Album Review :
Hands - Creator

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Artist: Hands
Album: Creator
Label: Facedown
Review by: Stephen M

1. Hurricanes
2. Rescue
3. Brightest
4. The Heavens And The Earth
5. Of The Flesh
6. Robed In Majesty
7. The Least of These
8. Resistance
9. Returning
10. Creator

Hands is comprised of four men coming out of Fargo, North Dakota and they have collaborated together with Facedown Records to produce “Creator” as their label debut album. They are a progressive rock band with hardcore and metal elements. They can be compared to bands such as Misery Signals, Life In Your Way and Between the Buried and Me.

Musically this CD takes on a bunch of different spins – they sing, talk, scream, and yell their way through all ten tracks creating a sound that is sincere and filled with emotion. I found that a lot of the tracks in this CD have slower tempos but are filled with progressive flourishes of rock and metal which will keep you interested. The tempo in the album as a whole was enough to keep me listening, although at a couple of points I found myself getting bored and I felt it lacked drive. I should quickly add however, that a few of the times I was caught off guard, thinking a song was going to be slow but it ended up quickly changing the tempo with a catchy guitar riff or a sick breakdown that will just blow your mind, like in the song “Brightest”.

Lyrically a lot of the songs talk about how God can and does change our lives by his unconditional love and unending grace. An example of this is from the song “Hurricanes”. “Now that it’s over, bring me to life. I’m holding onto you, bring me to life. Now… And by your graceful presence, I am changed. Now that it’s over, bring me to life. With your unending love, pouring down on me.”

I also feel obliged to talk about the one track on this CD that is longer than it takes me to drive to work. That track is titled “Creator” and it is the last track on this CD and it runs a total of 23 minutes and 45 seconds. The song starts off with soft guitar work, mainly consisting of power chords and a slow riff that goes along with the singing and the drumming, all in all the beginning is pretty repetitive until the 5:20 mark. For the next seven and a half minutes there is silence, absolutely no sound at all. Around the 14-minute mark you hear a guitar picking a tune and then you hear the cymbals and drums come in as the guitar gets heavier.  He starts screaming and the pace picks up a bit around the 16-minute mark and the song ends with a couple of them (not sure who specifically) singing together. Now personally for me, I’m not a huge fan of long songs – it interferes with my previously mentioned borderline ADHD – but if you like sitting in your rocking chair, working on your next knitting project, this song may be for you.

All in all this is one of Facedown’s better releases this year (and longest ) and is sure to attract fans that enjoy ambient hardcore with a range of vocals and hard hitting progressions. Be sure to check these guys out.