Live Review: Cruel Hand – Purple Turtle, Camden, London, August 12th 2010

Five minutes down the road, following Agnostic Front’s full-blown assault at The Underworld, it’s the job of Maine’s Cruel Hand to continue the mosh.

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!

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