With Dead Hands Rising
Expect Hell

What a title. It just conjures up the image of Russell Crowe leading his hordes of battle scarred legions in the opening of Ridley Scott’s bloody master piece ‘Gladiator.’ What’s more, With Dead Hands Rising’s new opus wouldn’t be a bad soundtrack to accompany the mayhem that unfolds in those opening scenes, the band even seem aware of it themselves by opening this collection with the aptly titled ‘Piles of Burning Bodies.’

Anyway, for those of you not in the know, With Dead Hands Rising, aint that new, in fact they had released their debut Behind Inquisition, back when deathcore was in its infancy (and in fact, when some of the absolute best albums of the sound were forged). A follow up mini CD appeared in 2005 before they disappeared into the ether, presumed to be a done deal. Then, a buzz of activity saw them up tools, get a new deal and finally put together a new record.

Fortunately, the bile, technical precision and ripping speed that characterized their early work are present on Expect Hell, in fact, if anything, all those components are overtly pronounced so that the band’s strongest assets are duly flexed and bought to the forefront of the listener’s awareness. Thus, the storming opener leads seamlessly into an exhumed classic, ‘Tourniquet Girl,’ which hits even harder then when it first appeared before leading into a meshed quartet (via the brief instrumental ‘Hammer of the Gods,’) which again all focus on the bands primary strengths .

If there is a criticism to be made, its that the band rarely step outside their comfort zone, the only real instance being the sub three minute instrumental, ‘Momentary Alphabetical Congruence,’ which sees the mingling of Metallica-esque leads and soothing piano. On ‘Ultima,’ there are brief flutters of melodic harmonics that interlace with the thrashing insanity but in the overall context of the piece, these are minimized in order to keep that t aforementioned bile is prominently propelled forth.

It wouldn’t have been entirely surprising if Expect Hell, had been a colossal let down. Especially due to the factors that he band has undergone line-up changes and that ever recurring theme that there are masses and masses of bands (and worldwide now) churning out this stuff, yet, in spite of the increasing levels of saturation, there still seems a place (at least for this scribe) for With Dead Hands Rising.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Benjamin DeBlasi
September 15th, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: AdamChildress

    I wasn’t expecting to see a good review on this album…

    I don’t know what to think of it, I think I have to give it more of a chance.


  2. Commented by: swampthang

    local radio show kept playing this album awhile back. i thought it was boring wdhr didn’t really differ that much from there past releases. because usually im a deathcore maestro but this is just meh.


  3. Commented by: vegard

    i love this bands previous work, but this album didn’t do anything for me. they just sound like another metalcoreband on this one…


  4. Commented by: xBenx

    I’m just happy they are back, although I think they are suffering somewhat from the current climate with the sheer volume of deathcore bands.


  5. Commented by: krustster

    @swampthang: it might have been me playing it on your local radio station because I love the hell out of this album, and I was spinning it at all times (on the radio) when it was newer. I dunno, this band has always pressed my buttons. I think they have a really unique touch and their breakdowns especially are pretty original & awesome.


  6. Commented by: swampthang

    is your name Steve K


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