How the hell can any band be this damn consistently good? I’ve been listening to Protest The Hero since 2003, when they first released their Propagandhi influenced EP “A Calculated Use of Sound” and enjoyed watching PTH evolve with each new release (which, by the way, Kezia and Fortress are definitely on my favorite albums list). Their third release “Scurrilous” continues this musical evolution, bringing in even more technicality and progressive riffs.
Like Fortress, Scurrilous was a bit of a grower for me, but I’m now completely in love with the album. Musically, they play (dare I say it) progressive metal that is heavy as fuck. While the punk/hardcore influences are a bit harder to find this time around compared to Kezia or Fortress, they are definitely there still (check the end of Dunsel for example). The amount of times they switch things up in a song and how seamlessly and effortless it sounds is nothing short of amazing. The vocals are a lot cleaner on Scurrilous than on previous releases, with Rody focusing more on melody than the aggressive raw screams (again, these are still there, but not as much).
The biggest change though are probably the lyrics. For the first time, Rody takes over the majority of the lyrical duties for the songs (minus 3 of them), and it’s a bit bittersweet. On one hand, there isn’t a common theme linking all of the songs together like Kezia or Fortress. In addition, one thing I always really liked about Protest was the fact that their storytelling lyrics often had multiple meanings.
Rody’s writings are a lot more blunt, and he deals with topics more head on. Take Dunsel for example: a scathing attack on the music industry as a whole and bands that abandoned everything they believe to get big. Tandem is possibly the most personal Protest the Hero has ever gotten, a song dedicated to someone I’m guessing Rody was close to battling cancer. Also worth mentioning just to show the band hasn’t abandoned their punk roots is The Reign Of Unending Terror, a tribute to one of my favorite bands, Propagandhi.
I’m a huge fan of this album and I enjoy it more with each listen. You can definitely expect to see this on my top 10 this year.