With Dead Hands Rising
The Horror Grows Near

It’s amazing what a great production can do. This band’s debut album Behind Inquisition hinted at a perfectly blended array of grinding death metal and metalcore, but was rendered pretty flat because of a subpar production. Now as the genre is burgeoning to the point of saturation, WDHR have timed this nice little EP perfectly and given it a production worthy of their fine song writing.

While most readers of this site will more than likely moan at the prospect of a another death metal/metalcore crossover, the fact remains the mix of European styled harmonies and US based hardcore beef is appealing to me and with this EP, WDHR appear to be ready to rise to the top of the genre along the likes of The Glass Casket, The Red Chord and Beyond the Sixth Seal. The Eric Rachael (A Perfect Murder, Dead to Fall) production immediately raises the quality of the songs, giving them a thick yet harmonic gloss that allows their European (Ebony Tears, and Sacrilege come to mind) harmonies to breath through the stout breakdowns.

The centerpiece of this 6 track EP is the monstrous “Distress Patterns” that while littered with now familiar and over used structures (dual harmonies, dual growled/screamed vocals, massive breakdowns), does all of them perfectly and with an energy that demands attention. WDHR do fall into cliche traps a little to much with the sappy, acoustic laden instrumental “Early Winter Transmission,” but return to the thick rumbling assault of “The Poisoning” to rectify the overly emotional error. The Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure infatuation found on the debut returns with a nicely “metal” snippet to kick off “That’s Why You Don’t Pick up Dead Crows,” which features the EP’s most intricate and twiddling harmonies, but still manages to end with a dissonantly lurching climax.

It bothers me that these bands/labels feel the need to belt out EP’s that leave your palette teased rather than wait for a full length, but still WDHR seem poised to grow into leader in the a scene desperately in need of some character.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 3rd, 2004


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