Hand Of Mercy – Resolve


Artist

Album

Resolve

Label

Unified

Year

2014

For Fans Of

Anything described as hardcore or metalcore

Summary

Your favourite hardcore and metalcore bands just with some ‘Straya flavour

Rating

80 / 100

Some things in life are just certainties. Death, taxes, Tony Abbott being a colossal douche bag, a new Call of Duty game every year, and Hand Of Mercy constantly putting out consistent and quality releases.

We’ve been absolutely spoiled when it comes to quality hardcore and metalcore releases in 2014 by the generous but unfortunately fictitious musical gods. If the band’s predecessor, the solid ‘Last Lights, was the messiah revealing himself to the world, then ‘Resolve is the second coming – not quite as good as it was the first time, but hey, it’s still a pretty fucking big deal.

‘Resolve’ is the first Hand Of Mercy release without original vocalist Scott Bird. Filling in The Birdman’s big shoes is Nick Bellringer (ex-Take Us To Vegas bassist) and the dude does a fine job, albeit it might take a while for fans to warm up to him. But his joining hasn’t changed up their sound, so don’t get your mosh shorts in a bunch. The song structures and their overall energy and feel is just typical Hand Of Mercy. The riffs, the breakdowns, the weight and the drive of each song, it’s all there. Bellringer even gets close to the group’s usual gruff barked vocal style of the prior releases, but he has his own flare going on to, and with the next album, he’s sure to really come into his own.

If you’ve heard any of the album’s singles then you’ll now have a pretty accurate grasp on how the rest of this album will sound. ‘Static’, ‘Axis’, and ‘Desperate Measures’ are the epitome of the band’s sound. But like their last releases, littered throughout the full-length are short melodic moments, and just like the underrated ‘Quarter Deck’, they make the Sydney-siders just that little more versatile. Namely on ‘16 x 8′ and album closer, ‘Emerald Street’. Also, Hand of Mercy now officially have four songs with cleans in them, (joining ‘Mr. Nasty Times‘, ‘Last Lights‘ and ‘Fill ‘Er Up‘) as the title track has a few short cleans in them.

Some other worthy moments include when Matt Bruso of US heavyweights Bury Your Dead pumps out a sweet guest appearance on ‘Missing Link‘; the slick, punchy guitars in ‘Slither’; and the sheer crushing sound they have achieved on one of the album’s best songs – ‘Desperate Measures’. Seriously, if you don’t lose your shit as the call of, ‘You don’t have to live with the pain‘  leads into that breakdown towards the end then you’re a lost cause.

Conclusion

This is a safe album, and it kind of had to be. It was either going to alienate and/or piss of the main fan base or provide a solid, familiar sounding album that anyone can take in. Obviously, Hand Of Mercy have chosen the latter and that’s no bad thing.

Tracklisting

1. Axis

2. Static

3. 16 X 8

4. Resolve

5. Desperate Measures

6. Missing Link

7. Hunger Pains

8. Observation Deck

9. Slither

10. The Rabbit, The Hat

11. Emerald City

 

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