|Review: Protokult - No Beer in Heaven|
|No Beer in Heaven|
Year released: 2014
Genre: Pagan Metal
Review online: October 2, 2014
Reviewed by: MetalMike
for:No Beer in Heaven
Canada's Protokult plays the kind of Pagan Metal you are much more likely to hear from a northern European band. The singing ranges from high, clear female vocals to male vocals of every stripe, including Black, Death, gravelly and clear. There are the traditional guitar/bass/drums alongside unconventional instruments like strings, flutes and pipes. The guitar is the best thing on Protokult's second full-length, No Beer in Heaven. Everything from the acoustic strumming to the solos sounds great. What isn't so great is the songwriting. Protokult are literally all over the place. There are full-on Pagan/Black songs, straight up Hard Rock tracks, atmospheric, almost Middle Eastern melodies, Humppa-style party anthems and 80s alternative riffs. And that's not counting the "hidden" tracks, of which I will speak shortly. None of the songs is particularly bad but it's like they threw everything together in one pot expecting a unified stew and what happened instead was an incoherent mix of flavors that never mesh. The female and male vocal lines sometimes seem like they weren't meant to go together and clash painfully. Basically, every time I heard a riff or melody I liked, the band quickly switched gears, leaving me hanging. No Beer in Heaven is like a less bat-shit insane Sigh. And if it weren't enough of a laborious listen, the "hidden" tracks include an electronic dance tune and a faux Jamaican ode to marijuana, complete with steel drums. Steel drums? Who thought that was a good idea on what is, in theory, a Metal album?
I'm not going to say this band is untalented but on No Beer in Heaven they are unfocused to the point of distraction. I am all for innovation but this album offers very little incentive to sit through a bunch of wildly divergent and uninteresting crap just to hear an occasional interesting riff or chorus.
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