Canadian progressive metal band Protest The Hero’s third album release Scurrilous is another solid project, full of complex rhythms, blasting drumbeats and roaring guitar riffage. Although long-time fans might miss the grit and angst in Kezia, released when the average age of the band members was 19, the synchronicity and polished sound in Scurrilous is a mark of how far the band has come. Every instrument blends with a power that only an experienced band whose members have played with each other since high school can produce.
However, for as much as Protest The Hero has progressed, Scurrilous should be a much better album. It’s good, but it’s not as good as it could be. The heart-wrenching melodies and colorful harmonies that distinguished Protest from the rest of the metal genre areabsent. It seems as if the inspiring creativity behind the band’s earlier two albums, Kezia and Fortress, dried up.
Scurrilous seems to be one long album of background music for vocalist Rody Walker, whose raw pipes are still top notch. Scurrilous also flows smoothly, though at times it flows too smoothly, and each of the songs on the album start to sound the same.
Finally, there’s not enough shred. Maybe guitarists Luke Hoskin and Tim Millar got tired of being two of the greatest guitarists alive.
Perhaps these are a guitarist’s complaints, but they are not unwarranted. Nor should they defer anyone from giving the album a listen. Scurrilous is the weakest album in Protest The Hero’s three-album discography, but when you’ve got one of the highest quality discographies in metal history, weakest is still very good.