Released: 1999, Mass Produktion
Reviewer: Nathan Robinson
Although the copyright on this CD says 1999, I believe this was actually released last August. Left Hand Solution has been quiet for far too long. Finally some new material has surfaced in the form of this CD single for the song “Missionary Man”, which is also slated to appear on the band’s forthcoming album Black in Grace. It would come as no surprise to me if you weren’t familiar with this band, especially considering their rather obscure record label. The band’s first release, a six-song EP called Shadowdance, was released back in 1994. The band at that time was a straightforward doom metal outfit, but set themselves apart from the rest due to their unique singer, a deep-voiced gal named Kicki Hoijertz. This lineup, which also recorded a couple other songs for a compilation called Metal North, wasn’t to last, and Kicki was replaced by Mariana Holmberg. By 1997 Left Hand Solution released their debut full-length album Fevered. Again the doom plagued onwards, but with more of a Type O Negative vibe, accompanied by Mariana’s deep and somewhat gothic-sounding vocals. It was their appearance on Nuclear Blast’s Death…is Just the Beginning IV that caught my attention. Since then I have been waiting for something new, and here it is.
Left Hand Solution hope to release their new album Black in Grace in early 2001. To tide us over, this CD single has been set free. Upon listening to the song “Missionary Man”, I thought two things: “hmmm…this is different I guess” and “damn it…where’s the doom?” The song is more of a rocker than you would expect to hear from Left Hand Solution. It wasn’t until a friend told me this was a Eurythmics cover that I realized the credits for the song on the reverse side of the sleeve didn’t match the band members’ names. Ah, mystery solved! What puzzles me is why would anyone cover a Eurythmics song? I mean, wasn’t it bad enough back in the ‘80s that we had to sit through all those annoying videos on MTV just so we could catch a Twisted Sister or Ratt video? And of all songs to release a single for, why a cover song? It’s like an insult to your band…like saying it’s the best song off your album when you didn’t even write it. Regardless, if we’re going to hear a Eurythmics song, it may as well be from a metal band. And besides, I have thankfully never heard the original version. Mariana’s voice is infectious enough to warrant listening to this song, but I hope the new album’s material resembles “The Enemy Within” more than this cover song. Yes, two songs appear on this CD single. “The Enemy Within” is a brand new song that will not be released on the forthcoming album. So now you know the whole reason I bought this CD! This exclusive track is more upbeat than the Fevered material, both in tempo and atmosphere. It’s much better than the previous track, but a reason must exist that this song was left off the forthcoming album. Perhaps Black in Grace will be stronger. It’s hard to predict.
Finally, this disc includes a video for “Missionary Man”. Nothing spectacular, but what do you expect from a cover song? But I whole-heartedly agree with two elements in this video: clowns are fucked up, and playing in the rain is great. It’s difficult and rather pointless to rate this CD single, so I didn’t. Check out the official Left Hand Solution site for information: http://www.cabal.se/massproduktion/lefthandsolution/
. And here’s another well done albeit unofficial site: http://www.doom-metal.com/lefthandsolution/