Protest the Hero entered 2013 stronger than ever with their latest album, “Volition.” This piece of lyrical genius has everything a PTH fan could anticipate from the band: lofty and powerful vocals, intricate and poetic lyrics, and, of course, the progressive and technical guitar work.
Let’s talk lyrics, because frankly, ever since experiencing “Bone Marrow” from their second album, “Fortress,” released in 2008, I have gained a new appreciation for songwriting in general. Every song Protest the Hero composes is an experience lyrically because Rody Walker (vocalist) has the oral presence to bring a room of rowdy metalheads to silence and awe, as well as tell a story. He does this with every album, but especially on certain tracks on “Volition.”
“Mist” (No. 8) tells the tale of Newfoundland dwellers’ love of the island. Although apparent if the whole song is listened through, Protest the Hero has an epic and poetic way of saying, “I’m not from Newfoundland by birth, but I love it here, so screw you.” This reminds me of my infinite love for Ogden. If only there was a heroic ballad written about my hometown.
“Mist” lyrics: “I think it bears repeating that no one buckled under / We all got bit by the cod that we all kissed / It left an infection in our lips and a longing in the mist / You’re as deep as the grave, and you’re marching to the heartbeat of the land.”
Guitar work, combined with the powerful vocals, makes “Plato’s Tripartite” (No. 6) a favorite on the new album. The intro is sweet, and my head is just begging to be banged, if you know what I mean. This song is so metal and yet so polished at the same time. Arguably the strongest song on the album.
Also, the guest vocals done by Jadea Kelly bring the femininity of the song’s topic of pro-choice to life. “So lay back, sweetheart, in a body you only sometimes own.” Genius.
Other notable tracks on this album are “Drumhead Trial” (No. 2) and “Without Prejudice” (No. 4). Although no “Fortress,” this album makes their 2011 album, “Scurrilous,” seem like a joke. I highly recommend giving “Volition” a listen. Four out of five stars.