Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Protestant - "Stalemate" (2011) [Halo of Flies Records]

Metalcore gets such a bad rap in the music world. Yes, thanks to the misuse of the term by bands like Bullet for My Valentine and As I Lay Dying, the word "metalcore" brings jerkoffs with expensive, swooped hair, neon accessories, and a pension for crab-walking during half-assed, "syncopated" breakdowns to mind rather than pissed off, hyper intelligent punks like Integrity or Converge. I'm sure a good number of you, sadly, never knew that metalcore could ever be used in a positive connotation, so let me break it down for you a bit. Take the blistering anger and passion of hardcore punk, now add in metal's sharp, proficient edge. Sounds pretty awesome, right? Well, it is. I mean, "metalcore" is short for "metallic hardcore," and, in a perfect world, people would be too intelligent to lump bands like Protestant with mediocre, "prettyboy melodic death metal" bands.

With their latest offering, the gargantuan Stalemate 10", Wisconsin metalcore act Protestant features six tracks of relentless, passionate, metallic hardcore. Chock full of heavy riffs, anthemic choruses, and a few folk-inspired melodies to keep their sound fresh, Stalemate's brooding anger is enough to get a rise out of the most grizzled Earth Crisis fan. From the chunky, mid-paced introduction of "Nothing Left" to the dramatic closing chords of the epic closer "Swindle," Stalemate might not offer anything new, per se, but something that you can spend hours listening to while moshing about your bedroom (or wherever else you might keep your record player). Please keep in mind that we at The Inarguable will not be held accountable for damage accrued while listening to this particular record.

Protestant has done it yet again with Stalemate, and I definitely think this is both a great starting point for aspiring Protestant fans and a great jumping off point if you want to get into real metalcore. With Halo of Flies labelhead and hardcore encyclopedia Cory von Bohlen on guitar and vocals, you really can only expect the best from such a knowledge base. Halo of Flies is quickly becoming one of my favorite labels, and Stalemate is definitely holding my opinion in place. Be sure to act fast, as Stalemate is almost completely sold out, save some tour copies - get one while you still can!



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