Connect with Protector
Protector’s had a great run of albums since vocalist Martin Missy assembled a new line-up in Sweden, with Reanimated Homunculus and Cursed and Coronated providing plenty of killer songs for fans new and old alike. No matter where the band may currently call home they haven’t wavered from the type of fast, aggressive thrash that has been a staple for over thirty years and this year’s Summon the Hordes is no exception. The ten-track album hits hard and delivers the right dose of thrash with no filler, making this another strong showing from the long-running group.
In their earlier days Protector showed a knack for sheer, unbridled speed and heavier tonality that often went a bit into death metal territory. On Summon the Hordes the production may be a bit more modern sounding but the instrumentalists are still channeling that same spirit when it comes to their songwriting. A significant amount of the album flies by at top speed with scorching riffs and solos that feel like they can peel your skin right off, but the band knows just when to slow things down to let the flames fan outwards a bit. There’s just the right amount of weight to the drumming and the overall heaviness of the tonality does give off a bit of a death metal edge once again, but the riffing remains pure thrash and you can tell that this version of Protector remains influenced by some of the best elements of Golem and Urm the Mad. Admittedly by the end of Summon the Hordes the songs have fallen into some familiar patterns, but the band keeps things at a brief 38 minutes and ensures that the material doesn’t overstay its welcome, hitting you with killer solos all the way through to hold your attention even when some of the ideas start to blur together.
Despite the thirty-year gap between the two albums Martin Missy was on during the band’s early days and the more recent material he still sounds just as intense and in your face. For the uninitiated the raspier screaming range might remind you a bit of Sodom’s Tom Angelripper, which suits Protector’s music quite well and helps to keep the intensity at a maximum with every verse. Compared to the last two albums the vocals do seem to be a bit higher in the mix and there’s a bit more separation between the instrumentals, which makes Missy’s abrasive screams tear through your speakers. It’s an approach that works well and it’s great to see that even after all this time he can deliver just as much energy as before.
A few of the songs feel just a bit too similar, but the amount of stand-out leads and solos more than makes up for it. If you’ve been following these guys in recent years this album is just as strong as its predecessors, and if you’re a newcomer this isn’t a bad place to start provided you track down the reissues High Roller did of Golem and Urm the Mad immediately afterwards. Protector never seems to get mentioned as often as Kreator or Destruction but the quality of both their early and recent material makes them worthy of the same level of attention. Summon the Hordes is available from High Roller Records.
-Review by Chris Dahlberg
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to share it with others to help us grow. You can also like and follow us on the social media of your choice with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon.