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Hooded Menace : Fulfill The Curse

The members of Hooded Menace are fans of horror movies. Their universe is made of desolate graveyards, monasteries in ruins, frightened young virgins and the flesh-hungry living dead. Hooded Menace is the stubborn result of the collision of Winter, Cathedral, Dusk and Autopsy; the sickening emanation of seminal Doom Metal soaked in the most icky Death. The band is an anomaly; its references are outdated, its music dusty, its imagery obsolete. But that's exactly why it's so good! The tribute is not servile; on the contrary, it is laid-back and very suggestive.

The voice is so deep and gurgling, it seems to be produced by the haphazard vibrations of maggots-infested vocal cords. The entire orchestra is covered with a muddy, rotting shroud. The music painfully crawls to the rhythm of a body emptied of its substance, leaving in its wake a slimy trail full of foul humors. It’s the pace of the living dead, it’s a damp pit filled with moving earth.

The band wisely avoids the trap that a too literal kind of approach could set. If the rhythmic is often crushing, it can be creeping, nasty, full of tensions. The guitars blow acid mists that fray in bleak and cadaveric soli. Often, the melodic ability of Hooded Menace surprises and delights ('Grasp of the Beastwoman', 'The Eyeless Horde' and 'The Love Song of Gotho...'). Each song differs from the others by small details in the structure: samples of voices, screams of terror, breaks, etc. Yet, the album has to be listened throughout, this is how it has been thought: it’s a compilation of "horror tales" full of creeping abominations, carnivorous insanities and sepulchral humidity. One should also read the texts. These are little stories evocative of the universe which the group pays tribute to.

The last track might be regarded as an epilogue. '...Manathan Baby', a cover of the soundtrack of Lucio Fulci's film, is a devilishly insistent litany which allows the group to greet the talent of Fabio Frizzi, its author. This serves as further evidence also of Hooded Menace's fondness for melody.

'Fulfill the Curse' is a great and cool album. One of the interests of which is to reconcile with horror movies. At the end, you only feel like doing two things:

1. Discovering or rediscovering the saga of the Blind Dead by Amando de Ossorio from which the band derives its name and its obsessions.
2. Giving the CD another spin. It’s definitively one of the best releases of the year 2008.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Rotting Rampage (Menace of the Skeletal Dead)
2. Fulfill the Curse
3. Grasp of the Beastwoman
4. Laboratory of Nightmares
5. Beauty and the Feast
6. The Eyeless Horde
7. the Love song of Gotho, Hunchback of the Morgue
8. Arcane epitaph
9. Theme from Manhattan Baby

Duration : Approx. 52 minutes.

Visit the Hooded Menace bandpage.

Reviewed on 18-12-2008 by Bertrand marchal
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