Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Idle Hands – Don’t Waste Your Time (2018) / 83%

Idle Hands – Don’t Waste Your Time (2018) / 83%

Idle No More
After In Solitude's demise, I was longing for the style they showcased on their swansong album "Sister" and while some bands did approach that sound (Tribulation for example), my itch wasn't satisfied. Portland's Idle Hands definitely follow into the Gothic fueled footsteps of the Swedish corpse but bring enough new elements to create an exciting take on heavy metal.

Gabriel Franco's vocals are full of emotions and might. He's able to perform the sorrowful lyrics with panache and ease. His deep but comforting voice would be the highlight if it wasn't for the intricate and melancholic compositions found on that debut release. On Don't Waste Your Time, we're served five compact numbers that, well don't waste their time with the listener. They're full of both empathy and despair and translate those feelings with the help of heavy traditional riffs and guitar leads (from maestro Sebastian Silva) reminiscent of the NWOBHM scene and the German greats. They intertwine their metal influences with an healthy dosage of Gothic rock, new wave, alternative rock and post punk. From the old school influence of The Sisters of Mercy to the modern touches of Katatonia (see those leads in "Can You Hear the Rain"), there's a lot to ingest here and twenty minutes is not enough! I'd like to hear them go slower and be even gloomier, I think they could even more impressive.

There's a lot of urgency in those midpaced songs, it's catchy and dreamy. Like a good heavy metal, they don't forget the riffs and like a good goth band, they don't forget the airy atmosphere. The production (handled in part by Franco) fits the sound that Idle Hands wanted perfectly. It's aerial and there's a lot of place for the vocals at the forefront of their formula. Sometimes, the rhythm guitars could benefit from a bit more oomph but that's just me. With their debut EP, we see a band in full control of their identity, I'm stoked to hear what they'll do next.

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