Protest the Hero
Scurrilous


2.0
poor

Review

by Caleb McAlpine USER (109 Reviews)
March 22nd, 2011 | 220 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Cut and paste.

How do you feel about Protest the Hero? Be completely honest. I mean, even vocalist Rody Walker himself seems to realise that his band is, at best, an extremely polarising band for listeners: you’re either swept off your feet by the band’s undeniable technical prowess or you’re astounded by the band’s adamant laziness and ultimate refusal to be anything close to coherent. Where do you stand? Do you like the band’s rapid, ADD progressive stylings and Walker’s operatic wail or do the goddess-slaughter lyrics and mindless noodling make you nauseous? Well - if the final, be-all-end-all question really is “how much Rody Walker is too much?” then I’d have no choice but to say that Protest the Hero have already got a failure on their hands with Scurrilous.

But Wait, you say, “surely there’s more to Scurrilous than Walker’s ceaseless screeching?” Well, yeah - lest we forget how awesome of musicians Protest the Hero are, every song is literally bursting at the seams with self-indulgent, technical riffery and fills. Kezia got away with its own ridiculous indulgence by the fact it was written be 19-year-old Canadians and Fortress got away with such by being manageably coherent for an album of its kind (‘Sequoia Throne’ being an obvious exception). But, listen: the haphazard, cut-and-paste hack job Protest the Hero have thrown together here is far too lazy to be considered a progression. ‘Dunsel’, for example, is one of the most confused amalgams of unconventional/useless time signatures, scales, speed-picking and gimmickry Canada has ever been represented by. Scurrilous’ instrumental section is so distracted beyond repair that it subconsciously riffs itself into dizzying genre-bending circles without ever finding a solid, decipherable hook or a reoccurring theme. Ultimately, you’re left with a sloppily arranged prog-jigsaw puzzle of blues riffs, breakdowns and thrashing about - not necessarily the foundation you want to build an album on.

Now, let’s say Scurrilous is a cake and the band’s instrumentation is the pastry body. You see, Rody Walker’s aimless, operatic vocals are without a doubt the godforsaken icing on this godforsaken dessert and that’s the driving reason as to why this cake is so ***ing awful. Now, it’s not that Walker can’t sing - heavens no, he’s certainly got enough skill to stand among the musicians that back him up but just like his incompetent band, he doesn’t know how to use his talent. Despite an expert performance on ‘C’est La Vie’ (the album’s only consistently good song) and some jaw-dropping acrobatics in ‘Tapestry’, most of Walker’s performance is aimlessly un-melodic and grating. For better or for worse, there are no harsh vocals on Scurrilous (save for a juvenile ‘Bloodmeat’-esque scat section in ‘Tapestry’), so all you’re left with is Walker’s structureless screeching. ‘Sex Tapes’ is a prime example of Walker’s lack of direction - he outright refuses to sing a decent hook and instead opts for off-kilter, irritating melodies straight from the books of Kezia and Mr. Bungle. I suppose it doesn’t help that the band’s lyrics aren’t much better: ‘Sex Tapes’ might wish to succeed by its intentional gratuity but, let’s be fair: tales of jerking off in private are just as appealing as you’d think they’d be. What’s the worst Scurrilous has to offer? How about “everyone knows that cancer takes bites of every family and it eats some families whole”? Perhaps ”sometimes a knife right through your heart is exactly what you need, sometimes the things that you’re ashamed make you who you’re supposed to be” is the winner? Hats off to you, Protest the Hero!

But isn’t it all just a bit heartbreaking? So much potential; so much squandering. You’ve got a man who can sing his ass off, a band that can make almost any musician blush and they all share the only nationality that the entire world shamelessly covets. Yet you’ve also got a schlacked-together ***fest of recycled, shredding riffs and Rody Walker’s obnoxious, cheesy bellowing about wet journalists. So, maybe the question isn’t the direct “how do you feel about Protest the Hero” but the understanding, empathetic “how do you balance the fine line between tasteful technicality and mindless self-indulgence?” And really, do I know? I really don’t. But if you happen to stumble upon the answer, please enlighten Walker and the boys - the results could actually be worth listening to.

