Fortress (Underground Operations)
Protest the Hero plays the Kool Haus Friday (February 8). Rating: NNNN
With their second full-length, Whitby’s metalcore-affected prog junkies seem poised to step up in a very large way. Each of three movements consisting of three songs each is a jumbled, frantic parade of epic-ish post-metal that more than anything else celebrates a patchwork pacing that often recalls the incongruent, violent bursts and spasms of heavyweights like Dillinger Escape Plan.
They aren’t just copycats, though. For-tress displays scope and degree of technical proficiency that far exceed the band’s young ages, while singer Rody Walker, who sounds like he’s got elastic bands for vocal cords, manages to prevail over the music’s explosive volatility while shifting from classic rock wailing to full-on death metal rumbles. Fortress stands out as gratifyingly heavy and heady.