The Hand Of Doom-Poisonoise
Doom Records/Shadow Kingdom Records
Just like you can't judge a book by it's cover you can't judge Germany's The Hand Of Doom by it's name or album art. With the name you'd expect this to be some sort of doom metal band and with that album art you'd be forgiven for thinking the band was a lame classic rock cover band. You'd be wrong on both accounts. Fact is Poisonoise (the sole output from this forgotten heavy metal band) is an odd record from a odd band. Sure given the time period there are vague glimpses of the NWOBHM sound in The Hand Of Doom. This is especially true with the buzz saw guitar riffing and the hard edge rhythms. Harder and heavier than your traditional NWOBHM band though, The Hand Of Doom (H.O.D.) also pulls in the sounds of early punk and 70's hard rock. In lead vocalist Andreas Rößner you get a front man who sounds like a demon possessed werewolf and with the studio band (Klaus Bode-Bass, Karl-Heinz Wehde- Drums, Percussion and Uwe Ellenberger- Guitar, Vocals, Lead vocals on "The Meanest Man") you have a bunch of guys just playing lights out garage metal like there is no tomorrow. Back to vocalist Andreas for a minute though and no lie kids this guy sounds angry and incredibly pissed off on their studio material. One listen though to the bonus live material on the second disc (including their insane cover of "Born To Be Wild") and you'll see why he was asked to tone it down in the studio! Other than maybe Lemmy there are few hard rock/heavy metal vocalists that hit you this hard it could make your wallpaper peel. Speaking of Lemmy there is certainly a Motorhead vibe to be found on Poisonoise. Other reviewers have also pointed to Brats, early Sarcofagus and even Portland, Oregon's cult eighties band Crysys. I myself hear bits of MC5, The Stooges, Kiss, The Ramones, Alice Cooper and even Belgian power trio Killer (who I guess also sound somewhat like Motorhead but that is neither here nor there). Now seeing as this was originally limited to just 500 copies it became a hidden gem for tape traders worldwide. If you wanted a copy you had to settle for downloading it which was a shame for an album so powerful. That is where labels like Shadow Kingdom Records come in. Reissued in 2008, the album sounds better than ever and comes with a nice booklet with pictures and a brief history of the band. Some of my favorite cuts on disc one (the original album) are the NWOBHM inspired rocker "There Ain't No Runnin Away", the heavy metal thunder number "They Who'll Creep At Night", the Kiss inspired "Doom Power" and almost classic rock numer "The Lights Of Blind". My favorite cut overall though has to be the hard rock/heavy metal/punk burner "RnR Close To The End Of The World". The aggression of this one cut alone makes my speakers bleed! The bonus CD includes all sorts of heavy and hard goodness. Featuring music collected from private recordings and live performances things start off right with the killer track "Putrefied (Hallowed Be Thy Name)". Taken from one of their unreleased private recording sessions the number (along with a punk fueled cover of "Johnny B. Goode") is just too good to pass up. What really makes this bonus CD worth it though are the live cuts. "Doom Power", "They Who'll Creep At Night", "Rock'n'Roll Close To The End of The World", "The Hound" and "Born To Be Wild" are all captured live from 1978. Simmering with rage these numbers would have united punks and heavy metal fans alike had H.O.D. received more press and exposure. Not much can be done about it now though other than to pick up a copy of this 2 disc album and expose your friends and family to the sounds of rock and roll at it's most raw and primitive state. Don't let this one pass you by. If your into the NWOBHM movement, rugged hard rock or even punk metal you'd do well to add this 2 disc version of Poisonoise to your collection.