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A Tragedy at Hand - 11:34

A Tragedy at Hand
by Ashley O' Brien at 20 January 2020, 11:27 PM

An intense metal band, A TRAGEDY AT HAND self-released their new album “11:34” in November of 2019. The album often invokes the sound of LINCOLN PARKAVENGED SEVENFOLD and PAPA ROACH. And indeed, the band brings a lot of their greatest assets into the fore, whether it’s Lincoln Park’s scratching record and hip-hop elements, AVENGED SEVENFOLD creepy vibe, or PAPA ROACH's multi-layer musical stylings.  While there are all these great things going on, it almost feels like the band is holding itself back from true greatness.

Most of these songs are hardcore and heavy, in a good way, but not breakthrough hits. Occasionally they have a song that is on the verge of being real chaotic fun. “American Dream” has those moments. Starting with bold electric guitar strums, the song is fast and pounding,  intense and just fun to rock out to. One of the defining features of death metal is the growl, the unclean vocals that sound like a demon bellowing from hell. While Nathan Rae on vocals uses this technique occasionally, his unclean vocals come out more like shouts, sounding more natural, genuine, and emotional, which makes it easy and enjoyable to listen to. Most songs include clean and unclean vocals, which is a dynamic element in their music.

 “26 Minutes” opens with a hip-hop styled chorus that falls just slightly flat, but then the song takes a different turn. A melodic electric guitar riff takes over and bold, shouting vocals interrupt with incredible emotion that pulls the listener in. He is so believable as he sings “And I try and I try/ Demons keep on winning/ I just want to make it home tonight.” Pushing it over the edge is the way they have technically manipulated the singing to create a truly fun song.

On this nine-track song, A TRAGEDY AT HAND includes a filler song, appropriately titled “Wasted Time,” a slow, intriguing march to nothing. It is the only slow song on the album, which on the one hand, means more action-packed metal, but on the other hand means audiences miss out on the chance to see what the band could do with their own metal ballad. If “Wasted Time” is any measure, they could do something quite profound. The album is good, even reminiscent of some of metal’s heavy hitters. But while the music is enjoyable, hopefully it isn’t the best the band can do. It feels like greatness is just within their reach.

Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Six Feet Away
2. 26 Minutes
3. Take It Back
4. American Dream
5. Wasted Time
6. Space Jam
7. Drown
8. Mindspin
9. Losing Touch
Nathan Rae - Vocals
DJ Reed - Bass
Jordan Grimes - Guitar
Noah Robertson - Drums
David Sanchez - Decks & Backup Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 30 January 2023

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