Over the past few years, I’ve seen an awfully large number of bands at shows I’ve been covering, but very few stick with me in the way Callous Hands have. I first saw Callous Hands at their second ever show with Coventry Metal 2 the Masses and have been excitedly awaiting whatever they would put out for their first release, after 2 years of this band finally being on my radar their debut release is finally here in the form of a 3-track EP entitled Earth Mover.
The opening track Heed the Call starts with a slow, atmospheric build-up that quickly explodes into an aggressive exertion of energy that features great musicianship while blending elements of Deathcore, Metalcore and Extreme Metal into this intense experience that reminded me instantly of why I was so excited about the band.
Up next is the title track, Earth Mover. With chug filled riffs and a ridiculously groove filled drum track that all leads into a filthy breakdown, I found myself fighting back the urge to spin-kick my PC off my desk. I can’t wait to hear this track live.
Finally, we have the closing track, Orchestrated Primal Screams. With a solid mix of both the tracks that came before it, we have an unrelenting assault here that really doesn’t pull its punches. From start to finish, the intensity of the vocals and instrumentals never stops its barrage upon the listeners ear drums until the final seconds of the track fade out to silence, almost as if the band have finally released their pent-up angers and frustrations.
Earth Mover is a solid release from a band with serious potential. Across the three tracks, not only do we have great musicianship and song-writing, but we have both things to a consistently high quality. I do have one massive issue with the release though, and that’s with the mix. Not only did the bass often get seriously drowned out, but the mix also lacked that Oomph, that punch, that these kinds of releases genuinely need to make moments like, let’s say, a breakdown hitting actually feel like it hits the listener. Despite that issue though, Callous Hands have undoubtedly created an incredibly strong foundation with this EP, and I for one can’t wait to see what they build upon it.