Protest The Hero
posted on 5/2006 By:
Synopsis: The 20 year old Canadian love child of 3 Inches of Blood, Between the Buried and Me and Thursday...
Review: Get yer lashing hats on folks, ‘cos this album is going to be one polarizing motherfucker. On one side (where I reside) will be the folks that view this group of young upstarts as emo’s version of Decapitated; a ridiculously talented group of kids that formed at 14 years of age and now are outshining most, if not all of their peers with only their first full length offering. On the other hand, the genre snobs and emo haters that will, by virtue of the band's emo/core tag will simply hate this record no matter how good it is and view these young Canucks as pretentious pop stars.
So let me explain my stand; this album fucking smokes, no if's and's or but's about it. If you like technically proficient metal that combines the some old school traditional metal stylings (3 Inches of Blood), progressive metalcore (BtBaM), and infectious, poppy emo (Thursday), you will like Kezia. First, the guitar world is silly good. With more than a nod to Iron Maiden crossed with Paul Waggoner (BtBaM), sheathed in tightly wound heavy metal and thrash structures, Tim Millar and Luke Hoskin, like Decapitated’s Vogg, belies their youth with outlandish skill and flair. Second, the song writing is downright illegally catchy. And I don’t mean three chord verse/chorus/verse catchy, I mean ‘holy fuck that riff was cool, let me rewind that’ catchy. And folks each of the 10 tracks on Kezia has many such moments.
Now the other side of the fence is going to hate the almost power metal croon of Rody Walker, especially if you hate Coheed and Cambria’s vocals. You are also going to hate the overall emo image, lyrical themes and innate youthful pretentiousness that PtH imbue, but if you are going to ignore this stellar record because of an image or genre tag, you deserved to be repeatedly raped by Chris Barnes.
For those still reading my incessant drivel, like I said earlier, all 10 tracks are simply brilliant exercises in complex yet catchy music, that show a band can transcend genres with ease if they choose to do so. I defy any metal head not to bang their head to the opening stanzas of “No Stars Over Bethlehem”, “Bury the Hatchet” or “Nautical”, Shadows Fall could not do it any better. There’s even a few token growls and screams to make you feel more masculine. Then for you true emo types there’s plenty of soaring, synth laced heartfelt moments (“Heretics and Killers”, “Divinity Within”, “A Plateful of Our Dead”) including a very cool, female vocal climax in the epic “Blindfolds Aside” that reminded me of “Short Stories With Tragic Endings” by From Autumn to Ashes ("The Divine Suicide of K.” and “She Who Mars the Skins of Gods” also feature some nice female vocal segues) . PTH even flash some dazzling Euro-core harmonies and solos that put far sturdier metalcore bands like All That Remains and Killswitch Engage to shame (“She Who Mars the Skins of Gods”, “Turn Soonest to the Sea”, “The Divine Suicide of K.”). Plainly put, there is something for everyone here, but I imagine the vocals will be the sticking point for most of you hesitant to step outside of your death metal box. For me personally, they complement and become part of the whole. I listen to A LOT of albums in my writing gigs, and Kezia is getting lots and lots of repeats in my ipod and is certain to be on my end of year list - regardless of genre. Only a slightly inaudible bass stops this album from getting a prefect score.
This is a truly brilliant young band that is going to be hard pressed to outdo this phenomenal debut.
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