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Protest – Abuse of Power

Abuse of Power
by Bradley Karr at 19 February 2018, 4:13 AM

PROTEST is a thrashcore band from Dallas Texas. The band was started in 2003, it blends thrash with a modern twist of hardcore. Their new album “Abuse of Power” follows up 2015’s “Corruption Code.” PROTEST hasn’t changed up their working formula too much from the last album.

“A Pledge to Terror” starts out with heavy fast guitar riffs and an onslaught of drum beats. The track gets a little more melodic when the vocals kick in. The gruff wails of Champ Morgan pull the track together into a cohesive heavy riff. This track has some awesome solo guitar riffs that will stick with you long after the song has ended.

“Enlightened Masters” takes a slower approach letting the sound engulf you, without overpowering you. Throughout the song it takes its times building upon itself speeding up just in a few places. The double bass hits can be clearly heard on the more subdued track. Subdued until the guitar solo kicks and then it picks up the pace but comes back to the familiar cadence after the solo. This abrupt change in speed would be the only flaw I have with the song, as it seems like it doesn’t know what kind of song it they want it to be.

“Abuse of Power” begins by adding layers of music onto itself as the track progresses. The building of the sound has an interesting feel to it because it seems the song is growing as it is being played.  The vocals are what you have come accustomed to by now, a little faster on this track to keep up with the music. The drums take center stage on this track. The drum hits are very prominent and can be heard above everything else throughout the song.

The band changes it up for “The Condemnation Flame.” It begins with what sounds like Cello, with guitars mixed in. This song is very ambient as it slowly creeps to the crescendo. Once the track hits it takes no prisoners. Its fast-paced guitar riffs and heavy drum hits take the song into familiar territory. The vocals are more subdued on this track, but still have the emotion and power. I was reminded how Phil from Pantera delivers his vocals. This song is done very well, it is would have to be my favorite on the album.

“Star Spangled Disasters” is another track that starts out more subdued than the rest of the track. I think in this song the band finds the sound it does best. The music isn’t trying to be as fast and hard as it can but takes on a more melodic tone. Songs like this is where the band shines, and in my opinion where they should stay.

PROTEST ends the album with the track “The Invisible Hand.” This is a more straight up thrash track with very fast guitars and hard-hitting drum beats. Overall not a bad song, but I think the band loses something in these faster songs. The emotion that I felt in other songs on this album doesn’t seem as apparent in the really thrashy fast songs.

I enjoyed a lot of “Abuse of Power.” PROTEST have found a way to blend thrash and more modern hardcore into and interesting mix. I personally enjoy the songs on the more hardcore side than the thrash side. As I stated before I feel more emotion and connection with the songs that take their time and try not to be so fast. Overall this is a good album and I think it will speak to anyone that is a fan of old school thrash or modern hardcore.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. A Pledge to Terror
2. Anonymous War Machine
3. Enlightened Masters
4. Green River
5. Abuse of Power
6. My Friend, My Enemy
7. The Condemnation Flame
8. Useless Weapon
9. Devolution
10. Star Spangled Disasters
11. The Invisible Hand
Champ Morgan – Vocals
Jason French – Lead Guitar
Ronnie Sterling – Rhythm Guitar
Michael Arellano – Drums
Chuck Miller – Bass
Record Label: Sound of White Noise Records


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