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The Protagonist - Songs of Experience

I remember downloading and listening to samples from the first album by The Protagonist a few years ago.  No, not illegally, but off the Cold Meat Industry website!  Out of all the bands I listened to, they were one of the ones that stood out.  The atmosphere and feeling that lone member, Magnus Sundström, could create was breathtaking.  I never actually bought the album the songs were from (A Rebours), but I kept a mental note that I didn't want to miss it if Sundström ever released a new CD.  Well, here we are many years later and The Protagonist is alive and well...much to my delight!

What we have here is a captivating album full of dark ambient and neo-classical sounds that will make all lovers of this genre, instant fans.  There is an overbearing feeling of darkness throughout the album, but not so much that it weighs too heavy on the soul.  Sundström knows how to introduce a mood and capitalize on that mood to it's fullest within each individual song.  And then, interspersed within many of the songs, are male and female spoken excerpts containing lines from poems and plays and sermons from the likes of William Blake, Shakespeare, Charles Baudelaire, and John Donne.  Add to all of this, a fair amount of cellos and choirs...and it felt like I was almost listening to one of the Lord of the Rings soundtracks at times.

So, the long wait is over.  Fans of The Protagonist should be pleased.  And if you're not a fan...you should be!

Rating: 94/100

Review By: Matt Morrow

Label: Cold Meat Industry

Total Songs: 8

Total Time: 45:17

Tracklisting: 1. The Sick Rose, 2. Hesperia, 3. Spirits of the Dead, 4. Down There, 5. The Hunt, 6. Strife, 7. La Fin De La Journée, 8. Sermon.   

Best Songs: Track 4.

Band Lineup: Magnus Sundström

Band Website: http://protagonist.coldmeat.se/