Back in 2012 the excellent Halo of Flies released two slabs of vinyl from one of the hardest working and best ‘real’ hardcore/punk bands out there, Wisconsin’s Protestant. Both releases were on vinyl with Stalemate being a 6 song 10″ release and the latter release, Reclamation being a 5 song 12″ LP. Both releases blend together seamlessly with the sound started on 2011s Judgements LP, where the band dropped some of the sludgier, doomier hues in favor of a darkly melodic and intense take on hardcore/crust that come across like a burlier Bane mixed with Tragedy fighting depression and an analog fueled mean streak.

Though a 12″, Reclamation only runs for 20 minutes, but has 2 almost 5-minute songs and is equally intense with a consistent guitar tone and sound (as both were recorded at local Howl City Studios), despite being a separate release. All have the same dark, melancholic undercurrent- this isn’t uplifting, singalong, clean, safe hardcore, it’s crusty,d-beat- ish, mean and tangibly pissed. Opener “Home” has just a sick, slower bridge at 2:16 while ” Jan Palachi” (about a Czech activist who set himself on fire in 1969) while having a gang chant of sorts, the song drips with an intensity matching the subject matter. “Unbecoming” is this releases longest cut and a patient brooding number before “Salad Days” suddenly explodes from the speakers and close the 12″ out with a furious climax. Killer release and again prove Protestant to be at the very forefront of the modern hardcore/punk movement and the rest of the scene had better pay attention.
(Chaos Rurale Records)