AlbumsNovember 29, 201111,607 views

With Dead Hands Rising Expect Hell

01. Piles of Burning Bodies 02. Tourniquet Girl 03. Hammer of the Gods 04. The Possession 05. Beckoning the Glass Cased 06. Ultima 07. A Lurid Account of Mass Murder 08. Momentary Alphabetic Convergence 09. Concentrated Contamination 10. Distress Patterns 11. Like Tar
2008 Mediaskare Records
Our score 4


2003 saw the release of Behind Inquisition - a promising debut for With Dead Hands Rising. Okay, so it didn't re-invent the wheel, but it holds up surprisingly well after five years. But times were different; deathcore had yet to become the wretchedly codified sea of rehashed bree-downs it is now, where bands switch from faux-death metal to faux-hardcore with an awkward thunk. Expect Hell sees the band's first release in four years. They've parted ways with original vocalist Colin Strandberg, the production values have gotten higher, and the market is now overpopulated with cookie-cutter soundalikes. Accordingly, With Dead Hands Rising has changed things up, ostensibly to match pace with the changes in the genre. Newcomer Burke VanRaalte's vocals are much more straightforward, sticking almost exclusively to a throaty growl - a disquietingly monotonous contrast to Strandberg's deft alternation between high and low register screaming. As such, the album suffers from VanRaalte's stiff delivery as much as his inability to keep up with Daniel Koppy's competent drumming. In fact, the only time he doesn't seem to be overextending his lung capacity to play catch-up is during the numerous breakdowns - which, for the most part, aren't as utterly trite as the mindless chugging of the bands' erstwhile peers. Ty Inhoffer and Logan Branjord's playing is appropriately intricate and menacing, but with the bottom-heavy production and the disjointed interaction between the drumming and vocal rhythms, the words "muddled clusterfuck" barely encompass the results. I try to cut a band some slack after suffering numerous line-up changes before a release; obviously, if it's not the same people working on the new record, it's going to have a different sound. But at some points during Expect Hell, it sounds less like a band adjusting to a new line-up and more like a band that doesn't have their hearts in it. The best example here would be the disparity in song writing between Behind Inquisition and Expect Hell. The instrumental closer for Behind Inquisition, "Paralysis," had a decent sense of dynamics and worked well to close out the album. On the other hand, "Momentary Alphabetic Convergence" plods along, wearing a hole through the same guitar line and fiddling with the mix to alternately emphasize and hide some amateurish piano work in a ham fisted effort to create some tension within the track. Even the track's placement is awkward, as after the mellow, droning guitar lines fade out, the band returns to the same thrashy attack as before for three more tracks. The sudden slowdown does little more than confuse things with an utterly arbitrary change of pace. With Dead Hands Rising has joined the ever-growing ranks of deathcore bands that are all too content to sacrifice songwriting ability for the proverbial dickwaving competition to see who can be more "fucking br00tl." And don't get me wrong, the instrumental work exhibited here is generally more accomplished than your average death metal infused hardcore band, but With Dead Hands Rising continually neglect the fact that technical ability is just petty wankery if nobody in the band tries to put a coherent structure into place. Bottom Line: Even back in 2003, With Dead Hands Rising released a decent album but still had trouble differentiating themselves from the pack. Expect Hell was their chance to really pull it off one way or the other, and unfortunately they've simply become just another deathcore band. A fairly accomplished deathcore band, sure, but being an accomplished deathcore band is pretty much the same thing as a bodybuilder competing in the special Olympics.


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dick sack_ 8/5/2008 2:49:45 PM

pirst fost. I plan on murdering rob parker.

shitshishtishtsi_ 8/5/2008 2:51:46 PM

but the last line...genius.

faggotbeatdown_ 8/5/2008 4:10:37 PM

If you have a gay haircut, tight jeans and you are considering of getting a tattoo, please f*cking punch your face in.

asaf_ 8/5/2008 4:15:03 PM

a excellent addition to my vast collection of deathcore. WDHR=better than rob parker

TY_ 8/5/2008 4:27:33 PM

I'm pretty sure they've had other releases before this one and after Behind Inquisition

Louis_ 8/5/2008 4:41:39 PM

They had an ep between BI and this one. Behind Inquisition is one of my favorite metal albums ever. I saw these guys the first night they switched vocalists out and haven't cared about them since. Used to be the coolest thing in Minneapolis. Now just mediocre. Also, why rerecord "tourniquet girl?" That song f*cking kills on Behind Inquisition.

