Protest the Hero have unleashed their new track Clarity from their upcoming album Volition. I’m going to be honest right off the bat here and say I lost a bit of interest in these quirky Canadians after last album Scurrilous. I’m not saying it was a bad album it just didn’t have the same impact on me that Kezia and especially Fortress had on me, although they are still an imperiously talented band who put on a hilarious and tight live show.
Disclaimer aside this is a very interesting time for the band firstly as they left their label and decided to start up a crowd funding campaign. It was one of the first times I’ve seen a band do this on such a scale and boy did the fans respond! PTH fans raised $125,000 in just thirty hours and by the end of the campaign got a sum triple their target. Secondly founding member and underrated drummer Moe Carlson left for some further education with none other than Lamb of God sticksman Chris Adler stepping up to record the new album.
Due to the fans cash input into the band, Volition could be a make or break scenario, as the potential fan backlash of a lazy or badly received album after the incredible sums of money raised by the fans would just be awful.
Well from what they’ve given us in Clarity I can assure you the fans faith has been rewarded. After early listens it seems Protest the Hero have successfully combined all the aspects of previous albums that worked well and stirred them into a tasty soup full of technical riffs, charismatic vocals (with more screaming than the last album), and even a sprinkle of the punk influences found in Kezia.
The finished dish is well just delicious (ok I’ll stop with the poorly constructed food metaphors now). As expected everything is technical and perfectly delivered yet it never seems too frantic to distract or detract anything from the song. Even the returning female guest vocals of Jadea Kelly don’t seem out of place. The track is catchy without having to rely on the same old hooks heard in thousands of songs, and at around the six minute mark there is plenty of scope for musical development, therefore appeasing the progressive metal nuts (like myself) and the more casual (in relative terms) listener.
The one complaint I can vaguely throw at Clarity however, is the lack of prominance the bass has in this track. Whether this is due to just not hearing the full sound due to youtube remains to be seen, but Arif (bassist of PTH) is a huge part of their sound, and it would be a shame for his talent to be hampered by mixing or something.
Clarity, all in all is a very impressive song that combines all aspects of what made me like the band in the first place. Also how cool is that album art I’m a big big fan of this terminator looking Vulture vibe they are running with.
Volition comes out on the 28th of October