Artist Protest the Hero
Year Released: 29 October 2013
Label Razor & Tie Genre Progressive Metal
Album reviews can be so tricky to write these days. For myself, writing a review requires a good amount of time listening to the album on repeat.
I recently had the pleasure of listening to Volition by Protest The Hero, and I must say it really was a pleasure. This is an album I listened to on repeat for about six hours straight. I appreciate a good album that when played over and over does not feel like it’s really on repeat. The songs on this album are a breath of fresh air from most of the derivative content I have come across lately.
Protest The Hero is a band that possesses a Revolver Golden Gods Award, two Canadian Independent Music Awards, a Juno (the Canadian version of the Grammys) nomination, and millions of fans all across the world and in their home nation of Canada. More importantly, their music really connects with fans.
I feel like Volition was easily their strongest project. It’s filled with diversity not only in the music but the lyrics, and there is a fiery passion that seeps from this album. I found the content of the lyrics to be quite heavy, which I enjoyed, but they played it off very well with beautiful songcraft that accentuates the content perfectly.
When I listen to an album I usually find one song that I fall in love with more than the others, and on Volition “Skies” was that song for me. This is the last song on the record and it’s by far, in my opinion, their strongest piece.
I love the softer introduction to the song, and then the progression into their heavier signature sound. Rody Walker pulls out all the stops on vocals in this piece. For me, his voice gives me goose bumps. Like all the songs before it on the album, this song has some very powerful lyrics that hit hard and hit home, pulling you into a spiral of theatrical melodies and accompanying musical mastery.
The band pumps out a haunting mix of punk and progressive metal. Hoskin, Millar, and Mirabdolbaghi pull out all the stops to create the band’s heaviest and hardest hitting sound yet. This album highlights the pinnacle of the bands diversity.
I really can’t stress enough how much I adore the political content in their lyrics. Songs like “A Life Embossed” and “Plato’s Tripartite” target current events regarding abuse in not only humans but in animals, and for me that is an amazing cause to see a band so passionately defend. Using music to attack the worst in the world is brilliant. “Tilting Against Windmills” is an attack at the homophobia of religious fundamentalists and is an incredible introduction to the entire album’s attitude and strength.
This album saw the first ever member change to the band’s lineup since forming back in 2005. Moe Carlson, the founding drummer, exited the band on the eve of Volition’s creation. The band brought in Lamb of God’s Chris Adler as the session drummer.
Volition is a pristine example of a fantastic modern progressive heavy rock album. PTH gave the fans a “bat shit crazy” album that perfectly displays their awesome flexibility as artists. They are highly entertaining, as always, chaotic, and relentless in their pursuit of high-minded artistry. I can’t say enough good things about this album, so do yourself a favor and go check out this amazing Canadian band.