UG Team, on january 30, 2008 4 of 7 people found this review helpful
Sound: Protest The Hero is your typical progressive metalcore band with a hint of hardcore punk. In 2006, they released Kezia. Highly acclaimed by critics, the album was at the top of everyone's lists for the year. Kezia was a concept album following the story of a woman known as Kezia. The band's new work, Fortress, takes a different step than Kezia did. Fortress focuses more on goddess worship, Ganghis Khan, and Irish mythology. While the general themes may seem odd, they don't really cut into the music at all. When you first listen to Fortress, you immediately start with the first single, Bloodmeat. The song immediately begins with an explosion of guitars, drums, and bass. Soon after, the vocals of Rody Walker enter in to complete the sound. The song is definitely one of the few songs that you could put out as a single that is marketable to most fans of rock music in general. The song has a ending that sort of fakes the listener out, then comes back in with a heavy ending that truly introduces the rest of the album to the listener. The tempo suddenly picks up with The Dissentience, which is a fast moving song with a driving guitar and bass line throughout the song. The album's third track, Bone Marrow, can only be described as a clever combination of metal and almost classical music. You can hear almost a violin tone in the background of the track, but do not think that this song is at all softer than any other song that the band has made. It is heavy hitting, eventually building up to a breakdown where screams and whispers combine saying the royalty must die. The song eventually ends with driving guitar sweeps that, surprisingly, lead into a piano/acoustic guitar duet to soften the mood. This sort of fakes you out as Sequoia Throne begins with it's driving guitar tapping and drum beats. The song sounds like a typical Protest The Hero song, including the normal heavy moving guitar, bass, and drums with the combination of Rudy Walker's continuous switch from cynical screaming to mellow undertone singing. Palms Read starts in with a heavy sort of guitar/drums duel, but it suddenly picks up into more of a melodic guitar line. This switch between heavy and light happens throughout this song. The song is one of the mellower, lighter songs to the album. That being said, the song actually ends, then immediately breaks down into an instrumental for the ages. This instrumental continues into Limb From Limb. The track is hard hitting and defiantly shows a heavier instrumental side to the album. During the instrumental beak, they also utilize a keyboard; guest soloed by Vadim of Dragonforce. They just use it to make a few cool video game sounding effects, but it is really unnecessary to track. The song itself really shows one of the band's major qualities, the ability to use timing. You can really see who timing really affects their music as they time out when a different guitar riff enters and leaves into the music. It is shown throughout the album, but you can really see it in Limb From Limb. The track attempts to transition into Spoils, but it really doesn't transition well, as it goes from near silence into a melodic guitar riff. The song itself definitely helps the album transition even more into the heavier sounding section, as it leads into Wretch. The song is intense. It truly utilizes the band's potential in 4 minutes and 12 seconds. It demonstrates sweeps, tapping, heavy hitting drum beats, and moving bass riffs. The song immediately transitions into Goddess Bound, which also truly utilizes the band's instrumentals and vocals. The combination of the two truly sends shivers down your spine with this track. I am starting to doubt Protest The Hero can truly write a concluding track. The final track, Goddess Gagged, really doesn't make it feel like the album is complete. You almost want to believe that there is more to the album after this track. PTH also did this in Kezia with A Plateful Of Our Dead. The closer just doesn't fit like it should in a normal album. It almost sounds like it should be in the middle of the album. Putting this aside, the album has a few minor flaws that any normal album would have. // 8
Lyrics: The lyrics of this album are both brilliant and fit well with the music itself. Bassist Arif Mirabdolbaghi writes all the band's lyrics, and his lyrics truly define the music that is within the album. The album itself is about conquest and mentions Genghis Khan and Flidais by name in the lyrics. One of my favorite lyrics can be found in Wretch: "Suppressed and unaddressed the simple fact remains unspoken, in silence left unbroken, on a bed bound and gagged with culture, language, myth and law: our goddess gave birth to your god - From a wounded womb where her flesh scarred and raw - Our goddess gave birth to your god." In that lyric alone, not only do you see the cleverness of the lyrics, but you also see a statement that can define the general feeling portrayed from the album. The lyrics of the album truly make up for the albums minor flaws in it's music. // 10
Overall Impression: Protest The Hero has a strong fan base in Canada, the US, and around the world. This album will both please their fans of past albums, and give something to those who doubted they would last at all. Fortress is truly written for everyone, including people who just like rock and alternative music in general. The vocals, guitar and bass riffs, and drum beats will be stuck in your head, not for their catchiness, but for the general amazement you feel from hearing them. Fortress improves upon Kezia in so many ways, though it really doesn't replace Kezia. It really is on even ground with Kezia in my opinion. That being said, the band has released something that they needed to release. This album truly will define the band down the road. Everyone will enjoy this album, no matter what their taste is in rock or metal or hardcore music. // 10
TylerPTH, on january 30, 2008 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: I think their sound has deffenetly evolved since there last album release Kezia in 2005, but they still have amazing guitar riffs, solos and harmonizing in Fortress. Here is a run down of the songs in order.