BFKP_ 8/5/2008 4:48:02 PM

this band sucked in 2003 and still sucks to this day.

shit_spasm_ 8/5/2008 6:39:05 PM

yeah they released an EP called The Horror Grows Near in 2004. And i'm sure they wrote some songs well before Expect Hell was released since there was a long gap. I don't think you should be describing a band deathcore as an insult since they were playing death metal influenced metalcore well before the trend set in.

a_ 8/5/2008 7:18:17 PM

terrible review

xrybreadx_ 8/5/2008 7:21:07 PM

yeah, these guys were playing "deathcore" before the stupid term was invented. at least give them credit for having a more defined and unique guitar style then most of the crap out there. when you hear a dead hands song, you know it's dead hands. Can't say the same for 99% of the cookie-cutter suffocation rip-off riffs running rampant in the "genre". i'd give it a 7.

anonymous 8/5/2008 7:41:55 PM

reviewer seems burnt out on deathcore, which is fine. but it influences the review greatly. should probably hand the record over to someone who isn't biased.

tuhbuddy_ 8/5/2008 7:44:57 PM

this album is no where near what their past 2 were. I simply cannot get into it at all. They sound like everything else. In thier old albums , they had a sound. when you put that in, you knew it was them. Their new vocalist is incredibly boring with almost 0 range. I almost regret buying this cd.. I agree with the rating.. The old cd's were 10/10

hmmm_ 8/5/2008 8:22:21 PM

the reviewer is truely burnt, and for good reason. BUT, these reviews should go to people who can see from the outside>in. 15 year old kids aren't jaded and burned out yet, they are impressionable and reviews like this are a huge disservice. Let the young kids have their day, nobody is forcing this shit down our throats.

anonymous 8/5/2008 9:23:58 PM

the vocal patterns i do agree are off on some parts or sound a little weird, but the tone of his voice i think is way better than the vocals on their last release with colin

Stag_ 8/5/2008 9:26:30 PM

Solid review. Below average album. 4/10 seems about right.

Abc_ 8/5/2008 11:15:43 PM

I am pretty burnt out on this...There is one thing I agree on this album...It just isn't cohesive, at all. It's sounds so messy. They are great musicians, but they don't sound like good songs sadly...

andrewwar_ 8/6/2008 12:56:09 AM

this f*cking rules. you all are gays who jack off to terror albums, i get it.... but end of the day, this rules

circlepitcasserole_ 8/6/2008 2:03:46 AM

"A fairly accomplished deathcore band, sure, but being an accomplished deathcore band is pretty much the same thing as a bodybuilder competing in the special Olympics." hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha This might be the best thing I've read all year.

anonymous 8/6/2008 2:57:57 AM

I really don't think these are terror dorks speaking.... this type of music is in the same state that nu metal was at in 2003.. consider this a last hurrah. Clusterf*ck is an understatement. Music should be art, not competition.

ofcourseitsawesome_ 8/6/2008 3:05:55 AM

im glad that wdhr doesn't have 100% born of osiris precision execution or any other new glam shine for breakdowns becuase thats why with dead hands rising is so good is cause there so rough on the vocals and timing that it makes it sound even more heavier and not as perfect as all these bands make there cds. its not about polish its about the f*cking message ass pringle

scotty_ 8/6/2008 4:28:13 AM

should be called "Expect a Bad Album"

Shit_Hawk_ 8/6/2008 4:44:36 AM

I like this band, but I think they ruined "Tourniquet Girl"

Colin Strandberg_ 8/6/2008 9:34:42 AM

These tools should have gave it up after I left

vegard_ 8/6/2008 10:19:55 AM

no way have "the production values have gotten higher". their previous ep sounded a lot better than this album, not to mention it had better songs. too bad, i really liked their previous material.

Konstrix_ 8/6/2008 1:55:09 PM

I think it's a pretty spot on review. Especially the scoring. The album has about three or four decent tracks on it. BTW, the beginning melody of "Ultima" is a cover of Final Fantasy Mystic Quest's battle theme.

LTthisfire_ 8/6/2008 4:32:42 PM

Burke totally kisses boys.

marc_ 8/6/2008 6:06:37 PM

I agree with a couple things in this review; more importantly the 4/10. I don't like what they did with the old songs. I use to be a huge wdhr fan and I don't like this cd that much however Ultima is a cool song... pretty much if I'm gona listen to this band it's not gona be this cd thats all.

brains__ 8/6/2008 9:24:55 PM

this album is drop in an ocean of mediocrity. they have nothing to stand apart from their peers. fair review.

Mike_ 8/6/2008 11:36:35 PM

Album rips. Reviewer sucks.

truthsayer_ 8/7/2008 5:03:56 PM


anonymous 8/7/2008 7:09:39 PM

Agreed. If anybody notices, the reviewer actually seemed to like wdhr, and almost sounds bummed they recorded a big wad of meh.

LTthisFire_ 8/8/2008 8:46:48 AM

I like pee-pees in my mouth

xmxlx_ 8/14/2008 5:55:02 PM

Behind Inquisition was badass, too bad they dont even acknowledge on their own myspace... f*ck em

deez_nutz_ 8/18/2008 11:18:56 AM

i used to have some mp3's of this shitty ass band and they were a pathetic chunk of downtuned kornmetal... hang it up you midwest jerks

anonymous 8/30/2009 7:23:59 PM

this album is badass! reviewer flip!