Fortress - Protest The Hero


This album crushes. Right off the bat, you get slapped around by “Bloodmeat”. It doesn’t really stop, either. The double-whammy of “Goddess Bound” and “Goddess Gagged” is one of the strongest finishes to an album I know.

My buddy Joey introduced me to the track “Sequoia Throne”, and I’m glad he did. Call it mathcore, metalcore, metal, whatever. It bangs HARD. Kick drum rolls, furious fretboard calisthenics, off-kilter time signatures, this song has it all.

“Sequoia Throne” is also particularly noteworthy for the vocal skill on display by screamer-in-chief Rody Walker. This guy can yelp, scream, bellow, and then croon like a canary on top of it all. I’m not sure where he got his vocal chords, but they’ve gotta be custom.

If you examine the cover of this delightful children’s record, you’ll certainly get the pagan/sacrificial lambs/wearing-of-deer-hides vibe. Maybe the metal-y music + cult behavior trope is a little played out, but I’ve never heard it done better than this. Protest The Hero approach it so fully and with such sincerity that Fortress is a privileged listen. The bass player, Arif Mirabdolbaghi, says it like this: “[The theme] can be more appreciated by more people. If I had to reduce it to its simplest form, the concept is about the re-emerging of goddess worship and the erosion of faith in scientific process."

With a healthy dose of goddess worship and sincerity in shredding, what’s not to like? Really though, do yourself a favor and check out Fortress. If nothing else, you’ll learn that you’re a pansy who can’t abide punishing Canadian mathcore.

Sounds like: rams’ heads and virgin bloodletting.

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