This Sussex four-piece are in the process of carving out their own hAND shaped hole in the Prog scene and with the release of Kintsugi they have managed to round off a few of the edges. Whilst I hate to say it hAND are definitely an acquired taste, mainly due to the vocals on this, their third offering. To tell the truth my initial reaction upon hearing Kat Ward’s singing was “that’s a bit unusual” but after a couple of spins her voice has grown on me. Unfortunately I’m in the minority, as that was not the opinion of several friends I played the album to who complained that she sounded very “whiny” but that is the nature of the Progressive Rock genre, it’s diversity is also it’s weakness, one man’s meat is another man’s poison.

Kintsugi is a very technical album. The guitar work is simply phenomenal at times as the songs are built with a solid foundation allowing the guitar flurries to rampage across the tracks and carry the listener along like a small boat on a fast moving river. The album’s complex keyboard arrangement’s complement the melodic rock on offer, mixing it up and giving a very alternative Jazz-like feel to some of the tracks. There is some excellent music on display here, songs like “Level One” and “Volcanic Panic” offer up some more metal style hooks, but there is also an epic in the making on “Through The Big Door, Up The Stairs And Out” that should keep traditional prog fans very happy.

hAND are Kat Ward, bass and vocals, Kieren Johnstone, guitar, Dan Thomas drums and synth player Tom Johnstone. The production on the album is top-notch and was done with producer Nick Hemingway (Isor, Cancer, Desecration) at his new Safe Room Studios located in Wales.


Level 1
Anthem (Ode To The Giddy)
Volcanic Panic
Amazing Burn
Hide You
Through The Big Door Up the Stairs And Out
Words To That Effect (instrumental)


Words by Dan O’Gara.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to MySpace