For now, Scurrilous is all we have. *** this cake.



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user ratings (1582)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Garrett H. (4)
    While the lyrics might leave you wanting, the overall superior musicality and feel of this...

    MetallicmanD1 (5)
    Protest the Hero return with a masterpiece that rivals even their best offerings so far....

    niccos16 (3.5)
    Progression- For Better or Worse, Whatever as Always...

    Jordan Speare (4)
    Prog-metal’s Heroes come back more vigorous and aggressive than ever....

  • Sputnik's official false metal authority (4.5)
    Scurrilous might just be Protest The Hero's most fully realised effort to date....

    jitteryzeitgeist (4)
    Make no mistake about it: Scurrilous is good. It's very, very good....

    GLaDOS (3.5)
    A solid release for any fans of power metal, progressive metal, technical metal or just Pr...

    Adam Thomas STAFF (4)
    Truth be told, it's getting a bit ridiculous how they're able to consistently be this damn...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Waior
March 22nd 2011


11452 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

if this reads like i haven't slept in 3 days

it's because i haven't slept in 3 days

bloc
March 22nd 2011


34873 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

BOOOO!


Go back to sleep.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2011


31218 Comments


Oh you do still write

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

Mordecai.
March 22nd 2011


8279 Comments


you haven't had a wet dream in three days

cvlts
March 22nd 2011


8960 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

fucking pam, mang.

Waior
March 22nd 2011


11452 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

yeah

Acanthus
March 22nd 2011


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Really enjoyed reading this, thanks for writing it!

Digging: Falls of Rauros - The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood

FreePizzaDay
March 22nd 2011


1526 Comments


"they all share the only nationality that the entire world shamelessly covets."

...



...



Lol, that was a good one.

TheFantasticDangler
March 22nd 2011


1159 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well written yes, but obviously I disagree. This album flows so much better than Fortress did, and I really don't see how the shredding is self-indulgent. I could see you argue that about Fortress, seeing as its about 10x more flashy than this album is.

Digging: Finch (US) - Say Hello to Sunshine

Josh D.
March 22nd 2011


13968 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

2.0


You would.

Erratic
March 22nd 2011


1120 Comments


"Now, let’s say Scurrilous is a cake and the band’s instrumentation is the pastry body. You see, Rody Walker’s aimless, operatic vocals are without a doubt the godforsaken icing on this godforsaken dessert and that’s the driving reason as to why this cake is so ***ing awful"

lmao

Ponton
Emeritus
March 22nd 2011


5793 Comments


yeah

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2011


28585 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

im actually reading the review

i don't think 'laziness' is an ideal word for what ure trying to say up thur

Digging: Chris Brown - X

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2011


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Finally

Pos

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III ? Saturnian Poetry

marksellsuswallets
March 22nd 2011


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'd say there are a couple of recurring themes in Dunsel at least. It's solid but it still doesn't top Kezia for me, and Fortress has really worn off me recently. Nice of you to come out of hiding to rain on everybody's parade =)

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2011


50458 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'm getting into it

Digging: Viper the Rapper - You'll Cowards Don't Even Smoke Crack

Relinquished
March 22nd 2011


25099 Comments


blech

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2011


28585 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Final Review of Waior Review: 3.5 (pos)


positives:

-lots of cursing
-'hats off' line
-written by waior

negatives:

-i don't think 'laziness' is a good word to bring up in a broad criticism (1st paragraph) of the band, but its ok later on
-no oxford comma


climactic
March 22nd 2011


19122 Comments


i thought dunsel was good, second half drags hard

Digging: Bolzer - Soma

twlichty
March 22nd 2011


3408 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

good review, disappointing album



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