AlbumsNovember 29, 201110,137 views

Cruel Hand Lock & Key

01. Lock and Key 02. Cruel Hand 03. Day or Darkness 04. Broken Glass 05. One Cold Face 07. Rotations of Hurt 08. Dismissed 09. Two-Fold 10. The Bottom (of Munjoy Hill)
2010 Bridge Nine Records
Our score 5

by Nick

Cruel Hand, the band that developed out of Outbreak's old line-up from roughly five years ago, is relatively easy to describe. Take your favorite NYHC band (I'll use Cro-Mags) and slam it into an '80s thrash band (Metallica is best for this context) and you get the end product: heavy, breakdown-laden, metallic hardcore. Simple enough, right? It's competent, tight, and sounds rather massive thanks to a good production job. The first ninety seconds of the opening title track are a touch predictable, but still pretty enjoyable if thrash-meets-Madball is your thing, but then the record takes a dive for the worst and never manages to dig itself out of mediocrity. The reason? A totally B-grade attempt at James Hetfield's singing. I can overlook the vast majority of vocals in hardcore and metal, but the singing on this record creates a mental domino effect. First, you'll notice that it's close enough to Hetfield to make the comparison obvious, but far enough off that it sounds like an amateur homage. Second, you'll start to trace back some of the riffs to Metallica's back catalog, and realize that they are clearly no substitute. In the third slot, you'll notice the soloing and be firmly aware that it's simply hardcore-kid soloing -- nothing to write home about whatsoever. And finally, you'll hedge your bets and just go listen to Master of Puppets instead. Lock & Key isn't terrible from an instrumentation perspective and would have been classified as a competent nu-crossover release if it wasn't for the Hetfield impersonation-induced rabbit hole into which the band endlessly falls. But hey, let's look at the bright side: It's better than St. Anger. Bottom Line: Cruel Hand's instrumentation on Lock & Key is knowledgeable mix of NYHC and Metallica and, when taken independently, receives a passing grade. However, trying to sing like James Hetfield and only making it two-thirds of the way there is the catalyst that unravels the entire operation. Ultimately, I'll pass and just get my modern crossover fix from Iron Age.


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godfreyj0nes_ 8/27/2010 2:37:29 PM

this review is a little late to stop being from buying it

xmusicislifex_ 8/27/2010 3:53:29 PM

pretty generic hardcore but not sure why Hetfield is even mentioned here....definate 5/10 but Hetfield????

Jamey Hand_ 8/27/2010 4:20:53 PM

You f*cking shithead. You don't know the first thing about competent nu-crossover; we put a lot of time and effort into this CD, and it's one of the heaviest releases of the year. We better not catch you around at any shows, because if my crew sees you, you'll wish you never got out of bed that day. Oh, and to everyone who actually CARES about this record, listen up! Thanks to everybody who bought it already but for those who have not been able to find it, try TARGET, yes TARGET is stocking it f

Carlito_ 8/27/2010 4:20:59 PM

Record is a great hardcore record and Nick shouldn't be allowed to review records anymore.

Godfatherofsoul_ 8/27/2010 4:25:27 PM


Christmas_ 8/27/2010 4:49:10 PM

its hardcore, nick. you're digging way too deep. and the Hetfield reference makes positively no sense at all and to someone who maybe hasn't heard this record yet, would give them the total wrong impression shit review. solid release all around.

dzn_ 8/27/2010 5:39:12 PM


t_ 8/27/2010 6:02:16 PM

I'm surprised Nick didn't take notice of all the bands these days with either Cruel or Hand in their band name. Please re-write and include paragraph about the band name.

