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hAND (UK): New album 'Kintsugi' due 3rd November

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yam yam View Drop Down
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    Posted: August 26 2014 at 05:47
Actually, I'm a bit late with this one. Embarrassed The album was announced towards the end of last year, and was completed almost two months ago now, but I only got to hear of it myself when vocalist/bassist/piano player Kat Ward posted in Official 'review our music' forum last week offering a pre-release copy of the album for anyone who would like to write a review of it.
 
Well, I don't write reviews, but it's certainly not unknown for me to make posts in this section of the site, so let me tell you all a little bit about hAND... (well actually this comes from the band's website, and SaN PR press release). Embarrassed
 
"Originally formed back in 2004, the band come at you from Sussex. Right from their early years, which saw hAND unleash their first EP “Chapters”, to the band’s next EP “Shadow: Word Pain”, which landed them a record deal with Copro Records, to the foursome’s debut album “Deadroom Journal”, each release and record has progressed in its sheer song-writing quality and production. The progsters worked with producer Nick Hemingway (Isor, Cancer, Desecration) @ Philia Studios for “Deadroom Journal”, and the album went on to secure lofty praise with Dead Earnest, who dubbed the release: “Totally groundbreaking in such a genre”. Off the back of the album, hAND signed to Femme Metal Records and began to play shows throughout the whole of the UK, as well as racking up prominent festival appearances. In 2010, the progressive crew headed back to the studio to record their sophomore album “Breathing”, with Nick Hemingway again at the helm. Released in June 2011 via Femme Metal Records and Brutal Elite Records, the album picked up even greater acclaim than their debut album. In the summer of 2011, long time drummer Cris Nelson left the band. He was replaced by Dan Thomas, and at the same time synth player Tom Johnstone joined as a full time member. Taking a hiatus from playing live in 2013, hAND solely focused on writing their next album and perfecting their revitalised eclectic sound.

This year, the quartet hit the studio once more with long term collaborator and producer Nick Hemmingway to lay down their third album ‘Kintsugi’. Comprised of hypnotic and supremely orchestrated guitar riffs and crashing drums with pulsing rhythms, ‘Kintsugi’ is primed to rattle your ear drums and will surely pull you in. The album will be widely supported with extensive touring and is released in two formats: the regular CD/digital download version and the ‘Gold Edition’. The Gold Edition is more than just the same album with a couple of bonus tracks; whilst it does contain some of the same songs, it is approached in a very different way in terms of production and feel. The approach taken differs in the production style – a more natural, dynamic and even old-school take, designed to contrast with the heavier, more driving production employed on the ‘regular’ Kintsugi. The Gold Edition will also be available on vinyl and in a special pre-order pack. Both versions of the record drop this November; look out as hAND are set to take the scene by storm.
 
 
Although hAND can be loosely described as a Prog band, when you peel back the aural layers, you’ll find a definitive edge that sets the band firmly apart from its contemporary counterparts. Progressive and heavy, yet accessible, hAND have unearthed a sound that is innovative and engrossing. They call to mind the thoughtful webby depths of ‘Opeth’, meshed with the proggy groove of ‘Amplifier’ and the gothic guile of ‘Paradise Lost’. Acutely marrying carefully formed visceral guitar parts, dynamic drums, and alluring vocals, hAND have a strong focus and a clear vision of what they want to produce."
 
Their new album ‘Kintsugi’ is officially released on Monday 3rd November through Brutal Elite.
 
 
There are a couple of interviews with the band for anyone who wants to know more - this one was done only a couple of days ago (with Vents Magazine): http://ventsmagazine.com/interview-hand-riyl-opeth/, and there was another conducted in October 2012 by Femme Metal Magazine (this time with Kat on her own) to mark the release of the band's second album 'Breathing' (June 2011): http://www.femmemetalwebzine.net/2012/10/15/interview-kat-ward-hand/.
 
