'Gaining more and more fans with each release, Protestant are a band to look out for. With their dark and crust-influenced style of punk, they managed to create their own little spot within the genre and they're determined to keep it. Reclamation is another step forward for a fast progressing band that I was pretty excited to review.
The 5-song EP kicks off with "Home"; after a second of feedback they leave you no time to prepare for what's coming. Fast drumming topped with the melodic yet rapid guitar playing create this angsty atmosphere. Especially when the song breaks down into a more spheric part where the vocals really shine, this feeling really got to me. A perfect way to open the EP!
Next is "Jan Palach". This one is a bit more melodic than the previous song. Only two songs into the whole record and I'm already really impressed with the musicianship; the drums are fantastic and the guitarists do a great job creating these fast and melodic riffs that fit the vocals perfectly. The gang vocals they incorporated into the chorus really got to me. If there's one thing this band knows, it is how to create a certain athmosphere with their songs.
On to the title track, "Reclamation", they slow things down a bit but they keep the image they've been creating more than ever. Call me crazy, but throughout the whole record I pictured this as the soundtrack to a fugitive escaping his captors and running from them in pure desperation and rage. When this song started I got that feeling more than ever. Anyway, after the slower start of this song they go back to the formula they've been using on the previous two, only to slow it back down near the end (great drumming again) and they all nail these transitions perfectly.
"Unbecoming" starts of clean but is obviously building up to something, after half a minute it all breaks loose and you get this really cool part that shows their heaviness but is also melodic in a really cool and captivating way. I feel like this song will work great live because the pouding parts near the middle are perfect for shouting along while giving all you got out there. This is my favourite song so far I guess.
The whole thing closes with "Salad Days", but I didn't expect anything less from them than to go out with a bang. They do what they do best on this one: play their brand of fast punk with a dark yet melodic edge. Near the middle they decide to change things up, and again they create this amazing atmosphere using great song structure to get the feeling along.
I liked this band before listening to this, but they managed to lift me to whole new levels of appreciation. Reclamation is pretty close to being a flawless release, the only remark I might have is that they maybe use the same formula too much, but if it works - why change it, right ? If you're into bands like Alpinist, Vestiges and at some points The Long Haul, you're obliged to give this one a listen because I'm sure you'll love it.'