Hardcore | Thrash Metal | Death Metal
When I spotted the likes of Stone Hand floating around my social media, I couldn’t help but feel that the band seemed familiar. It was at that moment that I remembered that this band was part of my third band photoshoot.
The shoot in question was one that took place at Brighton’s Quadrant, almost three years ago. The insanity of that show, along with there being too many hardcore acts to mention, made that evening one amongst my favourite local gigs.
Amongst the army of hardcore acts was, of course, Stone Hand. And while I definitely remember enjoy the band greatly at the time of the gigs, as you’d expect, I hadn’t had my full attention on the band almost three years later.
That all changed however, when Stone Hand announced their debut album Carcosa, along with a handful of live shows, all happening across the first month of 2020.
After eventually recognising the familiarity of the band, I thought I’d go ahead and give their teaser track, “Left To Ember” a shot. On its own, I thoroughly enjoyed the savage yet accessible sound that the track had to offer. The style of this track was something that I hoped would spill out onto the entirety of Carcosa, which it thankfully did.
Said style was one that I found to be a really effective mix of both hardcore and thrash metal. To make an analogy, I would say that Stone hand borrows influences from the likes of Lamb Of God, and also Nails, and blends them together into something that feels far from a clash of the two bands respective aesthetics.
I have recognised that when being a hardcore band, it is no easy feat to stand out amongst the rest, as there is a set formula than many bands feel obligated to follow. I believe that Stone Hand do manage to stand out from a lot of other bands on this album, while still following said formula enough to carry the hardcore mantle.
A noticeable benefit of Carcosa, is something that I always enjoy finding in heavy albums, and that is that each track is relentlessly so. There is barely a departure or break from the intensity to be found on the likes of Carcosa, and quite frankly that is how I feel an album like this should rightfully be. The closest thing to something less unrelenting would be the penultimate title track, which is still incredibly heavy in its own right.
I reckoned that I would at least like this album considerably going into it. But it nevertheless surprised me with just how brilliantly crafted many of the songs on here are. This is truly a monster of an album, and a gnarly kick-off to the metal catalogue of 2020.
You’d best believe that I plan on seeing Stone Hand play live again, and with that, I look forward to witnessing the high energy that this new batch of songs will bring.
Favourite Tracks: Left To Ember | Diluted Mind | Malicious Intent
Least Favourite Track: Blamed