Kintsugi tracklist:
 
1. Level 1
2. Windlestraw
3. Anthem (Ode to the Giddy)
4. Volcanic Panic
5. Nebula
6. Amazing Burn
7. Hide You
8. Through the Big Door up the Stairs and Out
9. Words to that Effect (Instrumental)
 
- Kat Ward / vocals, bass
- Kieren Johnstone / guitars
- Dan Thomas/ drums
- Tom Johnstone/ synths
 
Other links of interest:
https://myspace.com/handgothicband (plenty of samples under the 'music' tab)
 
There are four positive reviews on the site for the second album 'Breathing', but just a single rating only (4-stars) for the debut 'Deadroom Journal'.
 
The band deserve to be more widely recognised imho.
 
This is an outfit that want peple to listen to their music - all their stuff is freely streamable on the bandcamp link given above (and very reasonably priced to purchase too - either on CD or as a digital download). You can also find plenty of their music on YouTube, Reverbnation and Myspace.
 
Here are the video blogs recorded during the making of 'Kintsugi' that they uploaded to YouTube:
 
(Some of the track titles that Kat talks about in this first video have been changed between the time the vid was recorded and the eventual completion of the album).
 
 
 
 
Acoustic version of track 6 'Amazing Burn' (just Kat on the piano) :
 
 
And a track from each of the previous two albums as uploaded by guitarist Kieren Johnstone:
 
 
 
Good stuff! Thumbs Up
 
Edit: Any prog reviewers out there who would like a slice of damn fine female fronted prog to review - pop over to Kat's post in Official 'review our music' forum and get in touch with the band via the email address given there. Cool



Edited by yam yam - August 26 2014 at 09:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote yam yam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 29 2014 at 10:48
The band will be doing an interview with UK's Prog magazine next week, who have posted this piece today about the Gold version of the new 'Kintsugi' album: http://prog.teamrock.com/news/2014-08-29/hand-go-gold-with-album-no-3.
 
hAND have revealed their third album Kitsugi will be available in a Gold Edition featuring a different approach to their new material.
 

The Sussex outfit have spent the past year working on the follow-up to 2011’s Breathing, and return on November 3 with a standard release alongside the alternative take.

Label Brutal Elite say: “The Gold Edition is more than just the same album with a couple of bonus tracks. While it does contain some of the same songs, it’s approached in a very different way.

“Production style is more natural, dynamic and even old-school – designed to contrast with the heavier, more driving production employed on the ‘regular’ Kintsugi.”

Kat Ward and co explain: "We took the original idea of the album and broke it down into two versions. Neither is a compromise, it’s the same songs and the same album, just two very different approaches. The Gold Edition is all about feel and emotion; we were trying to give everything a more live vibe, and let the music breathe with proper dynamics and natural vocals."

Kat Ward and co’s latest work is described as falling somewhere between Opeth and Amplifier, consisting of “hypnotic and supremely-orchestrated guitar riffs, crashing drums and pulsing rhythms.”

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote yam yam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 02 2014 at 09:32
Studio play through of the fourth track on the 'Kintsugi' album, called Volcanic Panic - recorded at Safe Room Studios:
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Moshimword Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 17 2014 at 03:08
Hi all, 

Just a quick message to say we've put another new track up from Kintsugi on our official site. You can find Anthem (Ode to the Giddy) on our music player right now ready for streaming :)

Pre-orders are up and running and we have packs with CD, Downloads, T-shirts and Vinyl. Sorry to all you cassette lovers out there!! Wink

If you do get a chance to check it out, it would be very much appreciated! 

Cheers
Kat x
www.handtheband.com - My bands website, female fronted prog metal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Moshimword Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 20 2014 at 09:43
So we've just had it confirmed that Prog Magazine is exclusively streaming "Kintsugi" in its entirety from 5pm Tonight. We're really excited to see what people think Big smile

If you would like to listen all you need to do is head over to http://prog.teamrock.com/ this evening.

Thanks
Kat x

www.handtheband.com - My bands website, female fronted prog metal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote yam yam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2014 at 06:26
And here's the actual link to the page: http://prog.teamrock.com/news/2014-10-20/hand-stream-kintsugi-in-full. I can confirm that the stream works fine in Google Chrome (but the embedded player doesn't load properly in the now outdated IE9 browser)...and that the album sounds excellent! Thumbs Up
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