Review: “God Hand” by Brand Of Sacrifice

Genre blending Death Metal, Deathcore and Hardcore with members of Earthshatter, The Afterimage and Ascariasis in the ranks, Brand Of Sacrifice have been making waves of late via Unique Leader Records. Kyle Anderson (vocals), Michael Leo Valeri (guitars, production), Liam Beeson (guitars), Dylan Gould (bass) and Rob Zalischi (drums), who hail from Toronto Canada and Manhattan New York, followed up their 2018 debut EP “The Interstice” with their debut full length album “God Hand” in July 2019. Known for Beserker themes and Alien Future sounds within their riff matrix of short and brutal tracks, here’s our review.

A brief piece of melody makes way for some Deathcore battery in “Begin” but when Kyle Anderson’s brutal Slamming Death Metal vocals grab you by the throat and drag you kicking and screaming down the path, you know this is another level of heavy, while also allowing time for a downtempo groove moment. Blast beats hit like artillery fire as Brand Of Sacrifice cross sub-genres back and forth with Tech-Metal infusions in “Divinity” that separate the weak from the strong. Sinister and darkly atmospheric it gives bands like South Africans Vulvodynia a run for their money, especially during the closing pause break drumming brutality. Opening with a Metallic Hardcore riff that gets bigger and bigger “Fortress” sees Anderson push his Slam heavy vocals further while keeping his uncleans for later on so you get a nice combination of throat instrument Vs lyrical content audibility. It’s the squeals from the guitars and the technical elements in the riffs that win the day on this one.

On first listen it sounds like some of the kit work is programmed on “Charlotte“, although that maybe doing Zalischi a disservice. A tale of a woman under the spell of a man who abuses that trust might seem like an odd subject matter for a Deathcore track but it allows Anderson to show off his storytelling abilities lyrically and vocally. It’s still a brutal track as even if it has been obviously formulated as a single with some of the ferociousness tempered. “The Branded” is a thunderstorm after the relative calm of “Charlotte” which attacks from all directions with breakdowns piled high like pancake stacks and squeals replacing riffs at times. The drum sound is immense and it’s circle pit time from start to finish. “Hill Of Swords” has an Asian inspired interlude that helps break up the relentless pursuit of skull crushing battery and may end up being a live introduction piece before “Claw Marks” buries the Asian electronics underneath the weight of crushing riffs and pummelling rhythms. Lyrics take the form of a Power Metal style fantasy with the likes of “Defy and pick up your sword, let me see your claw marks” being instant chant moments should Anderson off the microphone to the crowd when they play live.

As with “Hill Of Swords“, instrumental piece “After Image” is a piece of cinematic music that while beautiful in a shoegazing way is slightly out of place but makes way for the blunt instrument that is “Beast Of Darkness” to hit hard. A blisteringly frenetic affair loaded with tension, blast beats and buried electronica, there is so much going on that you won’t get it all first time around. A sample about the World being controlled by another being is a timely intervention before the final verse smashes the whole thing into obliteration. Continuing the storyline “God Hand” tells tale of the hand of God destroying the Earth. A blend of Death Metal roars of shrill shrieked vocals tie everything together with a bow and and after the downtempo slow down, you’re left breathless by the violence [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Begin
  2. Divinity
  3. Fortress
  4. Charlotte
  5. The Branded
  6. Hill Of Swords
  7. Claw Marks
  8. After Image
  9. Beast Of Darkness
  10. God Hand

God Hand” by Brand Of Sacrifice is out now via Unique Leader Records and is available over at bandcamp

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