Protest the Hero Kezia

If A Calculated Use of Sound — Protest the Hero’s debut EP — showed promise, Kezia is the band delivering on their word. A vast improvement on their already compelling and original sound, the smooth amalgam of metal, thrash and punk demonstrated on this disc’s 12 tracks is made all the more mind-blowing when the youth of the band is taken into account. Age aside, songs such as "Blindfolds Aside” demonstrate a musical maturity possessed by too few bands playing fast, heavy music; a highly-developed sense of dynamics gives the song an unbelievably epic feel in just six minutes, as it morphs from an Iron Maiden b-side, to a massive screamo sing-along, to its gentle and moving acoustic finale. Certainly, the band owe a great debt to Maiden, as the riffs and high-pitched vocals on this album attest. Yet the band are much more than a carbon-copy of some of their more obvious influences, bringing in new and exciting sonic elements from the scene that surrounds them in Southern Ontario. (Underground Operations)