The sweet, melancholy vocals of lead singer Kat Ward are like a siren's call to the wayward sailor. Thinking that there is only the calm that her voice projects is a dangerous proposition as the band will mesmerize you with the dynamic blast of Progressive Gothic Metal as they call it.
Kat herself provides the piano and bass to this three piece unit from Sussex, England but it is the massive guitar playing of Kieren Johnstone that sets the absolutely amazing tone for this band. With a nod to the classics, Kieren sets himself apart with this release. After listening to his work on the phenomenal "Guitar Strings & Safety Pins" I had to wonder how he has hid himself so well in the English countryside. Then the attack continues with the instrumental "Translation" and you will be shaking your head as his melodic guitar work fills your space with a regal and majestic blast of metal!
hAND is much more than just a guitar band though. The musicianship and lush texture of their sound is a breath of fresh air in a world of music that has seemed to be going stale. Kat delivers some very haunting and beautiful piano work on songs like "Manuscript" and especially on "Birth". Combined with her gothic lilt, they manage to set a dark yet romantic feeling mood to the music.
I have had this disc for awhile now trying to find a way to describe the way that this album enters into your psyche and continues to inhabit a place there long after the seven songs are done. To this day it is still an impossibility to fully describe the enjoyment you receive from the shear musical ability that emits from the speakers. This is a band that plays music that is not ear candy, it is music for the soul!
2. Clanned Mass
3. Guitar Strings & Safety Pins
7. I Find Myself