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To The Bone - "Against the Dead Hand" (CD)

To The Bone - "Against the Dead Hand" CD cover image

"Against the Dead Hand" track listing:

1. Gemini
2. Insectual
3. Shut Down the Heart
4. Supernova Casanova
5. Year of the Swine
6. On the Backs of Rats
7. Give It the Gas
8. Your Day Is Coming to An End
9. Left to Rot
10. Against the Dead Hand
11. When My Day Begins

Reviewed by on September 20, 2010

"The songs on 'Against the Dead Hand' are incredibly stale and lack that punch in the gut that other bands of the genre make a point of including."

Sometimes you come across an album where the style of music is one you are fond of, in this case power-trio, and the genre of music has delivered a few gems for your collection over the years, but for some reason you just can’t bear to get through it and enjoy it. To The Bone offer up one of these albums with “Against the Dead Hand,” a power trio radio-friendly rock record that completely forgets to add in the power.

The songs on “Against the Dead Hand” are incredibly stale and lack that punch in the gut that other bands of the genre make a point of including. Not only that, but the songs are thinner than Colorado air. The bass guitar, something essential for albums like this, is audibly absent and the drums also lack any distinction or presence in the mix. Pick any song from the record and these problems will be very prominent.

There is an obvious Motorhead type of influence on this record, but it is an influence that really goes to waste. The material here is very mid-paced, leaving so much to be desired. Not only that, but the vocal style and the lyrics are so monotonous and generic. Not to mention that every song makes an effort to mention the song title in the chorus at least twice, which makes “Against the Dead Hand” a very predictable record at every turn. For a band that calls itself progressive metal and cites influences as being King Crimson, Opeth, Porcupine Tree, and Rush (amongst many others), it seems like the band might be hearing something else entirely.

There must be people out there who will enjoy this record. Who those people are may be hard to find, though. Regardless, if To The Bone could in the very least resolve the audio difficulties it could add in that extra power that the sound so desperately needs. Terrible lyrics and bad vocals aside, if you are going to start a power trio band please, for the love of all things metal, don't forget the power.

Highs: "Left To Rot" features some cool moments.

Lows: The vocals are very annoying and the production sounds very thin.

Bottom line: A power trio with no power. Progressive metal without progression.

Rated 1.5 out of 5 skulls
1.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)