The newest installment to the Protest the Hero saga has finally arrived. This Canadian progressive rock outfit recently released their fourth album independently, but distributed through Razor & Tie records (the same label that is home to religious metal band For Today and hardcore group Such Gold).
At the beginning of the year, the band announced that they were going to start a campaign to raise money for the production of this new record. This was due to some speculated conflicts with their label and the decision was for them to take matters into their own hands. They launched this campaign through Crowdfunded and Indiegogo and with this, hope to forgo record companies for good. It worked in their favor, as the album would not be anywhere near as good if there were a label involved.
Their initial goal for the project was to raise $125,000, but within 30 hours, that goal had been met and surpassed. When they finally closed their campaign, they had just about tripled their goal with a whopping $341,146.
However, all would not be smooth sailing. Shortly thereafter, drummer Moe Carlson parted ways with his band mates in order to pursue a future in Tool and Die Manufacturing, a company that specializes in the education of machinists. Luckily for them, they were able to bring Chris Adler of Lamb of God in to record all the studio tracks. They recently announced that Mike Leradi would be their new drummer.
The new album is titled “Volition.” I have had the pleasure of getting to listen to this record and I am constantly astounded by their work. With machine-like accuracy, this band produces complex rhythms and harmonies in a spine-shattering, yet still tasteful fashion. When you listen to Protest the Hero, you are hearing a band that is constantly trying to set the bar higher and push themselves into new territory. I think that they have certainly done that with “Volition.”
Every aspect of the band shines. Rody Walker (vocalist) may lyrically be a little sporadic compared to some of the older albums, but vocally he is always on point. Guitarists Luke Hoskin and Tim Millar also show their skills on this record. Some of the solos on this record (check “Without Prejudice,” “Yellow Teeth,” and “A Life Embossed”) are amazing. Alder is remarkable considering he’s out of his element in a group like Protest the Hero. Lamb of God is known for being complex, but nearly close to the level of Protest the Hero.
Overall, these songs are fantastic. There isn’t a dull moment on the record. My personal favorite tracks are “Clarity,” “Without Prejudice,” and “Mist.” It’s going to be hard to top this record and I think it will come very high in my end of the year list of the best albums of 2013.