Mind Swell – Hands of Fire Review

“Hands of Fire” is really an album that delivers what it has promissed. Mind Swell, as a Deathcore band formed in 2020, had their members united with a shared vision: to craft an uncompromising sound that incorporates all of the best elements of hardcore and deathcore. That’s exactly what the album is all about a combination of elements from Death Metal and Hardcore that many people would call Deathcore. I said here a bazillion times that I, myself, don’t appreciate all the cores and the likes. However, there are always bands that are proving me wrong. From where I’m standing, the mix Mind Swell do here has very few elements from Deathcore, which I imagine to have more elements of the so-called modern metal. It’s more a Death Metal with dashes of Hardcore without guitar solos. That’s why I liked it.

The iconography of “Hands of Fire” addresses to Death Metal and so does its sonancy. Musicwise, the only element that sometimes goes through the Deathcore trail is the voice. By Deathcore here I mean Death Metal combined with Modern Metal – experience with bands here has showed me this. I said sometimes because most of the time it goes through Death Metal vocals. Take album opener “Painted Worlds” for instance where vocalist Dakota Egerter uses many kinds of vocals and techniques relying mostly on harsh vocals. In the track there are moments Mind Swell go by Modern Metal book, however, other moments the band relies on the good old Death Metal. “Memories” have a similar grip in the beginning with that so characteristic thick sound of the guitars with some effects. I guess this is the track with most Deathcore elements. The thing is that the band bounces to a typical Old School Heavy Metal guitar riff from them on. There are also moments when there is a vocal duet with an eerie voice contrasting with a harsher voice which is a thing Black Metal loves to do. Tittle track “Hands of Fire” does the same regarding to vocals and guitars.

I’d say “Hands of Fire” is a kind of hybrid of Death Metal and Hardcore. Well, that’s the origin of the word Deathcore, I guess. The problem is that most people, me included, think Deathcore as aligned to Modern Metal and all the things that go together. I saw those elements here, but I guess they are not really important to band’s sound than the mix of Death Metal and Hardcore. They are only a complement. Grand finale “Humanity a Plague” tells this tale much better. My guess is that vocals play the important role in the band’s music giving it its complex personality.

Mind Swell “Hands of Fire” will be released on September 01st.

Track Listing:

  1. Painted Worlds
  2. Memories
  3. Hands of Fire
  4. Sever the Hand
  5. Humanity a Plague

Watch “Humanity a Plague” official music video here: