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Hooded Priest : Call for the Hearse

Hooded Priest wonít preach you peace; its Doom smells like battle.

Hooded Priest was founded in 2006 as a doomed collaboration pact between Dutch and Belgian Metalheads. The band released rather quickly a limited 5-tracks rehearsal-demo, later re-released by Capricorn Recs on tape format: that 'Call For The Hearse' that Iím reviewing now on november 2010.

I got it for some months and it happens that their first full-length has just come out. In the reviews I read about that first professionally recorded album, the band is presented like an old Rock-ish Doom bunch of buddies, spiritual sons of acts as ancient and vintage as Witchfinder General; Candlemass was also thrown in the list of those mighty godfathersÖ Well, first, Witchfinder General and Candlemass are two words that donít match together, secondly, Hooded Priest has nothing to do with the first neither with the latter!!

Vintage Doom? I donít know what it means ; They have certain features that bring them close to acts such as Bedemon, yes, maybe. The Main common point I see with the pre-Pentagram project is THE BAD PRODUCTION! Really, on this tape the sound is so muffled and just bad that it flattens the music, making only the voice floating a bit on the surface. The album was also described as Doom Rock meets NHOBHMÖ Man! On this Ep, there is not a single trace of NWOBHM!

No use to try to connect it with any forerunner, this is plain simple Doom Metal, rather caricatural, stubborn and obtuse, very mechanical: onwards, hell-for-leather! Letís blow the ennemy lines and whatever happens, weíll be all sitting in heaven, drinking to everyoneís health. There is indeed a predominant 'gaelic' side to Hooded Priest, a Ďwar-likeí feeling that is very distinctively expressed by the singer, whose wailing and fierce intonations set you right in the battle. Even entire rhythmic plans remind now of Primordial, now, very clearly, of Mael Mordha.

As I said, The singer has been given the first seat by the production. And itís a good point; if the riffs are very common (even if, from what can be heard, quite effective), itís the singer that brings to Hooded Priest its most original and interesting feature: he sounds a bit cracked and slightly nevrotic. Shifting from martial to more liturgical moods, his voice is well modulated, a bit choked and/or angry.

The overal rhythm goes mid-tempo, but I as soon as it has found his rut, it doesnít seems to try to get out of it. Thatís just straight ahead, till the end. The singer leads the whole play, itís all the more striking that the bad sound doesnít let you hear the possible subbtleties of the musiciansíplaying; but I doubt there are any.

Hooded Priest is far to be a bad band but itís a second-rate one for sure. Iím curious to listen to that first album of theirs, maybe those so-called NWOBHM hints would give it a new so-called shine.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Mrs. Satan
2. Alibi
3. Well Worth the Dig
4. 8 'O Clock Witch

Duration : Approx. 25 minutes

Visit the Hooded Priest bandpage.

Reviewed on 2010-11-11 by Bertrand Marchal
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