Kezia (album)

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Kezia
Studio album by Protest the Hero
Released Canada August 30, 2005
United States April 4, 2006
Recorded 2004 - 2005
Hamilton, Ontario
Genre Progressive metal, mathcore
Length 43:39
Label Canada Underground Operations
United States Vagrant
Producer Julius "Juice" Butty
Protest the Hero chronology
A Calculated Use of Sound
(2003)
Kezia
(2005)
Fortress
(2008)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Absolutepunk.net (88/100) [1]
Allmusic 4/5 stars [2]
Metal Storm 9.5/10 stars [3]
Metal Review 5.5/6 stars [4]
Sputnikmusic 4/5 stars [5]

Kezia (/kəˈz.ə/ kə-ZY) is the debut full-length release by the Canadian progressive metal band Protest the Hero. It is considered a concept album.

Overview[edit]

Production began in late 2004 overseen by Julius "Juice" Butty as their producer-in-chief (known for his work on Alexisonfire's gold-selling album Watch Out!). After mounting anticipation from fans, Kezia was released in Canada on August 30, 2005 selling 500 copies in the first week and went on to sell more than 5000 copies in the next 2–3 weeks, not including off-stage sales at the several release parties and shows the band played the week of release.[6] The American release on April 4, 2006 debuted with an online contest where the first one hundred album purchases were rewarded with an additional album - A Calculated Use of Sound, the 2004 reissue.

Kezia is a concept album, described by the band members as a "situationist requiem".

In an interview from July 2006, Rody Walker describes the concept of the album, "There are two ways to explain the concept behind "Kezia": the literal meaning of it and the deeper meaning behind it. The simple explanation is that you have three characters on the album who all describe a certain situation from their point of view, which is the execution of a woman. We chose a priest, a prison guard who's also the executioner and the woman in question, Kezia. They all have three songs to tell their story. In the first song they paint a general picture, the second track explains how the character feels connected to Kezia and the third one is their view on the shooting of Kezia. The last song on the album brings us as a band into the picture, although the lyrics are written in the form of Kezia's last words. The deeper meaning of the concept is the gradual downfall of our society. We tried to make the lyrics timeless, so the story could be situated in any time period. There are also political and social critical messages in it. Not that we bluntly say that we hate Tony Blair or George Bush, but more in general comments on the fact that religion and power are getting more intwined every day. The album is also about the responsibility that everyone has as a member of our society. It's your civil duty to act when you need to."[7]

Reception[edit]

The album achieved universal acclaim with many reviewers praising the album for its technicality and Walker's vocal range. Corey Apar of Allmusic states: "Sounding as if maximum emotion were packed into every second possible, each note of Kezia bleeds urgent passion — from the searing vocals of Rody Walker to blistering guitar leads to acoustic midsong breaks to compelling harmonies and growls alike."[2] Furthermore, Kezia received a nomination from Toronto based radio station 102.1 the edge for their 2005 CASBY Awards for Favorite New Indie Release,[8] and received a glowing review in Time Canada magazine.[citation needed]

The song "Bury the Hatchet" is available for download on the Xbox 360 version of Guitar Hero II. "Divinity Within" is also featured on the soundtrack to NHL 07.

Videos[edit]

Protest the Hero's second music video, for the song "Blindfolds Aside", was released in November 2005. The video features Protest the Hero as both condemned victims and executioners. The condemned are wearing blindfolds for the majority of the video and playing their instruments whereas the executioners are dressed as soldiers. The video contains the song shortened by 35 seconds, removing some instrumental sections that appear on the album version. "Blindfolds Aside" receives light rotation on the music television station Much Music, but greater exposure on the brother channel Much Loud. The video was filmed in Toronto, Ontario.

The band filmed their third video for the song "Heretics and Killers" in mid-February 2006. It was released in April 2006. The video features the band dressed as the flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz who have lost their jobs (as a result of thel Wicked Witch's death). The video switches from scenes of the band pefroming in a small room to individual band members begging and doing odd jobs. The video is shot entirely in sepia until an explosive instrumental break-out in which vibrant colours are used for the remainder of the video.

On May 17, 2007, the band shot a video for their final single from Kezia, "The Divine Suicide of K". It features a more gothic setting where the members of the group sing in an imaginary bar for female vampires.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Protest the Hero

Part I: Prison Priest
No. Title Length
1. "No Stars Over Bethlehem"   3:48
2. "Heretics & Killers"   3:09
3. "Divinity Within"   4:32
Part II: Prison Guard
No. Title Length
4. "Bury the Hatchet"   3:23
5. "Nautical"   2:57
6. "Blindfolds Aside"   5:59
Part III: Kezia
No. Title Length
7. "She Who Mars the Skin of Gods"   3:51
8. "Turn Soonest to the Sea"   6:21
9. "The Divine Suicide of K."   5:10
Part IV: Finale
No. Title Length
10. "A Plateful of Our Dead"   4:29

Personnel[edit]

Band members[edit]

  • Rody Walker — vocals
  • Tim Millar — guitar
  • Moe Carlson — drums
  • Luke Hoskin — guitar, piano, backing vocals
  • Arif Mirabdolbaghi - bass, backing vocals

Other personnel[edit]

  • Jadea Kelly — vocals
  • Paul Distefano — vocals
  • Julius Butty — production, recording, mixing, additional vocals
  • London Spicoluk — vocals, executive production
  • Lucas Venditti - Vocals
  • Marco Bressette — additional guitars and string arrangements
  • Joao Carvalho — mastering
  • Garnet Armstrong — art direction and design
  • Ivan Otis — photography

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Protest The Hero - Kezia - Album Review". AbsolutePunk.net. 2006-04-04. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  2. ^ a b Apar, Corey. Kezia (album) at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
  3. ^ "Protest The Hero - Kezia review - Metal Storm". Metalstorm.ee. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "Protest the Hero - Kezia (staff review)". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  6. ^ CANOE - JAM! - Protest The Hero makes progress
  7. ^ David. "Protest The Hero: Conceptual Prodigies". Retrieved 7/1/2012. 
  8. ^ "102.1 The Edge names 2005 Casby Contenders". Corus Entertainment. 2005-09-27. Retrieved 2008-01-16. [dead link]