Sometimes bands lose sight of what they originally set out to accomplish. They get whipped up in their popularity and compromise themselves, and in turn can pander to a wider audience for fear of losing their reputation. Protestant is not likely to be one of those bands. This Milwaukee hardcore crossover outfit promotes their DIY roots, and they have no intention of pandering to anyone. They stand by the spirit that drives their music; not the pointless sub-labeling that divides so many groups these days. And this specific context gives a whole new side to the group as I popped in their latest full-length, The Hate. The Hollow.
Protestant plays an interesting mix of genres that brings obvious comparisons to bands like Tragedy and His Hero Is Gone. But where these bands add a sludge element to their songs, Protestant replaces with more of a heavy-hitting urgency that shows their hardcore sensibilities. Many parts seem to slow down and simply let the riffs do their job, similar to how Mind Eraser segues between vocal segments. A lot of these tracks feel like what you get when hardcore kids fully embrace their metal side, and have the musical abilities to combine the two without pretension.
This record does not necessarily feel new to me; these kinds of things have been done many times before. But that doesn’t mean that this isn’t fun to listen to, because it’s well intended and well executed. I could probably do without a couple of the long instrumental parts, but the consistent punk beats give the whole record its own validity in some ways. At only nine tracks, you rarely feel like your time is being wasted by repetition and egotistical guitar solos.
The lyrics seem to fit the theme of the album quite well. “The distance left between and behind, I resent everything, every time.” When I think of the phrase “the hollow,” I don’t go to the misfortunes of one Mr. Crane like some might. I think of the void left in the lives of those with the overly negative mindset, driven by the people they’ve pushed away. It’s the sacrifice of either your friends or your disposition, rarely able to reconcile the two. This inevitability seemed to resonate with me almost too well, and may not have anything to do with what Protestant is referring to on The Hate. The Hollow. But for some reason this album doesn’t feel redundant, and I’m glad that bands like this still plug away, regardless of their placement on the musical spectrum.
7.0 / 10
Protestant have around since 2007, yet it feels like longer. Mind you this isn't a put down as much as it is a reflection upon their multitude of releases. In ...
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