Protest The Hero – Nottingham Rock City

By paul

Tonight, one early evening in March, Rock City?s Basement venue heaves with the sweaty breathlessness of several hundred bodies full of anticipation at the prospect of three acts hotly tipped to grab the proverbial bull by the horns and turn metal on its head, led this evening by Canadian powerhouses and metalmathcore prodigies Protest The Hero.

After opening powerhouses (and thoroughly nice guys) ?The Human Abstract? have worked their way into the memories of the crowd with their strikingly intense brand of guitar driven melody, main support The Chariot find themselves uncharacteristically lacking. Admitting to the crowd that they are not certain whether their new full length ?Wars and Rumour of Wars? will ever see release in the UK, and that lead singer, and Norma Jean veteran Josh Scogin is not the healthiest of boys this evening, the band seem to fritter away their allotted time in the Basement with little to no conviction. One usually distinctive song blends into the next, and although their distorted metalcore remains technically polished for the most part, you just feel like The Chariot have so much more to offer than they lay on the table tonight.

So?as though it was ever in doubt from the moment the doors opened, tonight firmly belongs to Protest The Hero. The band are on fire tonight, delivering with rampant ferocity a selection of tracks from debut ?Kezia? and last year?s ?Fortress? to a room of appreciative lunatics who are quite literally hanging from the scaffolding. With guitar wizardry that is a thrill to watch, and vocals that effortlessly sweep from scream to song and back again, it does feel as though every track presented tonight was written for the live arena, from new anthems ?Goddess Bound?, ?Goddess Gagged? and single ?Sequoia Throne?, to seminal crowd favourite, and show closer ?Bloodmeat?.

They even manage a biting quip about Brit rivals ?Bring Me The Horizon??which goes down just fine in a room obviously quite free of Ollie Sykes fan club affiliates?Protest the Hero are the band that BMTH want to be and the band that every progressive metal wannabe should look up to and say ?that?s where I?M going to be in 5 years time?. They should be your new favourite band. They?re certainly mine.