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Protest The Hero, live in London

Live Review

Venue: Koko, London

Support: The Safety Fire, The Contortionist, Palm Reader

The high energy progressive metallers Protest The Hero headlined Camden's Koko venue with support from some of the hottest names in the ever-growing world of prog metal (and Palm Reader, who stick out a bit). Nevertheless, here's what we learned...

There's Something Missing From Palm Reader's Set

The Palm Reader live experience only conveys a small proportion of their appeal. They are aggressive and undoubtedly capable in person, but don’t get a chance to display that current of regret and emotion that sets debut Bad Weather so far above their so-called contemporaries. They give new track I Watch The Fire Chase My Tongue an airing, and it’s raw and savage, and leaves your stomach on the floor when the breakdown drops. An exciting insight into what upcoming album Beside The Ones We Love is about.

The Contortionist Are Wolves In Sheeps' Clothing

The Contortionist look untouched by their rapid ascendancy to the upper echelons of the technical metal elite. Loafers and khakis are the order of the day – a new uniform for the post-Between The Buried And Me generation. It’s all a big ruse though, designed to mislead; their music is a mesh of sweet vocals, overt technicality and shuddering riffs, pockmarked with Mike Lessard’s merciless growl. Language, parts one and two, from their new album of the same name, saunters between ethereal transcendence and barbarism. The moments of savagery are used sparingly though, and it sounds brilliant within the genteel climes of Koko. With all this, who gives a fig if they look like they’ve spent all their beer tokens at Debenhams?

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