01. Bloodmeat - first song with a nice fade in and then BAM, they get right to work with some catchy guitar riffs followed by some awesome sounding vocals by Rhody.
02. The Dissentience - a good song, lots of good guitar work and another good one with some good vocals added.
03. Bone Marrow - this starts out with weird Aladdin sound at the begining, I'd say this one it my least favorite on the album, just because it has a weird sound to it, but there are some parts in the song that have there moments that I like, like at then end, there are some cool piano and guitar harmonizing.
04. Sequioa Throne - starts out awesome with some intense guitar Tapping, and has some good sweep picking in the middle of the song, Rhody puts some good effort into his vocals on this one.
05. Pamls Read - this one is pretty good, at about 2:20 arif plays a really cool Bass medley, it's very short but still very cool.
06. Limb From Limb - this is not a bad song but wait till after 2:50, it's when you start to hear some amazing gutiar and some crazy Nintendo sounds.
07. Spoils - I think the lead guitar at the begining has a little bit of a retro feel to it but it's still a good song overall.
08. Wretch - has some really cool drum and guitar work at the begining of it that gets you into the song.
09. Goddess Bound - all I can say about this on is that it gets good at the middle of the song and is good from then on out.
10. Goddess Gagged - I like this song but I don't like that it's the ender for the album, especially at the end of the song, when all it is, is an abrupt stop, there is no guitar work or piano work at the end, wich in the last song (a plateful of our dead) on Kezia there was wich made it so much better. // 9
Lyrics: Once again, Arif comes through delivering some amazing lyrics which have there political side to them and somewhat of a story to them. I think Rhodys vocals sound a lot different than on kezia, for instance his screams sound a lot more different but the vocal talent is still there and sounds really good. // 10
Overall Impression: As always I was blown away by the work of there instruments. Luke and Tim deliver amazing guitar work that I never get bored of. Moe has gotten better with his drums to, you hear a lot more double kick then you did in Kezia wich for me adds a nice touch to everything. And Arif is still kickin ass with his bass. If this album were stolen I would buy it again for sure. // 10
afortuneinlies, on may 07, 2008 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: When I first listened to Kezia, I was quite impressed with No stars over bethlehem as well as Heretics and Killers, But nothing else from the album really stuck with me aside from a few guitar parts or a few drum parts every now and then. I didn't understand what the big deal was. In contrast, Fortress is the best CD I've heard in quite some time. It starts off with a figurative punch in the face called bloodmeat. I love it as an opening song almost as much as I enjoy No stars over bethlemhem as an opening song. It showcases all the best parts of Kezia amplified in quality as well as the new tricks they've learned. We hear that Rody has been practicing his growls, but that he's also kept his infectious melodies that contain irrepressibly catchy hooks almost to the degree of My Chemical Romance. The only difference is that you won't be embarassed to hum along with "and swords still wet with, swords still wet with the blood of their dead." This album never starts to go down hill. I feel that The Dissentience is weaker than Bloodmeat, but at least showcases some pretty badass guitar riffs, and just like the rest of the songs, isn't skippable. Bone Marrow is definitely one of my favorites from the album. the frantic minor chords are perfect. It also contains an example of a Protest the Hero breakdown, which is different than a normal breakdown in that it is subtle. Most metalcore/hardcore bands use the breakdown as the climax/culmination of they're songs. Protest's breakdowns lineup with song and give you the same satisfaction, but don't make you want to fast forward to the break down and then skip the song, as I've been noticing with other bands in the ever-tiring "core" genres. I'd go on to describe the rest of the CD, but you get the idea. It's breakneck progressive metalcore fueled by what appears to be ADHD that throws in subtle breakdowns, and in which the singer mainly uses a clear voice, a well-trained clear voice at that. the guitars are everywhere all the time and the other instruments are following them closely. Basically, if you locked The Mars Volta, August Burns Red, and Necrophagist in a room, you'd probably end up with protest the hero. // 9
