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Hands Of Orlac : Vengeance From the Grave (Demo)

Trad Doom with flute and a female singer? This is a new one...

Hands Of Orlac is a novel published by Maurice Renard in 1921. Orlac is a famous pianist whose hands become so damaged in a car accident that he has to chirurgically get new ones. The problem is that those new hands have been taken from a dangerous criminal’s body...

Hands Of Orlac is also a new Trad Doom band led by a female vocalist and flautist. Black Sabbath, The Obssessed, Trouble and twisted oh-so-typically-Italian vibe take care of a strange musical journey. Like the novel (a French variation on Dr Jeckyll and Mister Hyde), Hands Of Orlac dwell in occult atmospheres, tragic and somewhat grotesque.

Some guitar picking, gentle and soft arpeggios, crawling doomy patterns, all topped by a fragile female vox, yet filled with a huge force of persuasion that is cleverly used to underline the melody, often working hand in hand... all of this contributes to bring a lot of depth and an almost trance-like vibe. This young woman also plays the flute which seems to have become a fashionable instrument within Doom (think Blood Ceremony). Hands Of Orlac display all the fantastic moods you encounter in those kind of old-school Doom bands dedicated to a fading fantasmagory made of old ‘frenetic’ novels, Horror films, Italian barocco and Argento-like psychedelism.

I like the way she can scream in the distance, together with tragic flute lines and threatening bass. This makes up for a vibrant evocation of all the occult imagery usually developed by those bands; lovecraftian, Poe-ish, Hammer-ish... The flute does a lot to it. I like less the way some riffing bursts in, wishing to boost the pace. They are too abrupt and a bit clumsy and tend to take back a bit of the music’s original power (like in ‘Woland’s Omen’, the song I like the least). Some simple riffings are on the contrary very powerful and dark. Cascading solos also expand the soundscape making Hands Of Orlac a perfect archetype of this new wave of Trad. Doom minus the groove! It isn’t too present I must say, all being focused on the sick and the occult. Not the right place to nod your head energetically...

My favourite track is certainly ‘Sorceress (Angel Witch)’. It begins like a Uriah Heep soft song, and goes on like a super wonderful wailing doomy Led Zeppelin. But this is a cover as a matter of fact and the band bears only little responsability for the excellence of that song... Those girl and guys dwell severely in the early seventies Rock and that, combined with Sabbathy riffing, ultra sensitive female vocals, Trouble-like rhythmic section and Heavy soloings, should be enough to convince you that it's a band to reckon with from now on. Don’t hesitate to ask for a copy of this demo tape to the band itself at the following address: thehandoforlac at gmail dot com.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Vengeance From the Grave
2. Woland's Omen
3. Blood of the Dead
4. Sorceress (Angel Witch cover)

Duration : Approx. 25 minutes

Visit the Hands Of Orlac bandpage.

Reviewed on 11-09-2010 by Bertrand marchal
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