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Protest the Hero: Volition

Protest the Hero's catalog has reached "must have" status among fans. Volition, PTH's 4th studio recording, fits right in. Progressive Metal is the game and they are 4-0.

If you are unfamiliar with PTH, here is a quick summation: lead singer Rody Walker is unapologetically talented, very energetic, and can out-sing most of his contemporaries and many of his influences. His talent can't be over-stated. Guitarists Tim Millar and Luke Hoskin must have their brains wired together to pull off the syncopation, melodies/harmonies, rhythmic acrobatics. Imagine Symphony X's classicism fused with Revocation's thrash-riff creativity. Original drummer Moe Carlson left the group before recording and Lamb of God's Chris Adler is featured on Volition. His performance is as close to perfection as any studio drummer could be; I'm beyond impressed with how good he plays on this, like he's been in the band since 2004.

The syncopated, staccato licks and harmonized vocalizations at 0:44 from opening track "Clarity" is one of many moments that qualify as an "ah ha" moment; when you know this group is not just another young heavy metal band. A wide variety of background vocals appear in just this one track: Rody's "typical" higher-pitched cleans, growls, gang vocals, female vocals, overdubbed harmonies. They are using all the colors for Volition.

Time marker 3:40 on "Tilting Against Windmills" is another syncopated progressive instrumental break that shows the creativity and prowess of this band. Album closer "Skies" begins with a measured approach to melody, with a clean guitar opening and (surprise) fantastic vocal harmonies. I won't be overbearing with comments on each track as I assure you there is a treasure in each one.

I will bet that Rody's vocals will either make or break you as a fan of Protest the Hero. If you've seen any of their music videos you'll know this group is highly proficient on their instruments but smart enough to not take themselves too seriously.

My advice: listen once all the way through and let the music pour over you; don't take the first listening too seriously. This will lay the foundation. Listen again alone in your car or with headphones and check out the guitar interplay and amazing rhythms; these are strong suits of this fantastic group of Canadians.

Track Listing
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

Added: November 19th 2013
Reviewer: Ryan Good
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2288
Language: english

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