July 2nd, 2013
Release length: 17:37
Things do start off a bit upbeat with “A Whisper to the Thunder.” Faster and catchier riffs hammer away with an aggression similar to a High on Fire offering. The music slows down, but still remains infectious, allowing cleaner guitars and leads that sound more like a guitar solo at times before shifting in a manner that deceives you into expecting a breakdown. Instead, you’re greeted with held notes and slower drums that gradually begin to Drone on. Eventually it gets thicker and changing just enough that you won’t notice the departure from that style right away, but around eight minutes it all suddenly drops to a dull rumble of guitar reverb to wrap things up.
“The Dreamcatcher” is an entirely different experience, carrying more of a tribal performance that slowly builds up by the three-and-a-half minute mark. This is easily the most engaging part, and it’s sad the song doesn’t really capitalize on this. Instead, things tense up a bit with some drumming that one could associate more with a simple militaristic presence. It isn’t until four-and-a-half minutes in that the song finally picks up and gives you some catchy, slow paced material that, sadly, isn’t anything that awe-inspiring like the droning of “A Whisper to the Thunder.” The best way to sum it up is like trudging through the marsh and quickly becoming exhausted, wrapping things up after a brief second wind.
Both tracks that make up Hand of Glory are well executed, though neither really stand out as anything truly special. “Loud and Low” is a slogan the band has and, yes, the music is just that, but nothing more. The atmospheres presented aren’t all that strong, and even with “The Dreamcatcher” I struggled to see what kind of musical environment the band may be going for. This doesn’t mean they did a bad job though, as these are solid cuts you’ll come back to, or make for nice additions to a playlist or compilation disc. If the band only had some more unique ideas, tuned their instruments down a little more, even had a production quality that wasn’t as crisp or sharp as this, perhaps sounding dirty or slightly analog, Hand of Glory would have been an uncompromising EP with the potential to put other major groups in the style on notice. Instead, The Lumberjack Feedback seem to play it safe, sounding similar to other familiar, well established Doom and Sludge Metal groups. Hand of Glory is worth checking out, just don’t go in expecting a lot of fresh ideas.
01. A Whisper to the Thunder – 9:03
02. The Dreamcatcher – 8:35
|Initial Pressing Score: 6/10