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Black Hand Throne Review Of debut Album from UK Metal Underground

Reviewed by: SUBSILENCED This band manages to be full of surprises, whilst still being a classic example of hefty, skull-mashing doom. The influences clearly extend further than the typical Sabbath-worship one might (uncharitably) expect from a doom band in this day and age; it all feels a bit like a collision between 70's riff-o-rama and misanthropic modern bleakness. The double kick drumming is used well in the context of the music, and the tempos of the songs are sensibly varied. One thing that struck me about the opening song All Wrong is how the riffs manage to constantly maintain a sense of building tension, spiralling toward some gruesome climax, all the while maintaining cohesion. It is also worth noting that the exact second I started to get bored by the song, it immediately faded out! Well judged song lengths are a very good thing in this genre. Golgotha immediately made me sit up and take notice with some fairly low-key, but none the less clean vocals, used to good effect (and sparingly!) in the rest of the songs here. Performance wise, these guys are right on the money. The guitarists display excellent 'doom-discipline' and never overplay when it might be tempting to do so. The whole band are as tight as a gopher's chuff, and sound like they have been playing together for an unhealthy amount of time. Burning Forever is one of the simpler songs the band have available, but nonetheless manages to smash it's way into your brain and start kicking over the furniture. It provides an excellent example of how sometimes, all you need is groove. Time for War Tomb; YAY a song with rain samples as the intro. Haven't heard one of those in at least 5 minutes. The backwards guitar is quite nice though. Getting into the song proper, I was glad to see a tasteful solo cropping up, along with some truly devastating riffage. The clean vocals are once again a nice contrast with the grinding rasp of the main vocals. When The End Comes Calling lopes along satisfyingly, upping the atmosphere stakes and throwing in some meaty hardcore chugging in for good measure. The final track, Iron Fist is a gloriously bleak offering, winding down into a false ending, at which point the groove comes back and has it's way with you again. Black Hand Throne have definitely got a good thing going here. I would love to see them supporting a band such as YOB, preferably in a small dingy venue with bad lighting. I cannot fault the production on these tracks, and I realised that the first time I listened to these songs the production didn't even enter my mind, which in my view is one of the best kinds of production; so utterly transparent that you are fully exposed to the raw output of the band. There is a niggling feeling in the back of my mind that many listeners may find their attention spans ebbing during the last couple of minutes of these tracks, which can't really be helped. Some people just aren't into this stuff, and, to give Black Hand Throne some pre-emptive credit, it's likely that these listeners are not the type of metalheads the band spend their time playing to in any case. Definitely an acquired taste. I also worry that they may find it easy to get stuck in a creative rut, since in this genre it is easy to repeat yourself and re-hash the same ideas. If the band can keep an objective point of view and don't stop experimenting, I foresee great things. Black Hand Throne are an excellent addition the doom pantheon. All Hail. 8.5/10 SUBSILENCED

Black Hand Throne Review of debut Album from Shu-izmz

Black Hand Throne review from Bryan Shuessler of SHU-IZMZ Saturday, November 14, 2009 How dark and heavy do you like your METAL? If one digs their metal dark and evil, on the side of doom, then Black Hand Throne is their cup of black embryonic ooze. The debut album goes between deep and bass-driven, melodic vocals and then jumps back to screeching, death metal-like growls in songs that are doom-like in nature and evil in their simplicity. From songs such as "All Wrong" and "Golgotha" that rely on strong change-ups and pleasing rhythms, interludes that slow the song down to a post-apocalyptic sounding ballad then speed up to a thrash-crescendo riff-assault that will have one banging their head in proper fashion with vocals reminiscent of Peter Steele or early Glenn Danzig, deep and resounding in bass. With "Burning Forever", the vocals come to the listener as if Black Hand Throne were being awakened from their nightmare in true Black Metal fashion, screeching and pain-induced shrieks assault the listener with no break or mercy. The band's riff's and switch-ups in tempo and pace make listening to them interesting and fresh. Their songs do not go stale and draw in upon many obvious influences. At times I felt that there was Southern Metal in some of their songs, a bit of darkness influenced from Black Metal and Doom/Gloom, but in a style that is all their own. When I got to "War Tomb", which had the most plays on their media player on the Myspace webpage, I expecting something really special, for it had over 1,000 views more than other songs on their webpage. At over seven minutes in duration, I hoped that the slow and ballad-esque first three minutes was going to pick up in speed and aggression, for that is generally how I take my dose of metal, and it did. It is the most thematic of the songs, actually making out lyrics here and there, mixed in with sound effects of mortars and explosions from any number of possible military conquests our military has gone on and been engaged in. "When the End Comes Calling" comes back with their trademark sound, catchy riffs full of twang, tempo-changes, and growling guttural vocals paired with higher-pitched squeals and low roars reminiscent of Phil Anselmo's howls when singing for Pantera. Finally, with "Iron Fist", we are assaulted with some double-bass drumming and epic throngs that come to a standstill in a moment of a single-guitar playing that slows down the song, only to go back to onslaught with an even more fevered intensity than earlier. Black Hand Throne hails from the South and its evident in their brand of music. If ever down in South Carolina, check them out. There is not much in terms of music reviews at SHU-IZMZ, but every so often I have to mention a band that I dig think readers would dig as well. Black Hand Throne is one of those such bands. If I can't see myself blasting this while driving down the streets of Chicago, than it isn't even worth noting or reviewing, unless of course I just want to trash a band that I deem unworthy even of existence. Fortunately, Black Hand Throne was not that band. Look for Black Hand Throne's self-titled debut to be dropping soon, but for now get your does of them at their page on Myspace! Posted by shu at 11:36 AM