Canada’s Protest The Hero have quite a following in their native land. Debut record Kezia received rave reviews in 2005, shocking prog circles with it’s showy yet deceiving musicianship – exceeding expectations for a band that had an average age of just 19. Second album Fortress carried on this technical tradition, with another batch of divergent progressive metal.
Now, the five-piece introduce Scurrilous – a record brimming with variety but quite frankly lacking something.
With post-hardcore and even power metal moments, Protest The Hero seek to change structures maybe a little too eagerly. While the chaos ensues, they stuff Scurrilous with constant, nitpicked proggy guitar – an inherent trait that breeds monotony and thus, boredom. There isn’t a real standout track or at least a one that you’ll remember as your favourite, unless you’re a massive – and I mean massive – prog head or PTH fan.
Vocally, PTH have almost completely left any screamed sections in the past, now fully embracing clean pipes that are reminiscent of The Mars Volta at times. But despite this, the instrumentation alongside it (no matter how talented) shouldn’t be in the same audio vicinity. There’s simply too much going on externally to actually find out if there’s a soul underneath the flashy, over-polished guitar work. This is an effort that is aimless, forced, jerky and overly mechanical to create anything memorable.