"The Combination"


01. Capaci Bomb
02. Body in the Barrel
03. Hostile Respect
04. The Last Stand
05. Bloodstained Hands
06. Castigate
07. Guillotine
08. Taste the Metal
09. Knuckledusted
10. The Combination

RATING: 7/10

Ten tasty nuggets of modern European thrash are what you are served on "The Combination" from Norway's DEAD MAN'S HAND. At 32 minutes, the length is just right and each song offers at least some degree of worth. The engine runs hot too, just as one would expect from this style of breakneck thrash.

That style derives from the standbys of modern Scandinavian and Germanic thrash, THE HAUNTED and DEW-SCENTED, respectively, but probably has more in common with a band like DEAD SHAPE FIGURE. All that really means is that DEAD MAN'S HAND clearly has similar influences (yes, we know, everybody points to Bay Area thrash too…we get it); they just stick more to the basics of what made the first three albums by THE HAUNTED so incendiary; and I don't care what Dolving says, "One Kill Wonder" was bad to the bone too. Relax; no one is putting "The Combination" in the same category as those albums. Be that as it may, "The Combination" is quality thrash metal.

What is delivered to your door are the smoke-damaged/strep throat (take your pick) rasp vocals of Dag Schaug Carlsen — coupled at times with true blue death growls — that follow standard, but well written, patterns; guitarists Jon Schaug Carlsen and Martin Kandola keeping the white-hot riffs coming; and the rhythm section of drummer Jostein Kohn and bassist Stig Saetevik locking down and tightening up. The songwriting isn't too shabby either. A number like "Body in the Barrel" offers a catchy chorus and an effective changeup into a slower, groovy section. "Bloodstained Hands" ends up standing out with repeat plays, thanks to a memorable refrain of "Look at these hands; they're stained with blood. Oh mother, please don't let your sons turn out like me." The band even pulls out the occasional surprise, such as a break during "The Last Stand" that momentarily makes one think that DEAD MAN'S HAND is about to bust into the main riff from BLACK SABBATH's "Heaven and Hell" (not quite though).

So yes, "The Combination" will do the trick if you've got a hankerin' for no-nonsense thrash metal that falls outside of the current wave of nostalgia-wave riders. "Thrash metal to the bitter end", indeed!


To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).