Comprising vocalist Zack Harvey, sticksman Jose Puga, bassist (and backing vocalist) Nick Cook as well guitarist duo Jack Harmon and Estevan Lerma, Godhand are the latest Downtempo Metalcore crew out of Huston Texas. Mixed & Mastered by Gabor Toth, their debut EP has been some time in the works.
An eerie lead riff swirls, broken by chunky pause break chugs during the intro of EP opener “Stones Scale” to set a dark tone. Zack Harvey provides a rap-screamed vocal that at times reaches the touching distance of a Deathcore vocal but instead he choses to take things down a couple of notches and move between a Hardcore bark and a growl. The “Bleigh!” is something of a surprise timing wise but well received! “Control” has some surprise KoRn lead riff elements in amongst the dirgy Downtempo core guitar sound that Godhand offer. Lyrically socially aware with more of a Hardcore theme to it about System Collapse, the song it also interspliced with some choice “Arf. Arf.” moments, while a distinctly Deathcore elongated pig squeal verse is a little bit out of place over a stompy slow groove riff. Originally released in November 2018, “Neglected” takes the KoRn-ism riff and uses it like a pendulum or ticking clock over the opening salvo of the slow guitar attack to create a tension before the surprise leap into blast beats. Rotating the groove back to the pendulum leads to skull crushing effect while Harvey delivers a Nu-Metal lyric about a broken relationship mixes up the style leanings while losing none of the energy. That pendulum lead is designed to grate on your ears and does exactly that. Some fans are going to love it and laugh hard at the reaction of others at first listen while others are going to feel the polar opposite.
“Hellbound” takes the Downtempo riffage to a new slow, in stark contrast to the vocal delivery which has a much faster flow. The story of the hell of a broken home continues the Downtempo journey into Nu-Metalcore territory with an off kilter de-tuned guitar solo creating a darker mood to match the lyrical violence. After a silence and faint bass tones “Demise” starts with an eerie lead riff before the drums kick in full throttle and pummel the tension out of the air with some accompanying heavy gauge chugs. The kit work from Jose Puga throughout the final cut is incredible, a step up from the rest of the material as the shackles are clearly off at this point. A song about the demise of humanity due to it’s parasitic nature is a thematic step away from the more personal mid-EP tunes but is very much thought provoking and on point. The question is, where to now? [7/10]