Monday, September 3, 2012

Protestant - Reclamation

Milwaukee's hardest working band, Protestant, add another LP to their already expansive catalog of shadowy hardcore. Reclamation might be only 5 songs, but from the varied textures and attacks, it feels like an absolute journey. Songs gallop and blast, hook and swing, slow down to sheets of raging guitars and intertwined melodies and then all back again; this is Protestant in a nutshell.

Protestant, like a good beer or favorite meal, has a familiarity not without some spark here or there that makes you feel like you've discovered something new and great. This couldn't be more true with the album's opener "Home" which reminds me of their other album openers "Revenge" from Judgments and "Disbelief" from The Hate the Hallow yet shifts into new territory with an aggressive break toward the end.. A strong melodic hook bobs in and out of the song admist the voracious vocals and thundering drums serving as a textbook example at how to introduce an album.

Personal as ever, Protestant are one of the few bands that have lyrics worth reading and following as they are impassioned sparks of outrage. Unfortunately, at the time of this review, I have a promo copy without lyrics, but the strained ones that break through, such as in "Home," "Jan Palach," or "Unbecoming" are tectonic sifters and worthy of your best fist pump.

I like this LP a lot, it's got that dark melodic vibe that I'm looking for, but with "Jan Palach," it feels a bit more optimistic than previous releases. There's disgust and angst towards a myriad of issues, but "Jan Palach" differs in that it feels more positive because of its namesake and overall tone. I like this positive driving aspect as it's different kind of emotional tether to the band.

Without fault and full of momentum, Protestant offer up a short, but thorough and fulfilling album that's heavier and more meaty than previous efforts.

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