With band mate nicknames like “Shred”, “Animal”, “Texas Two Step”, “Sludge” and “Sarge”, one does not immediately envision a metal band with a mission from God. That is what Indiana based The Protest are though. Unable to really compare this band with others of the same agenda, The Protest doesn’t make metal music for the mild audience. Rather, they offer crushing beats, blazing guitar riffs with hooks and leads that twist and turn around every lyric belted out with absolute fury. All encased within their message of hope and salvation. After doing extensive research on the band and their music, it is best said that The Protest strength lies in their live performances.
With this offering to the music world, The Protest self-titled EP delivers to the metal genre on every aspect musically. The first track, “Chambers” opens with a riff and beat that brings you right into the music. The lyrics of Josh “Shred” Bramlett start out melodically and twist into belted screams that never overpower the music, but rather compliment the instruments around him. Beat and bass driven by Jarob “Animal” Bramlett on skins and Chase “Sludge” Reagan on bass, the track takes you on a ride of battle between good and evil. With the good being the victor due to complete conviction in what they believe in. At the 2:30 mark of the track they feature a solo by Noah Henson of the band Pillar that is done to perfection and compliments the track ever so right.
On the track “We Will Rise”, they start with a symphonic dark keyboard that leads into a great drum line intro. Then the music comes in with authority to the break where Shred comes in with his lyrics. The band has a video for this track that aptly describes its message of the odds stacked against them, but never bowing down. Offering elements of screamo at times, the vocal range of Shred is nothing shy of remarkable. The guitars of TJ “Texas Two Step” Colwell on rhythm and Adam “Sarge” Sadler on lead are precise and blazing the path of “We Will Rise”. Sarge has a solo at the 3:08 mark of the track that is very good leading up to the pinnacle of the song and then blazes at the end.
On the track “Up From the Fall” the band offers up a softer side to their music. Being more of a melodic song, you immediately envision the lighters in the air of the crowd in live performance settings. The song offers advice for those who are in their down state, or in feeling of despair. With very powerful lyrics that can be felt whether into the spiritual aspect of its meaning or not. Even the music is powerful in the way it is delivered in this track. Offering a break at the 3 minute mark, that can be used to reflect on what the message of the lyrics convey.
The EP offers a cover of the very popular Phil Collins song “In the Air Tonight”. They make it their own with music and beat throughout, with the lyrics staying to the original composition. Giving the track a heavier feel than the original, and adhering it to The Protest overall message, it is a very good tribute to the original.
Overall, The Protest EP is very enjoyable. Whether the listener is listening for the messages that The Protest deliver with their beliefs or not, the music of The Protest is definitely on the map. The hard rock/metal genres are a hard place to generate the message on a spiritual level which The Protest do with all of their songs. But just as said in their song “We Will Rise”, no matter how the odds are stacked against them, The Protest will never back down. It is a good thing that they didn’t, because this self-titled EP has definitely delivered more than just its overall message. It delivers great music to the masses that will break through many barriers set by those who do not believe.
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By L. White