Lyrics: I loved this album before I paid attention to the lyrics, and when I finally got curious enough to sit down and look at them, I was blown away. Some of the things they've written simply define perfection in my eyes. The imagery behind some of these songs is phenomenal. A good example would be in Bone Marrow: "Shah-Jan, the king of kings, wore seven rings and sixty-feathers plucked from sparrows wings, growing fat on the throne where he sat like a stone. A man who has never known no hunger, shown no mercy." Then they cap off the song with a balls out "if heaven rides against us then god himself must be damned." Sequoia throne then reminds us all the we are still-life in cold blood and we feel nothing, which is probably one of the best single lines I've ever heard. In my opinion, Sequoia Throne, Spoils, and Goddess Bound offer the best lyrical experience of the whole album. Goddess Bound providing us with "from the bottom of my heart, at the top of my lungs, in the corner of my eye, at the tip of my tongue," sung in a very paranoid manner followed by one of my favorite riffs on the CD. Rody has earned himself a permanent spot in my top 10 favorite vocalists list for his effort on Fortress. His melodies have been stuck in my head since the first day I listened to the album. Although I feel that Sometimes he crams too many words into certain parts of songs, I can hardly complain because of what he does before and after those parts. His singing has become more versatile than on Kezia. he growls on this album, and there's more of an even balance between his screams and his clear voice. Overall, I doubt I'd even bother listening to this band if it weren't for him. // 10
Overall Impression: Fortress hasn't left my car CD player since I got it about a month ago. I must have listened to it at least 20 times all the way through, and I'm still not done with it. There's a lot to absorb with Fortress. I don't think I've listened to CD this much since I first got into Tool. I rarely ever skip a song on this cd, and the only time I do is when I'm in the mood to hear a different song. I've even taken to listening to the same song 3 times in a row if I'm feeling it enough. If I had to only pick a few songs from the album to listen to, I'd probably pick Bloodmeat, Bone Marrow, and Goddess Bound. Definitely buy this album. hell, buy it twice purely on principle. // 10
AJSaw, on october 25, 2010 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The most recent release of Protest The Hero, Fortress is a very strong album released by the young "math-core" band. It has influences of many styles, such as progressive, metal, and shred, and is a satisfying listen. It might take a listen or two to really get to like some of the songs, but they are definately worth a listen. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics, I will not lie, and a little weird at first. The style and the actual lyrics might take a while for a newer listener, but if you have listened to their first album, Kezia, these lyrics are from the same roots.
However, the lyrics fit the music well, in a way BTBAM's newer releases do. The lyrics are sometimes thought provoking, and might lead you to think about possible meanings to the songs. As for singer skills, he is definately his own style, and while Kezia had a even balance of screams and clean vocals, this album has a few more screams than Kezia, which in my opinion, is a good thing. // 9
Overall Impression: This is a very strong release, showing development from this young band. It has a more refined sound that "Kezia" did, but has a similar feel, in a "Kill 'Em All" to "Ride The Lightning" kind of way. For me, standouts are: Bloodmeat, Bone Marrow, Sequoia Throne, Spoils, Wretch, and both the "Goddess" songs. I loved the progressive feel to it, the occasional piano/keyboard solo, and almost everything about this album. There are no cons to this album, it is spectacular.
I would absolutely buy it again if it was misplaced. The songs are catchy, and this album is DEFINATELY worth a good listen. // 9
Boxiii, on january 30, 2008 0 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Before I can go into detail about the screaming riffs, mad bass lines, and crazy drums, I gotta say that the vocals take getting used to. The Vocalist goes from high pitch screams, to low pitch growls, to just singing. In this CD his vocals have gotten a lot better though. His screams are more defined, and the vocals sound a lot cleaner compared to their last LP Kazia. Vocals aside, a big component of Protest The Hero is their Guitars. Theirs crazy riffs throughout all the songs. Compared to the last album the guitars are more linear. What I mean by this is that in the last album it was, as some would call it, Mathcore. There was so defined pattern in the riffs, and they were crazy and all over the place. Although there isn't as much of that in this record, the riffs will keep you deep into this band for a long time. The bass, although subtle at times, is crazy too. In a lot of bands these days you see crappy bassist basically add nothing to the band, but their are some really catchy and insane bass lines in this cd. The drum beats are also catchy, although the guitars take up most of the spotlight. // 10
Lyrics: 01. Bloodmeat - this song is a good intro to the album. The guitars aren't really crazy, but it gets you into the mood for the rest of the album. This song was/is on the bands myspace, so it kinda lost its touch after listening for awhile, but it's still a good some none the less.
02. The Dissentience - the guitars really pick up on this song, and you can really tell how much the vocalist has improved. He goes from singing, to normal screams, to deep growls. Near the end of this song the guitars get rad, and then go right to the next song.
03. Bone Marrow - the intro to this song is really weird, with some nice guitar riffs and a chim like thing in the background. Nothing really stands out in this song, and it gets slow near the end. To bridge into the enxt song it has some acoustic and piano stuff at the end. The piano part is actually pretty good.
04. Sequoia Throne - the first song I heard from the album, and one of my personal Favorites. The guitars just tear through the whole song, and the vocals just flow with the whole song. This is the kinda song you really get into and it just makes the album so much better.
05. Palms Read - my personal favorite off the album. Starts off with some nice guitars, and progresses into a killer song. The guitars on this song were reaaally well done, and it gets you pumped. there's a break in the song where it only lets you hear the bass, and it just shows how good the bass lines are. The bass at that part just blew me away, and instantly made this my favorite song. After a slight pause near the end, theirs more guitar work that lead right into the next song.
06. Limb From Limb - the guitars just roll right through this entire song, and the drum beat is sick. Near the end the guitar uses some kind of effect to make it all weird, and it makes the end really nice. Besides from those factors, this is a pretty normal song with not much to mention.
07. Spoils - the bigging guitars are different, from other riffs from PTH. It's kind of high and, for lack of a better word, uplifting. It soon goes into a gnarly song with fast guitar and bass lines though. The breakdown is sick, with some tremelo picking leading into faster stuff. As the song slowly progresses towards the end it gets that weird riff again, and then it ends with a piano outro.
08. Wretch - now this song is just killer and weird at the same time. The biggining riff and vocals are just amazing, and the song progresses as a normal PTH song goes. But, at 3:35, there's a drum beat, and then you hear a weird, but the song is still great.
09. Goddess Bound - the drums are really nice in this song. The guitars are brutal as usual, but the drums just stick out in a few spots, and there's a nice bass line near the end. Other than that, a mediocre song on an amazing album.
08. Goddess Gagged - this song was a bit of a disappointment. It's not bad, but it doesn't finish the album like you'd expect. Nothing really sticks out to me, and this is probably the only song I wont listen to. // 8
Overall Impression: This is a great step up from their last album. With all the other bands releasing crap CDs, I was glad Protest The Hero delivered a great album. All aspects of the band are better, specifically the vocals, where it got annoying at times on Kazia. This is one of my favorite bands, and I hope that they come near my town soon, becuase I have yet to see them live.Also, I recommend buying the Sequoia Throne EP off of itunes, becuase the two instrumental tracks really show you how amazing the instruments are in Protest The Hero. // 10
tremorse7en, on february 05, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Back again for it's second attempt at full-length success, Canada's Protest The Hero released "Fortress" on Janurary 29th, 2008. Fortress was recorded at Silo Studios in Hamilton, Ontario and released on Vagrant Records. The band again pushes the limits of both the Progressive Metal and Metalcore genres, as well as stretches it's own abilities beyond expectation. The line up for the band has remained the same since it's creation, as with their first release "Kezia," on "Fortress" gifted guitarists Tim Millar and Luke Hoskin lead blazing verse and solo, backing the ever growing vocal ability of singer Rody Walker. Bringing in the percussion is drummer Moe Carlson, and finally bassist Arif Mirabdolbaghi shines as well. Fredonia Communications student Zach Meiling reguarded the new albums sound with this: "The bass guitar adds nice texture to the music, offering a strong complement to the lead guitars and vocals which have developed exponentially since their previous release." Each individual effort can be seen in several different songs as the band works together to create an album that will not likely be easy to rival in the genre.
