Savage Hands – “Barely Alive” (EP)

A couple of years ago, I have embarked on a quest to identify great modern metal and metalcore music and I have been quite successful, if I can say so. So, we keep discussing bands that are “the hottest shit” on this little site here. The quest continues with this brand new band called Savage Hands.

Let me tell you, these guys weren’t love at first listen. I had to listen not only twice, but many times until I liked what I heard. Now I even know almost all lyrics by heart – that’s when I realized that a review was very much overdue. The short version is this: Savage Hands play that kind of music that makes you want to headbang, mosh, sing along, dance and throw your hands in the air all at the same time and it’s glorious.
Now for the longer version. Savage Hands border modern hard rock and post-hardcore with some melodic metal influences. Bands that play this style music seem to have sprung up like mushrooms recently. Savage Hands seem to be special, though.
First of all, Savage Hands exhibit incredible maturity, talent and skill on “Barely Alive” even though it is their very first EP. These guys sound as professional as some bands that have been in the business for years. Additionally, I kind of love and hate the fact that “Barely Alive” is so catchy. You absolutely CANNOT listen to any of the songs on this EP without feeling the urge to sing it for the next hours.
The vocals in Savage Hands are versatile in the sense that the lead vocalist seems to be able to pull off everything that is typical of metalcore vocals: angry screaming like Jamie Hails (Polaris), there is a little weepiness in the style of Eddie Berg (Imminence), and that crystal clear high belting is almost as lovely as Christoph Wieczorek’s (annisokay). I haven’t decided yet if that can be counted as a strong suit or just an ironic coincidence… Right, all sarcasm aside, the vocals do sound very much on point. The aforementioned vocalists are among my favorites, after all!

“Barely Alive” kicks off very strongly with “Red” and it only gets better with the title track that is up next. Both songs are characterized by unique melodies and a proper load of energy while still sounding well-balanced. Things are getting slightly calmer with “Unconditional”, but Savage Hands are able to keep up the spark. “Know It All” is a typical in-your-face track that no good record should ever lack. A cheesy ballad like “Taken” mustn’t be missing, either. Lastly, “Your Own Hell” won me over with a great chorus.

Sadly, even though Savage Hands sound as if they did everything correctly with their first EP, I feel like I wanted them to go into a slightly different direction. But with a band as young as Savage Hands, you never know that they will come up with next. Let’s give this band some time and a second chance when their debut full-length will be released. The bottom line is that Savage Hands never lose momentum and deliver hit after hit here.”Barely Alive” is a succeeded EP that will whet any alternative rock/metal fan’s appetite for more. I take my hat off to this band for retaining my faith in the next generation of alternative metal. All the best to these guys!

Release date: March 2, 2018

Rating: outstanding (4)

Mike Garrow – vocals
Justin Hein – guitar/vocals
Ryan Evans – guitar
Nathan O’Brien – bass/vocals
Jonny Melton – drums

01. Red
02. Barely Alive
03. Unconditional
04. Know It All
05. Taken
06. Dream Dead
07. Your Own Hell

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