May 2024 - Feature Release - The Revolution Edition

First Post April 30, 2024 09:48 PM

So just like that we find that a new month is upon us which of course means that we’ll be nominating a brand new monthly feature release for each clan. This essentially means that we’re asking you to rate, review & discuss our chosen features for no other reason than because we enjoy the process & banter. We’re really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on our chosen releases so don’t be shy.

This month’s feature release for The Revolution has been nominated by myself. It's the 1993 sophomore album "Protestant" from New Jersey metalcore legends Rorschach, a band that I've not experienced much before but have had on my bucket list for some time now.

April 30, 2024 10:52 PM

One of two perfect classics from the true founding band of this revolutionary (no pun intended....maybe) genre of metalcore! Here's my review summary:

The original 90s creators of the metalcore universe returned for one last album. Album #2 Protestant is a kick-A masterpiece that would make weeks-long welcomed visits in the playlists of metalcore fans wanting to hear an early mix of the genre with many others! You can hear small bits of punky thrash, deathgrind, and black-doom added to their early metallic hardcore. With these influences, there's more riff variation than their violent metalcore-establishing debut Remain Sedate. For Protestant, they expanded on their early Voivod-like punk-thrash riffing into more creative variety. The Slayer-like dissonance is spiced up with tempo changes for progressive chaos. Breakdowns appear sparsely without any cliche over-usage. The abrasive guitar can sound atmospheric before going violent in the standard metalcore zone with hysterical shrieks to accompany the abstract madness that gets more melodic later. With top-notch music, anger, and atmosphere, this early metalcore classic is highly recommended for fans of metalcore, or simply metal or hardcore, and any mix of those two genres that has ever existed!


May 15, 2024 12:12 PM

Here's my review:

New Jersey metalcore outfit Rorschach have been on my radar to check out for quite some time now. I'd heard a few of their tracks while I was still programming the monthly The Revolution playlists & had always found their sound fairly attractive but I guess I'm not generally one to go chasing too much in the way of metalcore. The task of selecting every second The Revolution feature release has finally seen me investigating Rorschach though & I'm very glad I did because I've found them to be a class act that's deserving of the hype they inevitably seem to draw.

"Protestant" was clearly produced by a very competent group of musicians who knew what they were doing & had a clear sound in mind. Like a lot of the early metalcore releases, it sits heavily on the hardcore punk side of the metalcore equation but utilizes the best elements of that genre in conjunction with metal influences to great effect. The level of musicianship is exceptional for a bunch of rebellious punks to be honest with the arrangement & composition being very mature & showcasing a lot in the way of technique. I'm not the biggest fan of Charles Maggio's vocals as they tend to err on the generic, screamy side of the metalcore spectrum but they're certainly not a deal breaker by any means. It's the guitar work of Keith Huckins (Deadguy/Kiss It Goodbye) & Nick Forté (Raspberry Bulbs) that's the real attraction here though, particularly when they explore more atmospheric, arpeggiated or chaotic realms.

Another strength is that there are no weak tracks included amongst the thirteen included on "Protestant". It begins in very solid fashion & tends to maintain that level for most of the tracklisting. There's only really the one track that I'd suggest is capable of competing at the top tier of the metalcore hierarchy though in the classic "Blinders". The references to the mathcore subgenre are a little bit of a stretch though to tell you the truth. Yes, this material was fairly sophisticated for the time but I'm not sure I would ever tag it as chaotic, hectic or spasmodic. It's perhaps just a touch more progressive than you would usually expect from the hardcore scene which is intended as a compliment in this context.

"Protestant" is a very strong record overall & is definitely the sort of metalcore record I find myself attracted to. It doesn't rely on production or gimmicks to draw the listeners attention, instead focusing on strong song-writing & punk rock energy to perform the task & it works a treat. In fact, I've gone so far as to include "Protestant" in my newly revised Top Ten Metalcore Releases of All Time list which is really saying something given that it's not generally a genre of choice for me. I can tell a good record when I hear one though & "Protestant" fits the bill nicely.