I’ve mentioned the band Protest the Hero here a few times, naming them as one of my favorite bands. Well, I just discovered something that makes me like them even more.
Their latest album, Fortress, came out in January of this year, and it was awesome. But I recently discovered that they’ve made it even more awesome—there is now available a version of the album that has all the regular tracks, plus instrumental versions of all of the tracks, and it’s still the same price as the regular album. (Of course, I paid double, since I bought the album when it originally came out, which did not have the instrumental tracks.) Or, I’m assuming this is new anyway—I bought the CD version of the album, and this double album version seems to only be available via iTunes [link (opens iTunes)], so it could have been there all along as an iTunes exclusive.
In any case, the instrumental version of the album is equally awesome, and speaks highly of just how intricately crafted their songs are. I’d imagine that you couldn’t strip away the vocals of just any song and still have a “complete” song—it would seem like it’s missing something. Having listened to the with-vocals version many times myself, it’s harder for me to judge the instrumental version of Fortress purely—at first, to me, it did sound a bit like there was something missing, but after having listened to the instrumental version a couple times, I have to say, I’m not sure that anyone who wasn’t familiar with the vocal version would ever think that, and the more I listen, the more I think they work beautifully without the lyrics.
If you like metal at all, or you just really dig fancy guitar-work, I’d highly recommend picking up the instrumental version of the album. I don’t think you can listen to whole instrumental tracks anywhere online, so if you want to try before you buy, I’d suggest buying “Sequoia Throne”—it’s probably their best song with or without vocals.