Having not visited London since December 2008, and despite tonight’s circumstances, this show actually draws a reasonable amount of people, as they start with the aptly-titled Begin Descension.
One noticeable difference is that the typical five-piece are down a body, with usual guitarist Nate Manning having to take charge of the sticks. However, this does not take anything away from their hard-hitting metallic sound – still crushing you like a bulldozer – and doing Prying Eyes favourites, including Above and Below and Dead Weight, absolute justice.
The band get to show off their somewhat new direction in the form of several Lock & Key songs, such as Lock & Key itself and Cruel Hand, demonstrating frontman Chris Linkovich’s more melodic James Hetfield-esque vocals – proving to be a hit with the select few who are aggressively swinging along and stomping hard in the pit.
While it is unfortunate that this show happened to clash with Agnostic Front – ironically one of Cruel Hand’s prime influences – those who did manage to catch this performance can understand why they are frequently referred to as one of the best bands in hardcore today.
– Faye Turnbull.
Our brand new interview with Cruel Hand shall be posted very soon, keep checking back!