In an effort to make a stronger, more technical album, Protest The Hero strayed away from making marketable music and stuck to their own distinguished sound. "I feel it's a very natural progression for us," stated vocalist Rody to an interviewer from Vagrant records, "A natural progression into further obscurity. I am of the belief a lot of the people who work for us were hoping for a stab at a more commercially viable album, however we wrote what we wanted without linear boundaries and created something less commercial than ever." Unlike their past release, Fortress does not lyrically follow one single concept storyline, but instead focuses on "goddess worship in the tradition of Robert Graves," stated lyricist and bassist, Arif. // 10
Lyrics: The album contains 10 tracks total, broken in to two parts. Part one "On Conquest and Capture" is itself is broken in to two parts, part one containing tracks 1-3; Bloodmeat, The Dissentience, and Bone Marrow, while part two is tracks 4-7; Sequoia Throne, Palms Read, Limb From Limb- which hosts a guest keyboard solo from Vadim Pruzhanov of Dragonforce, and Spoils. Part two of the album is titled "Isosceles", and contains tracks 8-10; Wretch, Goddess Bound, and Goddess Gagged. Lyrically, Fortress is a monument to the writing ability of the band. On Conquest and Capture often lyrically brings about thoughts of war and conquering, like Bloodmeat's "Tomorrow we will find them, seek the youngest of their kin. We will meet them with our fury, and we will crush them all like vermin." Isosceles contrarily focuses on the worship and development of Gods, and how the development of civilization has lead to the downfall of true spirituality, as in Wretch's They impart a secret hatred from their fathers to their heirs Our Goddess gave birth to your God, and Goddess Bound's Take everything your school has taught you, throw it to the dogs.Its meat that dries in summer heat and reeks now of it's rot. It speaks now of the fate that we await, to be forgot. // 9
Overall Impression: In one package, Protest The Hero has raised the bar again for their distinct genre. Pushing the musical limits to new extremes, all members of the band shine through in their own ways, showing growth and potential that no fan or enthusiast could have expected. To those who may pass off the opportunity to listen, give the album a chance. Singer Rody says it best, with the comment to Vagrant Records: Some fans of the band will hate it. And some people who hate the band will love it. All others can rot. // 10
The Spoon, on february 27, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Fortress is a monster of an album and it'll keep you hooked for a long time. The band's sound hasn't really changed too much other than this CD being a little more heavier than Kezia. If you are getting in to Protest, listen to Kezia first. The guitar work in this album is a step up from their debut. But it doesn't get to the point where it sounds like they're trying too hard. Maybe some parts are a little overdone, but it doesnt't distract the listener from the rest of the album. One thing I noticed is the amount of tapping and sweeping in this album. The tapping parts are pretty good, but in my opinion, the sweeping arpeggios get a little tiring after a while. Rody Walker (lead singer) has said that this album will be less poppy. Which is kind of true, but it's still catchier than ever. I think the vocals are an improvement from Kezia. // 9
Lyrics: Bassists Arif Miradolbaghi is the lyricist for the band, and he is the best I've seen in a long time. The lyrics have to deal with Genghis Khan and Irish mythology according to him. He uses a lot of metaphors such as in The Dissentience which is one big metaphor for, as the band puts it, "f--king bitches and drinking booze". Some parts of songs are simple which is refreshing after spending hours trying to decipher lyrics. Rody tried to make Fortress less poppy than Kezia, but it's still very catchy. Rody still has his range and he tries out different things on Fortress. For instance, all the growls placed in the album are Rody's (except for a growl in Wretch from Arif) and the 11 second scream at the end is Rody. Yet, with all this screaming (there is A LOT more compared to Kezia) he still manages to sing very beautifully and even brings in the falsettos ala Wretch. // 10
