Maine may not immediately come to mind when you think of hardcore hot spots, but the arrival of Cruel Hand's 2008 release, Prying Eyes, certainly confirms that the U.S.'s most northern state certainly meets their hardcore quota. As with most modern-day hardcore bands, Cruel Hand is closer to metal than punk (whereas with early hardcore bands, it was the complete opposite). In other words, you get tons of speedy tempos, Sabbath-worthy riffs, and drill sergeant hollering, especially on such tracks as the album opening "Above and Below" as well as "Life in Shambles" and "Damaged Goods," among others. While it's true that there's not much to stylistically differentiate Cruel Hand from the hordes of other similar-sounding bands criss-crossing the U.S. in battered vans at this very moment, for fans of hard-hitting hardcore metal, Prying Eyes will hurt so good.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato