Label : Femme Metal Records

Review by Tony Cannella

I have been hearing a lot about the U.K.’s Progressive Goth Metal band hAND for a few years,without ever actually hearing their music. I always thought that they had a very unique band name and was curious if their music was a match for that unique moniker. When their 2nd full-length “Breathing” arrived to me, it was with great anticipation that I gave it a spin and was FINALLY given the opportunity to sample this fine band. hAND is only made up of three members. Vocalist Kat Ward (who also plays bass and piano) has an understated laid back quality to her voice and musically the band incorporates intricate progressive compositions with dark Gothic Music. The first track “Song No B” is a perfect example of this and gets “Breathing” off to a great start. “The Pier” is next and begins with a slower tempo, before picking up steam as the song progresses, this song actually transforms into one of the most avant-garde numbers here, with the band incorporating a number of influences from heavier, thrashy parts to a sort of 70s hard rock parts, this song changes direction many times and it is difficult to describe, this is just a flat out great song and my favorite on “Breathing”. “Mimicry” is next and starts off once again with a slower tempo, before building once again and then really taking off. Other highlights include: “Flee”, “The Neon Hero” (a 9-minute instrumental) and “FSO”. Musically, there is a bit of a Pink Floyd vibe going on with the songs, only heavier. Okay, I will admit to not being overly impressed with “Breathing” upon first listen, but after each subsequent spin, I really grew to love what was going on in “Breathing”. To me they sound more progressive than Goth and they have the musicianship chops to back it up, but that’s a debate for another day. One thing is for certain hAND definitely delivers on “Breathing”.

Rating – 85/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Song No B
  2. The Pier
  3. Mimicry
  4. Flee
  5. The Neon Hero
  6. Supersonic
  7. FSODB-Blue
  8. Re-Animation

 

Line Up

  • Kat Ward – Vocals, Bass & Piano
  • Kieren Johnstone – Guitar
  • Cris Nelson – Drums & Percussion

 

Links

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