Opener “Ovirt” certainly can grow on you - a lot. “Cullorblind”, while crunchy, does not have the legacy “Last Rights” sonic impending smashing/crashing you believe will come. A bit disappointing considering its potential, but one of the best tracks here at the same time. “Wavy” is a reminder of tracks in the past. The guitar element is reminiscent of “Candle” from “The Process”. I really enjoy this one and it is fantastic as it moves across the room, so softly changing. Towards the end though, it sounds like a pre-concert soundtrack giving choral echoes. “AshAs” with slicing keys, is tribute to a long time band live stage tech.
Now, we get to the Download inspired section. Japanese titled “Gambatte” is pure electronics, with vocal layers and smashing drum. This one still gives cohesion in the Puppy sound, possibly my source audio was flawed as it didn't seem so well balanced. A bit of pop aesthetics as the vocal presence almost matches the keyboard segments in time, an odd reminder of Ohgr “Welt” track “Pore”. “Icktums” is again a mix of Download and Ohgr, like one could never imagine, could say even an evolution of “The Process” tracks, especially the flat toned bleeps. “Point” is Download inspired again.
“Brownstone” is an Ohgr themed carny track, is it Puppy covering an Ohgr song - maybe “Feelin' Chicken?” In the 1980:s there was a word for this: "B-Side". I don't know how this track would go over live with long time Puppy fans. “Vyrisus” comes back to the reality of fan anticipation. "Give up... the truth", Ogre sings. “Village” returns to the punch of Puppy past, an industrial dance floor killer in disguise. Collapse. In “Noisex", one can, could, will, would… like this one under the right influence. No mistake Puppy is here with the electronic arsenal provided by Cevin Key. A Furnace-esque white noisy cluttered ending sound to this collection tagged as resistance to financial greed.
Before “HanDover” was released, there was an audible difference between Puppy and the current Ohgr side project. Today it's difficult to realize the difference. It’s impossible not to draw these comparisons. The Download/Key flavoured tracks have a definite uniqueness to them which are naturally Skinny Puppy.
“HanDover” is an excellent album and it makes me feel one of my favourite bands is back. Or did I not properly understand the last two albums? “The Process” was a real milestone and “HanDover” has elevated Skinny Puppy’s musical craft.