Remember when bands like DIE KRUPPS, the mighty GODFLESH and PITCH SHIFTER used to take on remixes of straightforward metal bands and mangle the songs, turning them inside out, so that what came forth from your speakers was nothing whatsoever like the original? It was liberating to hear, at least to these ears. But when those aforementioned would allow the scalpel to be taken to their own tracks, all bets were off, and what often happened was no less than a dissection and a piecing back together, an electronic Frankenstein’s monster with a result no less bleak than Shelley’s doomed Promethean spawn.

Which is exactly what ZEBADIAH CROWE does within The Cloven Hand. The first of two promised EPs for the coming Winter sees a trinity ripped from Host Rider of earlier this year, and remixed, SEETHING AKIRA first tossing ‘House Of Worms’ into the loom, elements of GRENDEL needled and forcibly woven into the near-impenetrable abyss that is ZC to start with, and emerging as a flesh-scarred tapestry. ‘Barrens Forge’ gets the GODS OF RUIN treatment next, martial, militance quickly giving way to steel-tongued vocals scraped across anvils above a bed of what could pass for powerviolence as interpreted by SWAMP TERRORISTS, and wins for even trying.

‘Skull Shank’ sees GOR return, but this time as 1,000 rats high on monkey dust and skittering/clawing their way around inside your cranium, relentless, rabid, and starving. There’s nothing remotely attractive about this version, and it gives two black fingers to its two cohorts here. The issue is, though, that its catchy as a fire in a papermill, so the listener not paying close enough attention may – may – just find themselves dancing by the end of it, and the end of The Cloven Hand.
Review By: Lord Randall

The Cloven Hand
4 / 6