Kevin_ 8/27/2010 6:42:09 PM

Ignorant review... Not to over simplify, but if you like hardcore or thrash metal, you will dig this record... I do!

george_ 8/27/2010 10:23:47 PM

jesus christ that f*cking pretend to be in the band review gimmick is still going on? f*cking enough it went from gay to funny to really funny now its just really f*cking gay. gay is still going to do it so...f*ck it.

ryan o conner_ 8/28/2010 3:09:29 AM

the singer of cruel hand is a bitch

4thgradecockteaste_ 8/28/2010 11:56:09 AM

Possibly the first lambgoat review I've ever partially agreed with. When I first heard this record way back when it leaked, the first thing that came to mind was that it sounded like a total metallica ripoff with some hardcore thrown in.

anonymous 8/28/2010 1:38:26 PM

the metallica singing only pops up in the first two songs. it's not really a major part of the record by any means.

godfatherofsoul_ 8/28/2010 2:13:04 PM

why am i such a piece of gay shit?

james_ 8/28/2010 2:13:45 PM


Godfatherofsoul_ 8/29/2010 1:26:14 AM

Would people please stop imitating me on here? What's your problem, guys?

arty_mcfarty_ 8/29/2010 9:45:16 AM

god you write mind numbingly awful reviews

Godfatherofsoul_ 8/30/2010 1:29:42 AM

i am a huge gay plz beat my face

caseyfuckingjones_ 8/30/2010 1:10:19 PM

ignore the review, album kills it.

DICKEY_ 8/30/2010 2:52:07 PM

Dude, the Hetfield vocals rule. Change your tampon.

tyco_mane_ 8/31/2010 5:16:22 AM

Enough with the shitty 90's alternative singing already.

CAN YOUR FUCKING STAFF_ 8/31/2010 11:46:04 AM

The reviewer should be cut off from writing reviews on this site. The comment about the "Hetfield" singing, made me biased towards this album before even listening to it. The way he continued going on and on about "Hetfield" vocals made me think that he must have a point, for why would he put so much effort into pointing this out. When I actually listened to a song, i liked it, and i liked the vocals a lot, and I am very picky about vocals even in hardcore. This reviewer should be cut off fo

iConflict_ 9/2/2010 9:38:25 PM

Yeah, can your entire staff over one person's opinion in their own review. And then kill everyone. Being picky over a man's voice has just nominated you for the 2010 Lambgoat gay Awards. You have a good chance of taking home the golden c-ck, gay.

alex lambgoat_ 9/4/2010 6:48:34 PM

Sorry guys, we don't know shit about good music. here at lambgoat, we live by the motto, if it's not isis, it's not music.

Burnout_ 9/7/2010 3:37:09 AM

Seriously Nick, this review is crap. This isn´t music journalism, this is the typical "I got this pile of CDs to review, I´m only gonna listen to the first 2 songs and write some shit up fast"-review. Give us more info about ALL THOSE Metallica vocals and riffs and you´ll find out for yourself, that it´s maybe 2 or 3 party with like 10 seconds each. And even there it´s not like Trivium-Hetfield or something. This is review is plain bad, everyone could do better than that. AWESOME CD for ANY fan

burnout_ 9/7/2010 3:39:22 AM

Oops, that was supposed to be "parts", I got a little excited there. Give us song titles and where exactly all those Metallica parts appear in those songs. Because all I can hear are barked out HC vocals...

Garbage Reviews Inc._ 9/7/2010 12:55:30 PM

This is actually the worst review I've ever read. Sounds like a pretentious hipster listened to the first couple of songs and based the entire review on just that. Those "Hetfield" vocals account for literally 40 secs of the whole album. Get f*cking real. This is a solid album worthy of a 7. I'm also not sure when it became a bad thing to sound like Metallica. Nick I'm not sure how you maintain any credibility because it's obvious you barely listened to this album and slapped a 5 on it to p

minusmyself_ 10/8/2010 4:29:47 PM

yeah i wont go all crazy but, come cant compare these guys to iron age.. and yeah nick has been writing crap reviews for a long time look at his favorite bands, they were all cool 10+ years ago i think it'd be good for lambgoat to get reviewers that dont shit on everything. this website is so full of negativity that its not exactly supporting their cause its bashing it and it makes people like me participate cause you cant help but get really f*cking pissed sometimes