Brand of Sacrifice – God Hand (Review)

Brand of Sacrifice - GodhandThis is the debut album from Canadian death metallers Brand of Sacrifice.

At a lean 26 minutes, God Hand gets in, does its damage, and gets out again. One of the things I like about Brand of Sacrifce, however, is even though their songs tend to be short, the band aren’t afraid to play with the modern death metal formula.

Brutal death metal, deathcore, and slam collide into an album of high energy and dynamic intensity. Although the band’s music very much falls into the utterly brutal side of extreme metal, within this they’re quite inventive with their harshness. The generic side of deathcore and slam are very much only paid lip service to; instead, the band take the better aspects of those subgenres and mash them together with some honest death metal nastiness and creative riffs, drums, and vocals.

A slight hardcore influence can be felt here and there, albeit a thoroughly brutal one. A progressive feel is apparent too, although once again, this is channelled into the service of brutality and brevity, rather than anything more expansive or exploratory.

Technical and melodic, while not being overly so, the songs on God Hand are infectious and even contain the occasional hook amidst the carnage. Additional noises, sounds, and musical ideas pepper the release like gems, and the level of songwriting and riffcraft is way higher than that of your average death metal band, nevermind those that operate in the deathcore or slam arenas.

In a year of rather average death metal releases, (with some notable exceptions, of course), God Hand has firmly made me sit up and take notice. The band’s first EP was damn good, and this album more than lives up to its promise.

Essential listening for any death metal fan.

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