Overall Impression: Even though it released so early in the year, I think this will be album of the year. It will be very hard to top at least. I love everything about this album, but one part that kind of annoyed me is the sweeping. It sounds great most of the time, but other times it gets kind of annoying. Another thing that really disappointed me was the lack of acoustic parts and female singers (besides Rody, hehe). But at least bring the acoustic sections, that's one of the things that makes Kezia awesome. Another thing that would have made this album better would've been the connection of Goddess Bound and Goddess Gagged. I mean come on, with names like that, you almost have to make them interconnected. The best tracks on this album would have to be all of them. The one I like the least is Probably Goddess Bound, which is still an amazing song. Overall, it's a freaking great album, you're missing out by not picking it up. // 9
oldredcow, on august 04, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The beauty of Protest The Hero is that they make a bizarre riff that sounds like people when played on its own sound majestic. Their sound improves from album to album and they have proven that they have matured as a group. Fotress is from what I know a concept album based around some goddess, and probably people getting massacred. The drums sound amazing with a bass that kicks your ass every single time it hits (and it hits a lot of times in this 40min record). The vocals have overall improved dramatically. The singer no longer sounds like an adolescent. He sounds more aggressive and versatile on the album, making it sound even better than Kezia, which was great. And of course the guitars are more intense and incredible as ever. The album sounds epic. // 10
Lyrics: All of the lyrics and concepts come from the bass player, who is supposedly some brilliant madman (he seemed pretty ordinary and normal when I met him). The lyrics rule. After hearing the first song, Bloodmeat, you know this album is metal. I mean "strung on hooks like pigs to slaughter." The lyrics are clever, emotional and deliver the message well. No straightforward "I love you"s for Protest The Hero. awesome. // 10
Overall Impression: This so far, is in my opinion, the best album of the year by far, and that's why I chose to review it first. In the last 6 months it has grown on me a lot, and it probably still will. I recommend it to anyone who appreciates musicianship or someone who doesn't screw around when they say they love metal. This album is pure intensity from start to finish and I love it. There is nothing I dislike about it really. I mean, it isnt the Perfect album, but they came pretty close. Their next opus definately might be. Some highlight tracks. Spoils: melodic, thrashy, epic ending, and serious guitar work all in like 3 minutes. Wretch: this song is brutal and really shows what they're trying to portray this album as. "My goddess gave birth to your God!" Palms Read: awesome song with great riffs and melodic moments and an unbelieveable instrumental ending. Bloodmeat: the fast opener. This is actually the catchiest song on the album since it actually has a rare repeating chorus. I love the bridge near the end. Sequoia Throne: this is the first song I heard before the album came out and it excited the hell out of me. The last minute in particular is like one of my alltime favorite moments in music. // 10
fli.pansy, on december 23, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: This is Protest The Hero's 2nd full length album. Even though they have only released two full length albums, they are a group capable of accomplishing to much. Everyone in the band has something unique to contribute, and they all succeed in doing it. The overall sound of this album is very heavy and dark, and very catchy. The riffs in this album played by Luke and Tim will be left in your head, and you will sing or hum to it forever. Possibly the best thing about the album are the counter melodies that Luke and Tim play. They will be rocking out to a song, and when they start to harmonize their parts, it sounds absolutely amazing. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics in this song are written by Arif the bassist, and he is a magician when it comes to words. The lyrics in the song have a very medieval feeling to it. The lyrics are very powerful and moving, and when Rody is singing the songs, it just seems to work. Now I'm not a very big fan of just listening to the lyrics, but they are very powerful in this album, and when it comes to writing lyrics, no one does is like Arif. // 10
Overall Impression: In all of my other reviews, I have never given an album a 10/10 as I feel that there is no such thing as a perfect album. This album although, in my opinion is perfect. The heavy/catchy guitars mixed in with the drums, then sprinkled in lyrics mix perfectly. The only downside to this album is that there are only 10 songs (11 if you count the hidden piano song on the album). I cannot wait until their next album. If this album were stolen/lost, I would have a mini heart attack, then go buy it again. // 10
