|Hooded Menace's new album gets even the most constipated bowels moving.|
|"If you still think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body."|
Hooded Menace have outgrown the proudly regressive stomping grounds of Razorback Records, which has by now proven itself to be a pretty sweet launcher for the careers of promising retro bands if nothing more. They have made themselves an unquestioning inclusion to the range of recent death-doom entities you might recommend, alongside the usual oldies, to a genre newcomer. They have returned to destroy the line of Van Helsing forever.
'Effigies Of Evil', while adding nothing substantial to the formula, does much to solidify it all. Gooey grooving doom riffs and a thickly churning underbelly to get even the most constipated bowels moving, Hammer horror lyrics intoned in death metal bear style, and a general lack of haste at all times are standard procedure.
'Vortex Macabre' would be worth the price of the heavy vinyl containing it, were this track released on its own as an EP. If such purchases were made based on content rather than for the more important business of furnishing collections. Its the ideal opener, dragging its distended and torn stringed flesh slowly across the pulsating bottom end of jerky drum fills, replete with a rocking mid-section. Probably their best song yet in terms of composition.
The remainder of the album follows well enough, surpassing the band's excellent debut for atmosphere and pure devilish energy. The band's hulking sound gradually gathers a more relentless motion as it goes on. This beast seems to have more of a penchant for forcefully erupting propulsive passages from more mournful Candlemass-referencing crawls at the right moment, as if the band have struck upon exactly the right pacing needed for such flesh-crawling endeavours. Ghastly highlights include 'Curses Scribed in Gore', a study in knitting obscene rock beats into the band's usual ominous antics. The Price-sampling 'Crumbling Insanity' mixes meandering leads with a vortex of murderously vigorous death metal riffs. It's no Sunday picnic.
Now Lasse, who I understand doesn't even really like doing death growls, sounds rottenly mighty on this recording, spewing forth big belly rumbles that attain the booming volume and the decomposed throttle the groaning music needs. His guitar tone is the same as it has been for this band throughout, a slight wistful slant occasionally tweaking the grim and grunting motifs prevalent, as with 'In the Dead We Dwell'. The sound of the album overall is massive, no big difference to previous platters though.
I'm glad that of all Pykko's many projects, this is the one that got the attention to encourage its maker to regular misdeeds under the moniker. Like Poe, Hooded Menace are adventurers into the vaults and cellars and horrible underground passages of the human soul. That their lyrical and musical architecture is rendered with the somewhat wry detachment of 70s horror flicks does not detract from the efficacy of the terrible draught offered.
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1. Vortex Macabre
2. Effigies of Evil
3. In the Dead We Dwell
4. Curses Scribed in Gore
5. Crumbling Insanity
6. Summoned into Euphoric Madness
7. Evoken Vulgarity
8. Retribution in Eternity
Duration : approx. 52 minutes
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