Well, so much for Wino calling it quits in the music biz. Having just released a CD last year, Wino, Bruce Falkinburg and Dave Hennessy are already back with another dare I say Doom miserypiece. "The Crossing" opens up as a sludge jam that sounds a lot like CATHEDRAL complete with Lee Dorian-esque vocals. Although the tune may sound like it's being dragged through the mud, it's not long before things get cooking. The pace is picked up ten fold and the boys rock the house.
Wino's soloing is second to none in the genre and Dave's drumming can just level a house. Traditional Doom this is not. This music has a lot of adrenalin, piss and venom, melody and it's fierce to boot. Even though "Half Mast" is already considerably slower than the opener, it still has a rhythm and groove with Ozzy like vocals. However, don't consider these guys clones by any means because this three piece outfit has a ton of talent and they are more than capable of standing on their own two feet. The band also manages to throw in a Doom/Psychedelic number "Draco Vibration" which is a pretty decent number. What I like about this album is that it doesn't stay in just one motion.
It progresses just as much as it digresses, but that's a good thing because in the Doom genre, you need variety in order to prevent you from hitting the off button. Once again, THE HIDDEN HAND is so much more than the genre that they are put in. Another thing that sets them apart is that they lyrics are pretty potent which dabbles in politics and the environment. It's no surprise that this CD is equally as impressive as their debut, but then again, take a look at the line up and that says it all. There is something in here for everyone. (Online January 24, 2005)