The fact that I am currently listening to a new Shaman’s Harvest right now is a miracle itself. This is a band that, in over their twenty-year history has certainly known success. They’ve got five well-received albums under their belt, their music is frequently used by WWE Wrestlers as their entrance music and the band have toured with the likes of AC/DC, Alice In Chains, Godsmack, Seether and Theory Of A Deadman just to name a few. All that nearly changed for the band though when in 2014 lead singer Nathan Hunt was diagnosed with throat cancer. His treatment complete the band have pushed on and now we have another amazing album from them in our midst – an album titled Red Hands Black Deeds.
If you’ve never heard Shaman’s Harvest before, well there are unique-sounding bands and then there are Shaman’s Harvest. Hailing from Missouri there is a lot of the band’s roots entrenched in their sound and the opening track off Red Hands Black Deeds really just show that there is a real country/blues feel all over this album but then when ‘Broken Ones’ kicks in the infusion of that sound with hard rock is an amazing thing to behold.
Shaman’s Harvest take a real step back in time with the album making the decision to not use anything digital throughout. The result is an amazing rawness that somehow along the way results in catchy tracks like ‘The Come Up’ and ‘Off The Tracks.’ The dialled-back nature of the album also sees a rare smoothness creep in, sometimes that comes across as slow and smooth on a track like ‘Long Way Home’ while at other times it is pure smooth hard rock like with ‘The Devil In Our Wake.’ That bluesy feel though is always just under the surface and the result is great tracks like ‘Soul Crusher’ and ‘Blood Trophies.’
Hunt’s great hard rock vocals shine through on ‘So Long’ while the dark and haunting ‘Scavengers’ really makes you wish that more bands would take a step back from the digital age and follow what Sharman’s Harvest have done here. No matter what Pro Tools can do it just can’t recapture the sounds of things like sandpaper and goat-toes… yes part of the percussion on Red Hands Black Deeds comes from tapping goat’s toes together.
Like Pallbearer early this year Sharman’s Harvest move to step back from a digital sound and go old-school has certainly paid off with the album. Red Hands Black Deeds is a great little fusion of hard rock and blues.