Review: “The Bitter End” by Dark Hand

Recorded at Exodian Studios and mastered by Phil Pluskota (King Conquer, Misery Signals, Beyond Deviation) at Sonic Assault Studios, “The Bitter End” marks the first burnt offering from Dark Hand, a Deathcore outfit hailing from Western North Carolina. Comprising vocalist Tyler Hall, guitarist Zach Russell, drummer Adam Freshcorn and bassist Zack Reuther, they have a reputation for inciting the two step with DJent and Groove Metal flair alongside the usual bone crushing breakdowns.

The blackened artwork could give you the false impression that Dark Hand are following the path of bands like Enterprise Earth but as blistering opening cut “Ruins” the picture before music clearer. The bludgeoning breakdowns are separated by rampaging Death Metal riffs and galloping percussive battery with the pace and energy of a Dodge Charger hitting the freeway. The atmospherics at times lean on roots in early 2003 era Metalcore with a distinct meloncholic meandering lingering in the melody and in the bellowed vocal narrative. That feeling continues into “Fire and Chains“, a cut with huge two step and headbang appeal, the rhythmic dynamic offering a Tech Metal edge so sharp it cuts like a guillotine. Whoever it was who crossed Hall will endure the lyrics until their end of their unnatural life. Guest vocalist Brennan Orr adds a deeper growl and Slam moments to the sinister, menacing and brooding “Witch’s Lair” which floats on a cloud of DJent fuelled Technical Deathcore riffs the create something as dark and destructive as they come. A powerhouse that starts a journey down the left hand path for the band, building on the foundations of the earlier cuts but by the same token stylistically stepping into heavier new territory that offers a whole new realm of existence should the band want to play here. Bringing the curtain down “Nothings Left” finds Dark Hand in the domain of The Acacia Strain, once again summoning the two steppers to the pit for some old fashioned violence. The Metallic Hardcore inspired chugging riffs make the ground temble beneath the feet while the change up from the usual bellowed vocal to one that borders on Slam territory for the final chorus is enough to make your eyes pop out on stalks [7/10]

Track Listing

  1. Ruins
  2. Fire and Chains
  3. Witch’s Lair (ft. Brennan Orr)
  4. Nothing Left

The Bitter End” by Dark Hand is out now and available over at bandcamp

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