Canadian progressive metal outfit Protest The Hero is one of the many bands lately that used crowdfunding in order to bankroll their latest album. Volition is a deliberate return to the band’s earlier works, so let’s see how it pans out.
Scurrilous, the band’s previous record, is a fine release in its own right. However, it lacks the charm and energy of some of Protest The Hero’s earlier works. This pesky little issue is solved with Volition. The band’s trademark technicality in combination with their impeccable sense for songwriting makes a glorious return on tracks like “Clarity,” “A Life Embossed” and “Drumhead Trial.” Singer Rody Walker is in fine form and guitarists Luke Hoskin and Tim Millar adorn the album with tasteful guitar licks and memorable riffs.
As with the previous albums the devil is in the details. What sets Protest The Hero apart from their peers is their meticulous attention for small details. Many tracks on the album have small acoustic interludes and other nifty elements, which form a nice contrast with the heavier guitar parts. Lamb Of God’s Chris Adler provided the drum parts on Volition and he does an admirable job. He really underscores his position as one of the premier drummers in metal today.
Volition is the album the band should have made after Kezia (2005) and Fortress (2008). The perfect blend of songwriting and technicality makes this record a true standout. This baby is a prime candidate for my best of the year list.
(Razor and Tie – USA / RED Canada/Sony Music Canada)