The debut "Divine Propaganda" received world-wide the best critics and was welcomed with a lot of enthusiasm. But to speak for myself I didn't agree to most of the other writers. Of course, "Divine Propaganda" was no worse album, and is still better than a lot of other stuff that has been released in this type of music, but to relate the album to Wino's other works I missed his capability to create truly magic music. A few songs were included were I find it, but the whole album sounds to me like a compilation of different periods of work. One year has past and it's summer 2004 and the second album of THE HIDDEN HAND is in my personal heavy rotation since I received the advance promo disc. The magic is back and this time Wino really entered new territories, together with drummer Dave Hennessy and bassist Bruce Falkinburg. "Draco Vibration" and "Currents" are the most psychedelic and spiritual tracks Wino has ever been involved with, and especially "Currents" know to surprise with a Beatlesque vocal-line. But more has changed to its best on the new album! Here are this sort of ultra-emotional songs I was searching for on the previous on.
"Half Mast" makes me wanna cry, because it's simply beautiful and "Black Ribbon" sounds like the the HAND's personal interpretation of Sabbath's "Planet Caravan". A gentle dreamy melody with concessions to all things spiritual and organic. THE HIDDEN HAND injected an element of powerful spirituality the first album lacked. Here are energetic and uplifting songs as "Magdalene" or the brilliant "Coffin Lily" where Wino's vocals are on top and the riffs are just majestic. But I think, we all know that he's one of the most exciting underground guitarists 'cuz his jazz-laden ultra-heavy playing is and was significant for hundred of bands. "The Crossing" or "Travesty As Usual" are angy and rebellious and together with an alternate version of "Desensitized", this tracks are representing the political awareness of the band. "Mother Teacher Destroyer", a more cohesive set than the debut, is the result of three great players and the atmospheric production of J. Robbins shows the band in a different light that can't be described and must be heard. This album lifts you up like a very healthy meal and after Pentagram's "Show 'Em How", Internal Void's "Matricide" it's the next masterpiece of 2004 and there's no reason to leave it out!