When Protest the Hero first broke onto the full-length studio scene in 2005, they might as well have been The All-American Rejects with sweep arpeggios. I shrugged em off as another one of those bands and moved on with my musical taste for the rest of the decade. That was until now, where I see them back in the spotlight with their latest full-length release Scurrilous, and their video for C'est La Vie, which debuted on Metal Sucks late last month. I saw these guys getting rave reviews in all the magazines, being featured on Metal Sucks (as mentioned before), Metal Injection, Heavy Blog is Heavy, etc. The metal blogosphere was just lighting up about Protest. Not to be out-bearded by the next metal blogger, I caved and decided to give the C'est La Vie video a watch to see what all the hullabaloo was about.
Wait, is this metal?
It's certainly undeniably proggy and technical. I also can't help but admit that vocalist Rody Walker has some damn serious pipes backing him up, dare I say, on a near power metal scale. Something that he has proven within the studio, and outside of it. (Sort of.) Whether you hate this band or not, you have to at least give him props for that. The technical guitar work, while impressive, gets a bit repetitive in that strange way that a lot of prog bands these days seems to bore you in their technicalness. Kind of like turning music into a math lesson. Funky time signatures, schizophrenic riffs, solos that feel like they're typed out on a calculator. Yep, Protest has definitely become a full-fledged progressive metal band.
They're not completely my cup of black tea, and despite their unmistakable musical chops, they still make my elitist metal spidey-sense tingle like crazy. It's hard to explain. Closing my eyes and getting past the short hair, polo shirts, scraggly beards, and Buddy Holly glasses, their music alone still gives me this sort of hip, Coheed and Cambria chill down my spine. (Perhaps their three-word-name is just playing tricks on my mind?) Then again, this just one song. For all I know, the rest of their album could ruin my face, and I've seen enough here to at least give it a shot. I'm going to see if I can get my hands on a complete copy of Scurrilous and get you guys a full review to let you know if it's anything worth considering in a true metal library. Stay tuned. Or don't.