Monday, 27 August 2012

Protestant - Reclamation


This record dropped into my inbox the other day and I let out a yelp of excitement! It's a record that along with others I've received recently, has made me re-find my enthusiasm and appreciation for heavy music. That's not to say that I've been bored recently, but I've felt my enthusiasm waning slightly. The next few reviews should got someway to reigniting the fan in me.

Anyway, enough about me. For those living under a rock, Protestant are an awesome hardcore band from Milwaukee, USA. They've been going since 2004 and have released a number of LP's, EP's and splits throughout that time. This is their latest record, which is being releases through Halo Of Flies (USA) and Chaos Rurale (Canada) and will be out around the 21st of September.

Tracklist:-

1. Home
2. Jan Palach
3. Reclamation
4. Unbecoming
5. Salad Days


On Reclamation, Protestant have a punked-up hardcore sound. Fast and purposeful, with a rough and ready production that brings the emotion in their performance. Home is a perfect introduction on this record, with the main core of the song being heavy and fast, but with a building, introspective mid-passage that leads into some awesome, slow sludgy riffs, they’re able throw in the best of everything, Where most bands tend to go for maximum impact and brutality in this type of hardcore, Protestant are more measured and their musicianship helps them to craft songs with plenty of twists and turns.

Jan Palach is a sub-3 minute blast, with semi-melodic guitar and driving drums, which are slightly buried in the mix, still plough forth when the treble takes a rest. This is still chaotic and noisy at times, but subtle melody that Protestant weaves in through their guitars, make it a great listen.

The title track follows in much the same vein, with their punk influences poking through once more. The song starts with an extended instrumental march before the verse kicks in proper. There's the odd off-kilter rhythm placed in the song and again, the slower sections bring a claustrophobic element to their music. The driving groove that's present on the second half of the song helps draw you in, leaving you in a trance induced by the power and skill on show. I don't know if I'm doing this record justice. You can make your own mind up!

Unbecoming builds with bass and subtly plucked guitar, as the cymbals help the volume rise and as it all merges; you get a wall of noise that's actually pretty euphoric.
The song continues at a steady pace, which is pretty effective, as Protestant seem to favour a slower pace here. Sometimes, the slower more thoughtful songs just sound heavier.

Final salvo, Salad Days is a rip-roaring end to the record. It sees Protestant heading back in a more urgent direction. The melody is still there, along with those angered screams. The percussion levels all in its path and the wall of sound from the guitars/bass brings back the claustrophobic feeling from earlier on. There's some time to breath, thanks to the mid-passage but no sooner has it started, it ends and you're faced with that barrier of decibels again. All I can say is, I'm glad I live in a detached house; otherwise the sound would be reverberating throughout the whole block right now!

As the guitar dies down, it ends leaving you to reflect on a record, which, while short in length, is long in ideas and quality. If you’re already familiar with Protestant, you know your getting an ace record and if you’re not familiar with them, you should be!

Visit Halo Of Flies at http://www.halooffliesrecords.com/ and Chaos Rurale at http://www.chaosrurale.com/store/ for pre-orders for this record, as they are up now.

Protestant will have copies when they're on tour in September, so if you can get out to a show, pick one up. News on Reclamation and the tour can be found on Protestant's website at http://www.protestantmilwaukee.com and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Protestant.

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