Released: 2009, Metal On Metal Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Brutal Hand (from Denver, Colorado) was originally founded as a cover band called Minds Eye. After basically challenging themselves constantly with more and more technical and difficult cover songs (from Dream Theater and Rush to start with), the band concentrated on creating their own songs instead playing covers all the time.
The rest can be history, well, at least from my part anyway. Release-wise, the band´s self-titled debut album saw the light of day in 2004, and their 2nd album (titled UNCHAIN THE WORLD, which the band also released on their own) followed 2 years later from that - and their latest record, PURGATORY´S RAGE, only this time having been recorded for a real label, came out in December 2009.
Progressive metal could be a kind of fitting term to describe Brutal Hand´s sound, including more than just a truckload of elements from trad heavy metal, too. Brutal Hand´s music on PURGATORY´S RAGE has this great tendency to be upliftingly epic, mystic and dark - having actually a sound that is something in it that could have been borrowed slightly even from this ´Viking´ era of Bathory; a crawling epic sound - added with some monstrously technical and constantly progressive parts (ála Dream Theater) - and without completely forgetting all those familiar, beautifully flowing, melodic guitar riffs that put many of us to say one word: ´maiden-ish´ that is.
Doug Collier on keyboards, can also nicely bring in some 70´s vibe by his Hammond-like experiments through some of the songs on PURGATORY´S RAGE, making me think of a rock band like Deep Purple, for example. And Freddy Ferrell on vocals (he debuts on PURGATORY´S RAGE´s 2nd album UNCHAIN THE WORLD as the band´s new vocalist, replacing Brad Bowles who sang on the band´s self-titled debut album in 2004), he´s just amazing. His voice is strong, very masculine-like, at times even dramatic - and what's best, it fits the band´s sound overall very well, I think. Strong music needs a strong vocalist, too - right folks?
I have not heard Brutal Hand´s two previous albums, but now there´s a good, potential chance that I may be doing so if I just can get my hands on them somewhat effortlessly. Very good stuff here. Now ´stay brutal´ as the band kindly suggests all of us to do.