Revenger#11, on january 28, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Wow! Protest the Hero is the thinking man's Metal core. This album contains; Amazing Vocals, The Most Technical Guitar Work this side of BTBAM, Double Bass Galore and even bass tapping! In most metal core you can't even hear the bass! The songs change over within seconds, there is no standard verse, chorus, verse, bridge concept with PTH. There is diversity in every song. There are Piano Outros( Bone Marrow, Spoils), Arabian Intros(Bone Marrow), Pop Rock singalong choruses( Blood meat). They keep the breakdowns in the she'd and when they let them out they are brutal and heavy as ever. The liquid sweeps are just joy to the ears. I guarantee you WILL NOT get bored of this album. // 10
Lyrics: Arif Mirabdolbaghi provides the lyrics for the album. They are mythological and war related talking about Gods and battles. An example from "Bloodmeat" Tomorrow they will find us, Hide the children free of sin, We will meet their blades by morning, Protected only by your skin The lyrics fit the music well, as the concept behind the album is Gods and Goddesses so that is what Arif writes about. Rody Walker is a machine. The man contributes all the vocals on this album. He can do melodic pop rock singalongs, high pitched shrieks and low guttural screams. He has a lot of variety but sticks to his normal high pitched "singing" voice for most of the album. // 9
Overall Impression: Musically, it compares to progressive/technical/math core type bands but Rody's voice really puts PTH in a league of it's own. I can't pick a favorite track but the three I don't like as much are; Spoils, Goddess Bound and Goddess Gagged. But they are still pretty good songs. I love almost everything about this album. Maybe the sweeps are just overused a touch but I still love everything about the guitar work. I would buy it again straight away. And these guys are only in there early 20's so I think these guys are the future of Metal core to come. This album is 40 something minutes of talent. Do not miss . // 10
lzkop, on january 05, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: PTH has refined many things on this album. The drums sounds better tenfold, and the guitars are flawless. Rody's vocals are blistering and at times melodic. Kezia's sound was good, Fortress' is great. Right away Bloodmeat flies with a heavily syncopated rhythm that could tear you a new hole. The "verse" then leads into a more melodic chorus with some added strings. The song seems to end, then comes crashing back with a heavy riff. This surprise transition is my favourite part of the song and probably the whole album. This formula of heavy riffs, solid drums and matching vocals is applied to the entire album. Luke's musicianship is exemplified greatly on Palms Read, where his sweeps are clean and fit with the rhythem. The song also contains a short, but satisfying bass fill by bassist Arif. The tapping lines and "solos" aren't showy and flow with the songs. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics are written by bassist Arif Mirabdolbaghi and they bring Fortress into a whole deeper relm. The album is about conquest and goddess worship, with references to Ghengis Khan and Flidias. It took me a few listens to really grasp the idea Arif was writing. The lyrics are clever and fit very nicely into the rest of the band. Like Kezia, Arif does everything but let us down with the lyrics. // 10
Overall Impression: Every rock and metal fan can find something to like at Fortress. Protest the Hero fans from Kezia will be very satisfied and new listeners will find something they wish they knew before. The blistering speed of the guitars, the solid drums and Rody Walker's vocals that switch from growls to soft melodies are what makes Fortress so irresistible. Fortress is a necessity to the avid metal head to the occasional rocker. // 10
Humzah, on january 15, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: My friend (shootthrough) recommended me "Sequoia Throne" back in 2008, and I hated it. But I got bored one day in the car, and decided to give it another go. I began to find myself listening to the intro again, and again. Soon I had found myself listening to the whole track on a regular basis. As the track progressed into the next track "Palms Read", I began listening to that aswell. This pattern soon followed into me listening to the whole album regularly, and Protest the Hero becoming my my second favourite band of all time.
The sound has progressed from the fast punky sound of Kezia to a more melodic and technical full on blast from start to finish. However the relentless surge of energy is broken up into three movements, each divided by a short piano segment, and even an acoustic solo, which also show Protest the Hero's talent on other instruments.
