Friday, January 18, 2013

Head of the Demon-Head of the Demon

The Ajna Offensive

H.P. Lovecraft should get some kind of special award from the metal community. How many thousands of bands is it now that has drawn inspiration from his work? Count the mysterious Hand of the Demon among the faithful. What transpires of their self-titled debut is the stuff of legend. Or at least it's one of those albums that seeks out a more mystical plain ever if it doesn't quite achieve such lofty goals."By Titan Hand" opens things up with it's Black Sabbath channeling The Doors vision of the apocalypse before those vocals kick in. Then, as Bill Paxton's character Hudson says in Alien's, "That's it man, game over man, game over! What the fuck are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?" The promo makes mention of a vocalist that sounds like  "Tom Warrior mentally disassociated under acid" is not that far off. It's all a bit offsetting. The lead vocals are equally graveled and menacing, as if they are seemingly imported from some sixties psychedelically induced proto-punk outfit. Not that the slowly dissolving, post-punk, proto-doom metal that's spoon-fed to you is any easier to digest. That in itself is a hazard-like trip, but it's the lead throat man who still comes off as the most frightening element of this act. Especially as it's all you can do to keep from imagining that it's not some sort of demonically possessed/fried-out seventies hipster that found a way to escape the comfy confines of a straight-jacket! This is one of those releases that's more intent to creep out of your closet and across the floor in a tortuously slow manor.  If you can get past it's pace though you'll be treated to an album's worth of trimmed-down, raw and earnest doom that is blacker then even the most sinister black metal band and still could have come out of the active imagination of a seventies rock band. In other words it might be slow going, but getting there is half the fun!

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