Listening to Red Hands Black Deeds by Missouri natives, Shaman’s Harvest, with no preconceived notions of what to expect, to be honest, is a good thing, with a clean slate perspective. There are elements right off the bat that are exciting about these guys when you hear a track like The Come Up, that rocks out with an almost Motown twist if you can possibly imagine that. The strong mid-range vocals of Nathan Hunt on this track, in particular, takes one back to 90’s US rockers, Seven Mary Three, with the honest emotion on display here, backed by the solid groove laid down.
Following the standard intro approach with the title track offering a very ethereal feel, before ripping into Broken Ones, that for the uninitiated will offer a welcome surprise. For such an almost solid album opening, A Longer View was a surprise inclusion that just didn’t feel like it quite fit so early in the album, whilst Soul Crusher picks the pace back up with a strong mid-tempo, soul power rock feel that really appealed to the senses with impressive lead work from guitarist Derrick Shipp.
Then a track like Off the Tracks rocks out with a killer southern delta vibe that really shows how soul incorporates well into their sound, as one of the more solid and radio savvy tracks of mention. The approach these guys take in their sound is refreshing and Long Way Home, starts with such a cool vibe, and I really want to love this song completely, but the chorus just didn’t quite take me where the verse had built the vibe, but rest assured a good song with real depth. You really get the feeling that these guys pride on the authentic classic approach in their songs, and reading up on them, they did indeed utilise many organic sounds and techniques on the recording of this album, which is impressive, with the quality captured on a track like The Devil in our Wake, that whilst takes a while to start, rocks with a smooth progressive feel, and the muscle of the chorus is well executed here.
Blood Trophies builds a mood with Matt Fischer’s bass rolling like a distant thunder leading the band into one hell of a standout moment on the album, with its restraint in the verse and unleashing in the chorus with Shipp’s solo here a nice touch. So long takes us deep into the Southern rock feel these guys play well into and holds with its punch heavy drive and sharp chorus.
Tusk and Bone, serves up as the staple album ballad/single, while closing track Scavengers glides this decent effort of an album to a warm close, with its dark, yet tranquil feel. In closing, I felt privileged to hear something new and to be honest something potentially very exciting for fans of Midwest/Southern Rock, with a genuine twist. Definitely give it a go, especially the cool as hell country Hookers & Blow bonus track that put a smile on my dial.