Did You Come Here To Kill, Or Did You Come Here To Die?

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17 sept. 2011, 17h49m

Protest the Hero...Not usually my cup of tea. Mix blazing guitars, dynamic vocals, and unique lyrics, and you got yourself a delicious musical cocktail. The album Fortress by the aforementioned band is definitely on my list of top albums of all time. Before you go screaming in defense of the Beatles or Led Zeppelin, stating that this album couldn't be in the same category as the classics; my music library is very dissimilar . My music tastes range from the , to , to and back again. With that said, on to why this album is pure awesome.

The album hits the ground running with the first track "Bloodmeat". Right away you gut a full sampling of what this band is made of. Fast riffs, tapped hammer-ons, and Roby Walker's dynamic vocal stylings (not just range). Walker demonstrates that he's not a slave to just one vocal trait, as most screaming/growling singers are. His secondary set of pipes releases a clean higher octet style comparable to a fall of troy, Coheed and Cambria, or The Dear Hunter.

Two songs follow "Bloodmeat" including an very peaceful piano outro on the song "Bone Marrow". This is merely a decoy decrescendo until the boisterous, fast, and probably the best track on the album, "Sequoia Throne" debuts. A flash of tapped arpeggios from guitarist Luke Hoskin begins this masterpiece. Now as most bands that incorporate guitar players that can rip through their scales and modes, Protest's bassist, Arif Mirabdolbaghi, does not get lost in the shuffle playing mediocre root notes. Instead his tapping is up-to-speed with both Luke Hoskin and Tim Millar. The video (shown below) is as entertaining as the song, with Walker playing a Freddie Mercury look-alike killer.

The band manages to stay consistent throughout the rest of the album. It's a task that seems to be understandingly tough for most bands. Not only does the complexity of the songs stay the same but so does the content. "Limb from Limb" is a great bridge between the beginning and end of Fortress. Video game enthusiasts might incorporate the synthy keyboard solo towards the end of the track with that classic Nintendo music feel.

This is another one of the albums I have no problem playing over and over again in the car. I believe metal fans, or those who can get past the infrequent screaming vocals will enjoy this album. Fortress only downfall is the craving for more after the album's end. The bad news is there is currently no follow up to this album currently. The good news however is that Wikipedia states that a 2011 album is TBA. This may also be confirmed by a recent upload to Vimeo by the band, showing the group goofing off in the studio, presumably working on new material. We can only hope for more music from the Canadian progressive metal band. I have no problem adding this to my favorite albums of all time.
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