Speaking of PtH's talent, every member of the band is almost too talented to be possible. Rody Walker, the vocalist took weeks of intense training to reach the extreme highs such as "Heavens are Hellbent" and the extreme growling lows such as in Palms Read.
Arif Mirabdolbaghi on bass delivers intense sweeping and tapping throughout the whole album, as well as popping in a solo or two himself. Moe Carlson's drumming is exhilirating with more cymbals than tracks on the album. His double bass pedal work is flawless as notable in "The Dissentience" Luke Hoskin (Lead Guitar) and Tim Millar (Rhythm Guitar) both compliment each other well, Tim often providing a solid rhythm for Luke to sweep and tap to, as well as filling in for some tapping and sweeping himself. "Bloodmeat" is the opening song, and illustrates all the bands elements in one song. A bass tapping solo, sweeping sections, and Rody's soothing and growling vocals are present in the song. // 10
Lyrics: As mentioned already, Rody can reach every extent that a vocalist is physically possible of, and delivers in a unique style, the lyrics.
The lyrics are written by the bassist Arif Mirabdolbaghi. He breaks the album up into three sections, "On Conquest and Capture" which is based upon myth and legends of such figures such as Genghis Khan and an ancient "King of Kings" who was eventually overthrown by his people. The next unnamed section is about soceity and its implications. Sequoia Throne introduces the theme that we ourselves may be more dangerous than any intergalactic invader, and Palms Read continues this with sweet harmonic lyrics leading into the brutal Limb from Limb which introduces the theme of Goddess worship into the album, and Spoils deals with how "Humans claim dominion" over everything on Earth.
THe next movement "Isosceles" is close to its name. An Isosceles triangle has two sides the same, and one different. The movement consists of the songs "Wretch", "Goddess Bound", and "Goddess Gagged" which represent the triangle. The last segment is a no holds barred charge into brutal lyrics such as "Teach a man to tear her f***ing head from her Goddamn shoulders"
Overall the lyrics are excellent, but "The Dissentience" and "Limb from Limb" need to be swapped around to fit into the sections of the album easier, as evident with the song names in the movement respectively. // 9
Overall Impression: My favourite band was, and still is Muse, but I dabbled in metal such as Trivium and Metallica. This shows how this album can really be recommended to anyone with a taste in music that lies in Metal and doesnt't mind trying something a little different. This album's like marmite. But it's a marmite that you can grow into and I strongly recommend it to any fans of any metal, technical or not. // 10
anybodyelse, on april 27, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Amazingly technical and beautiful sounding album. I cannot tress how much I love the dueling guitar action in this album. There is plenty of very heavy in-your-face riffs to love, but what I really love about this album is the tapping and hammer-ons/pull-offs. The 8 finger tapping is one of the most amazing guitar techniques I have ever seen. Also, I really love the bass on this album. Too much these days do metal bands seem to drown out the bassists with the guitar sound. What really makes all these sounds all come together is the timing. Something is really amazing about hearing plenty of intense scales combined with powerchords all tied tied up with tons of shouting, then suddenly everything silence except a quick tapping riff. This album could have been just as good as an instrumental. // 10
Lyrics: Remember what I said about this album being just as good as an instrumental? I lied. Rody Walker is an absolutely amazing vocalist. I am extremely shocked that a singer of this caliber doesn't have more recognition. This is a singer that has been called the "Hardcore Freddy Mercury". A title that is abslutely deserving. The versatility of this is just remarkeable. Let's be done with that though. Let's get down to talking about the lyrics. Wow, is all I can say. Actually, I can say alot more then wow. I'm going to leave it at wow though. Go listen, the main concept of this album is actually quite thought provoking. // 10
Overall Impression: I sadly haven't had the chance to listen to the other albums as much as this one. I'm hoping to be impressed. Some of the most impressive songs off this album would probably be... well way to hard to choose. Listen and choose yourself, I would however suggest Sequia Throne as a must listen. As I have said early, I absolutely love the lyrics and the time signatures in this song. Oh, and the duelling guitars... and the bass. I love it all. Amazing album and a must need. My only complaint would be the fact that this is a stricly intense album, no easy listening songs for that kind of mood. // 10