.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A difficult album to review, 12 May 2012
By 
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This review is from: Scurrilous (Audio CD)
Protest the Hero occupy a very fond place in a certain kind of metal fan's heart. It's common knowledge that the band take their instruments more seriously than themselves and self-consciously stand a few steps away from the rest of the metal community. They don't look like a metal band, they don't talk like a metal band and a lot of the time they don't sound like a metal band. Far from alienating fans this has actually given Protest the Hero a more dedicated fan base than most other bands of similar commercial success can reasonably hope for.

Their first two albums; Kezia and Fortress established the band as leaders in a mass migration of nerdy Metal fans away from long hair and black t-shirts to more socially acceptable and less embarrassing styles of dress and attitude. Although part of this migration is due to the growing influence of Metalcore on today's Metal scene it is impossible to separate the shift in attitude and appearance from the rise of Progressive Metal nice guys like Protest the Hero and Between the Buried and Me.

The band's third album Scurrilous combines the fast pace of their debut with the epic scale and variation of their sophomore Fortress, trading alternating heavy and melodic sections for a more balanced style which is played consistently for the length of the record. Though the style the band have developed for this release is certainly unique and the song-writing is more fluid and smooth than ever, it lacks both the chill and wow factors of Fortress. There are few moments on this album which make you drop what you're doing and listen. It's almost as though in combining the multiple styles which were laid side by side in their previous albums they averaged out and limited their impact.

Although all the songs on this album are well written and catchy, average is definitely the best word to describe Scurrilous. `Hair Trigger' is really the only standout track with every other song sounding more or less the same. That said though, it is an astonishingly good song.

The relative lack of dynamics in the song-writing on this album is matched by the production. The guitar tone is over-compressed and boring and the drums feel dead and lifeless. The vocals too fail to cut through the guitars the way they did on Kezia and Fortress. However one positive note with regards to production is the bass. In a refreshing move for a Metal band, Protest the Hero have made the bass on this album audible and taken it from a mere supporting role to an interesting part of the instrumentation of each song.

Despite everything I've said about Scurrilous's less than spectacular song writing and production, this isn't a bad album. As a follow up to an album as interesting and dynamic as Fortress it is disappointing but if any other band had released these ten songs I would be praising their ingenuity. It is this contrast between Fortress and Scurrilous which makes this album so difficult to give a numerical rating. As a Protest the Hero album I have to give it a 5 or 6 out of 10 but as a stand alone release, listening double blind that rises to a definite 7. In the end I have to take into consideration the context in which this album has been released and in which almost everyone who buys it will listen to it, as a follow up to an incredible second album. In that context I give Scurrilous a 6 out of 10 but I'm not happy about it.
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Scurrilous by Protest the Hero (Audio CD - 2011)
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