PROTEST THE HERO — Kezia (review)

PROTEST THE HERO — Kezia album cover Album · 2005 · Melodic Metalcore Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Kezia is the debut full-length studio album by the Canadian band Protest The Hero. It was released in 2005 on Underground Operations. The record is a concept album which tells the story of a woman called Kezia’s death from three different perspectives on one level, but serves as a political statement or social commentary on another level.

The band have been described as many different things, such as Mathcore, Metalcore and Progressive Metal. They certainly mix elements of all three. It may sound a little clichéd, but its almost like a band playing a medley of different sections from dozens of different songs by all sorts of artists, like At The Gates, Children Of Bodom, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Dream Theater, Sikth, Dillenger Escape Plan, Gallows, Parkway Drive, Coheed & Cambria, Fair To Midland, Funeral For A Friend and Panic At The Disco all at once. There’s even a brief moment that calls Queensryche to mind. Its not they they specifically rip off any one of the individual artists mentioned, but just that they try so many things there’ll be bits here and there that’s a bit reminiscent of someone else.

It’s a very eclectic mix of influences. They can sometimes switch from one to another at the drop of a hat, and some of the songs are filled with so many different parts in different styles that it could almost be viewed as overwhelming. Rather than sounding muddled, confused, or cheesy, they somehow manage to pull off this mixture with an absolute flair and perfection. The song structures seem as though they should be obnoxiously bizzare but somehow they mysteriously manage to feel natural. Initially the sheer scale of the diversity and virtuosity may feel pretentious or ostentatious, but upon numerous repeat listens I’ve definitely come to believe that there isn’t anything cynical at work here. It feels like a labour of love and not merely an exercise in wackiness.

There’s just such a brilliant spark of creativity, every single section in this gigantic puzzle of a record is brilliant in and of itself, and each one perfectly compliments the next, and indeed the next few along. Every song is a well thought out and surprising journey that flutters between styles, tempos, time-sigs and vocal styles in a way that somehow flows smoothly. There’s no too-cheesy ballads or momentum-breaking intros to skip either. There aren’t any out-of-place comedy vocals and nothing to take you out of the listening experience.

Its difficult to choose highlights because every track is packed with countless memorable riffs, fun drum beats, inventive lyrics and sing-along vocal lines. If I had to choose a favourite however, it would probably be ‘Heretics & Killers.’

Overall; I highly recommend Kezia. It’s a super-technical yet super-melodic mixture of impressive virtuosity and catchy hooks with enough talent and interesting parts to fill up ten albums by less brilliant bands. It really rewards repeat listening and every spin will uncover a new little gem you never noticed before. If you have even the slightest interest in the band this is an absolute must-have.
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