Published Nov 16, 2016Much like their fourth LP Volition, which was brought to life by a crowdfunding initiative, Protest the Hero's Pacific Myth rose from the depths via the band's use of another unique independent release method. The EP was initially released through a subscription-based Bandcamp platform, with subscribers receiving one of the effort's six tracks each month from October 2015 onwards (in addition to other perks).
Now released in its intended full-length format more than a year later, Pacific Myth also marks the first release with the band's solidified new lineup, which welcomes bassist Cam McLellan and drummer Mike Ieradi. Where music is concerned, there isn't much territory here the band haven't covered before. "Ragged Tooth" jumps between smooth, intricately picked passages and crushing riffs in vocalist Rody Walker's near-whispered cleans, grating growls and operatic highs. "Cataract" doesn't take its foot off the pedal in smashing forward through bursts of harmonized lead guitar. Save for its short piano intro, bridge and outro, "Harbinger" doesn't offer much reprieve from its own Fortress-esque metal onslaught.
That isn't to say Pacific Myth is short of highlights. Initially released second in the series, "Tidal" now opens the EP with its breakneck punk drums and brilliant emotive closing, while the twisting, technical axe-work on "Cold Water" impresses. The band have also written the longest song of their career in "Caravan," making the most of its nearly nine-minute runtime with more driving riffs and gentler melodic passages, and a soaring string-led finale in which Walker hits the highest note he's ever recorded.
Lord knows Protest the Hero can still make incredibly challenging music, though it's anyone's guess where they'll take things from here. (Independent)