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Hands of Despair - Well of The Disquieted Award winner

Hands of Despair
Well of The Disquieted
by Kyle Scott at 08 May 2018, 12:32 PM

I’m sure Canada is sick of the stereotypes that they are nothing but super nice and kind and apologetic. They’ve added plenty to the Metal scene, after all: ANNIHILATOR, GORGUTS, and KATAKLYSM to name just a few epic contributions. HANDS OF DESPAIR is the latest addition to Canada’s Metal legacy. With seven years under their belt, they have made a pretty decent name for themselves in Montreal, their home city, combining the complex chords of Death Metal with the isolated rage of Black Metal in a deadly sort of harmony. The members have all had experience playing in other bands before settling down with HANDS OF DESPAIR. Founder Maxime Côté and bassist Francois Xavier Jodoin were actually both part of CATUVOLCUS before that outfit split in 2014. “Well of The Disquieted” is HANDS OF DESPAIR’s third full-length album.

There are moments of terror juxtaposed against meaningful lyrics in Quebecois French in “L’Invasion I- Encres troubles”. The three-part “L’Invasion” tracks meld into each other seamlessly, with gorgeous soundscape qualities that paint a desolate landscape illumined by a bright colored sky showing through bleak cloud cover. Jeffrey MacDermott’s clean vocals are just as moving as his unclean growls. MacDermott’s vocals go in quite a few directions, from harpy shrieks, to guttural snarls, to thunderous roars sometimes all in one line of lyrics! It’s hard to predict where MacDermott voice is going to go next.

HANDS OF DESPAIR is a deep well of unfathomable hatred bubbling over eternally with concentrated rage. Their song “La Ballade des gens heureux” (The Ballad of Happy People) is (despite the title) especially depressing. That being said, there is still a glimmer of something more hopeful, a glimmer that only the Prog style of death seems to be able to provide. HANDS OF DESPAIR is the mysterious light in the maelstrom that no matter how far you row to its safety, still seems far away. Strangely, this doesn’t stop you.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. L’Invasion I- Encres troubles
2. L’Invasion II- La Salve
3. L’Invasion III- L’Élégie
4. Doppelganger
5. La Ballade des gens heureux
6. Pressure
7. Amok
8. Body and Souls
Maxime Côté - Guitars
Francois-Xavier Jodoin - Bass
Étienne Gallo - Drums
Alexandre Primeau - Guitars
Jeffrey MacDermott - Vocals
Record Label: Deathbound Records


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