Heart In Hand

Almost There

Written by: MN on 19/03/2013 14:03:42

The follow-up to a successful debut album often presents a serious challenge for many bands. The debut is often devoured completely, making every song etched into the memories of their fans, therefore the follow-up needs to top the bands previous efforts in everything from style, and execution to originality and uniqueness. Heart in Hand's debut album ”Only Memories” was downright brilliant. This eclectic album was a mix of emotional hardcore infused with elements from both metalcore and thrash metal, and it was released in 2011 to critical appraise. Songs such as ”Only Memories", and "I'm Coming Home" are both hardcore masterpieces. Their follow-up ”Almost There” delivers yet another clever, honest and dynamic record, placing Heart in Hand in the best of leagues within their genre.

Hailing from the south of England, Heart in Hand formed in late 2008, and subsequently released their first EP in 2009. Prior to their debut release, Heart in Hand tested their stamina on the live scene, playing alongside bands such as Legends, It Prevails, and Lower Than Atlantis. Firmly proving their worth as a live experience, they set forth in releasing two full-length albums thus far, both of them with masterful production.

As the band name may suggest, Heart in Hand play seriously emotional hardcore without ever sounding cheesy or phony. This is largely due to Charlie Holmes' magnificently raw vocals, the man literally tears his own heart out and delivers it on a platter to the listener; it is some of the most painstaking vocals this reviewer has witnessed, just check the track ”Homesick” for a sample.

The instrumental section compliments well the despairs of Charlie Holmes. They play in hardcore time-signatures but always vary their tempo's and rhythms, making it both intriguing and never at any point tedious. Although Charlie Holmes' scream vocals are a treat to witness, the album is well constructed in allowing the listener to take a breather from the ton-heavy tracks throughout, this is done through a selection of instrumental preludes and interludes, which give a space-like and almost thematic ambience throughout the record.

The opening track called ”Proposal” is a melodious, and minimalist guitar based track, filled with guitar refrain, and echoes. The song eventually introduces the title track, ”Almost There”, one of the first highlights of the album, and a bound to be crowd-pleaser at gigs. Starting of in vicious hardcore tempo, the song eventually evolves into a beautifully progressive mix of white-knuckle tight riffs and howling guitars. As mentioned before, the interludes are an intricate detail that really up the standards of this record. ”Vows” is an uplifting interlude that allows the clean guitar to mesmerise and this track clearly shows the creative edge of Heart in Hand, sounding like something Sigur Ros could have released. The listener is driven back to reality through ”Sleeping Alone” which is one of the heaviest tracks on the record. ”Cuts and Bruises” proves the skills of drummer Sam Brennan, and also features the vocals of James Leatherbarrow from Death Of An Artist.

Other featured artists include Mikey Chapman and Sam Douglas of Mallory Knox, this combination provides some clean vocals in the track ”Maybe” which is a nice shift from the screams. It provides some much needed softness. One of the most interesting features on the record is the addition of Bury Tomorrows' Dani Winter-Bates who has a seriously primal growl that is just coupled brilliantly with the vocals of Charlie Holmes. This is bound to be a definite favourite for many fans. ”Our Atlantic” is introduced through another guitar intro which is eventually broken into yet another full-force hardcore track featuring some killer riffs. The last track of the album, ”Latter”, is another instrumental track featuring ambient sounds and complex sounds of xylophones and glockenspiel. It is vaguely reminiscent of a mixture of Massive Attack with your grandmothers creepy music box. The listener is left a little bemused at this, but it's a fun and cheeky way to end the album, ultimately it leaves an open ending. I thoroughly enjoyed this album and I hope others will as well.


Download: Almost There, Cuts And Bruises, Broken Lights
For The Fans Of: Hundredth, It Prevails, Bury Tomorrow
Listen: facebook.com

Release Date 04.02.13
Siege Music

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