The Protest has made a name for themselves throughout their native midwest with their raucous live shows and one of the most dedicated fanbases around. It’s been four years since those fans heard new music from The Protest, but they’ll find that Legacy was more than worth the wait.
Legacy is The Protest’s debut project with Rockfest Records, a label launched by Seventh Day Slumber’s Joseph Rojas. Its place as the first major release from the label is fitting, as Legacy is truly a product of this era of Christian rock as a whole. With cowrites from members of Disciple and LOYALS and Matt Arcaini (Disciple, Kutless) helming production, Legacy shows the way The Protest has invested in the broader community, serving as a case study for an era of support and unity. But even beyond that, this is an album full of songs that prove just how good Christian rock can be in 2018.
This album hits hard, as battle-ready album opener “Valor” instantly makes clear. Title track “Legacy” is a faith-forward monster of a song, relying heavily on Jarob Bramlett’s drumming and an anthemic declaration: “we’ll leave Your legacy.” With that simple lyric as the core thesis of this album, the guitar-centric sound builds into fight songs like radio wave-maker “What Else You Got” and the straightforward dirty riffs of “Knockout.”
One thing that has always marked The Protest’s music is the technical prowess of guitarists Adam Sadler and T.J. Colwell. That element continues to hold together Legacy (see the delightful guitar solo outro on “Bad Self”), but The Protest has managed to mesh that with more widely accessible melodic elements more successfully than ever before. “Noise Revolution” is a natural sequel to the band’s previous single “Welcome to the Freakshow,” offering an anthem for this generation with an infectious melody. “Take My Heart” is the closest this album comes to a ballad, channeling the worshipful and drawing out new elements of Josh Bramlett’s voice as it declares “Take my heart before it falls apart / I want to know that it’s still beating, I can’t seem to stop the bleeding.”
Although those themes of purpose and redemption run deep, The Protest also offers a refreshing element of pure fun. Legacy is simply enjoyable to listen to, front to back, which is a trait few rock albums balance so successfully. There’s a wonderful swagger in “Straight from the Barrel” and “Bad Self,” paired with a lyrical cadence that gets in your bones. Even darker tracks like “Stitched” are built around a full-bodied guitar riff and melody in the chorus that will have you itching to get to a live show.
Legacy is the best we’ve heard yet from The Protest. Their relentless grind on the road has paid off with a sound that has matured from past releases into something more broadly accessible and also somehow seems absolutely their own. There is a confidence in owning both the massive guitar hooks and their faith, a faith that focuses on leaving a legacy centered on the unconditional love of Jesus. Legacy launches a crucial new era for The Protest’s career and ushers in the era of Rockfest Records– an era of passion, community and heart. It’s an era we are listeners are fortunate to be invited into.
Related Artists: Disciple, Pillar, Nine Lashes