Hooded Menace - Never Cross The Dead (Profound Lore, 2010)

I like some spice in my doom; I prefer when there's some movement at the funeral. Hooded Menace manage to run the table and display a mastery of everything dismal while incorporating skull shattering elements of mid-paced and melodic death metal. The result is an incredibly dynamic and engaging album. Never Cross The Dead is a juggernaut of funereal entertainment.

My favorite doom/death albums, like My Dying Bride's The Dreadful Hours for example, display dynamism of tempo as well as melodic memorability. Hooded Menace nail that aesthetic. I've been walking around with the guitar melodies from this album imprinted on my brain ever since it showed up in the mail.

When you bring the Bride to the funeral, you're also inviting the angst ridden Gothic Gruyère. Hooded Menace avoid that unfortunate pitfall by instead inviting hungry undead Templar Knights, mad men, monsters and grave-robbing fiends. The lyrical horror here is at turns campy and gore splattered, but consistently entertaining. Lasse Pyykkö's vocals are the sweet guttural sauce on this metal brain-pie. His incredible death-dealings manage to approach Michael Mikael Åkerfeldt's vocal mastery in Bloodbath.

Lasse Pyykkö is a ravaging riff machine as well as the mastermind behind Hooded Menace. In contrast to the moments of plodding dirge, his crushing death-riffs inspire me get up and sprint around my house looking for brains to devour. The guitar tone is incredibly satisfying, conveying the crystal clear darkness of a bottomless abyss. These riffs frequently move with a gargantuan swing, from which tentacles of melody unfurl to trip up your attention. Absurdly catchy death metal episodes burst from side-halls to unexpectedly disembowel you. Grotesque galloping riffage induces you to run for your life while simultaneously juicing oranges and banging your head.

When it comes down to it, funeral doom consistently fails to hold my attention. Hooded Menace, on the other hand, grab me by the throat. Yes, there's plenty of creeping, crawling slowness here, but it's simply the low end of a wide spectrum of momentum on Never Cross the Dead. If you've even got a passing interest in doom/death, you should check out this putrid mutant beast of an album.


Hooded Menace Myspace


Castevet, Woe, Batillus & Flourishing - June 7th - Lit Lounge, NYC

It pained me to miss this show last night, but luckily Zosimus of the mighty Flaming Tusk was there for the action. He kindly agreed to write up the show for this blog and took some great pictures as well. So without further ado, the first ever guest post on Mindful of Metal:

Atanamar would have liked to have been at this show himself, but as the will of Satan saw fit to strand him in unholiest Denver (never mind the megachurches), I was elected to take his place and report on the night's events at the great and terrible Lit Lounge.

Curran Reynolds, proprietor of the weekly Precious Metal showcase, put this bill together as a birthday present to himself and received the best gift a promoter can hope for: a packed house. I've never seen so many people at a Precious Metal night. Not even the ones I've performed at, YOU FUCKERS. Curran's immense personal popularity aside, I think this might have had more to do with the show being Castevet's release party for their new Profound Lore disc Mounds Of Ash, plus the fact that all the bands on the bill have been copiously babbled about on the internet and in print of late. And deservedly so.


Flourishing kicked off the show without bothering to announce who they were because I guess we should just know, or it's not cool or metal or something to be all HEY WE'RE FLOURISHING AND THIS IS THE SHOW NOW etc. Jerkasses. Anyway. Flourishing plays grindy techdeathy jams with all the thrust and drive you'd want from that sort of thing. Whatever the guitarist was playing was raging, if somewhat indistinct during their grindier moments, and the bassist was making attempts to provide the onslaught with a center, but the real star of the show with Flourishing is the drums. Dude is a machine, and I got the impression I would have had a pretty good time even if he'd played the whole show by himself. Flourishing has a cool t-shirt.

Batillus 2

Local boys Batillus were next up, and these dudes understand heaviness. In the grand tradition of their forebears, they play their psychey doomsludge through Orange, Green and Sunn amps, and I'm pretty sure I never heard any tone that could be referred to as “treble” at any point in their set. Oh, except from their psychotically possessed vocalist/synth artist frontman, a guy with waist-length blonde dreadlocks like so many pallid tentacles of a trench-dwelling sea monster. He won my heart when he went up to scream maniacally in the faces of two drunken douchebags down in the front of the crowd, and they were actually startled. Batillus play some really creepy, creative, interesting stuff (guitar parts that manage to be both minimalist and crushing), and their live show brings it hard. The girls seem to like them, so that's rock 'n' roll.

Woe 3

Second to last came Woe. Woe does exactly one thing: they play furious, blurry black metal. They are good at it, if you like that sort of thing. Woe's frontman is an angry guy. At times I couldn't tell if the drummer was losing the thread a bit or not, but most likely it was the usual drift that comes with playing crusty black metal beats all the time in a less than sonically perfect environment. I did appreciate that the bassist was clearly audible to contrast with the mushy roar of the guitars. I wish Woe had something more distinctive about their sound or songwriting that would move me to say more about them, but they're kinda one-note. On the rare occasions that they dropped into something approaching a riff with a groove I began to dig them, but it's hard to do that sort of thing very much and still be a properly bestial black metal band, I guess. This one chick was doing something that I guess you'd call “dancing” through their whole set, so I will cop to possibly being in the unmoved minority.


Finally it was the belle of the ball's turn on the floor, and the crowd swelled appropriately. Castevet are pretty cool. They have a gooey black metal core, but it's wrapped in a crunchy shell of interesting riffs and melodies with some creative song structures. In the past I've likened them somewhat to Krallice, and while both bands exhibit what I've come to think of as “literate NYC black prog” (aka beardiness?) Castevet definitely sounded like their own entity at this show. They're a three-piece, but they've learned how to sound immense; each of the instrumentalists has carved out a sonic space for themselves, and they inhabit those niches with confidence. The guitar tone is killer (okay, so I'm a bit of a gear nerd, fuck off) and, like with Flourishing, the drumming is excellent. I think the band's parents were at the show.

And the girls liked 'em, so that's rock 'n' roll.

All words and pictures by Zosimus



2013 (1) 2014 (1) 2015 (5) 2016 (11) 2017 (5) 3 Inches of Blood (1) 7 Degrees Records (1) A Storm of Light (1) Abbath (2) Absu (1) Acephalix (1) Agalloch (1) Agrath (1) Altar of Plagues (4) ambient (1) Amon Amarth (4) Amorphis (1) Ancient Wound (1) Anhedonist (1) Animals as Leaders (1) Aosoth (1) Apostasy Records (1) Arsis (1) Assück (2) astrogrind (1) At The Gates (1) Atakke (2) Augury (1) Aural Music (1) Australia (1) Autopsy (1) Avantgarde Music (1) Backslider (1) Bandcamp (4) Baroness (5) Barren Earth (1) Batillus (2) Be'lakor (2) Beansidhe (2) Beaten To Death (3) Bindrune Recordings (3) Black Anvil (10) Black Cobra (1) Black Metal (63) Blender Theater (3) Blood Harvest (3) Blood Incantation (1) Blood Music (1) Bloody Panda (1) Blue Record (1) Blut aus Nord (2) Bolt Thrower (2) Bosse-de-Nage (1) Botanist (1) Bowery Ballroom (1) Buckshot Facelift (1) Burning World (1) Burst (4) Cake Shop (2) Candlelight (1) Cannibal Corpse (2) Captain Cleanoff (1) Carcariass (1) Carcass (3) Castevet (8) cats (1) Century Media (1) Chepang (1) Chronicles of Chaos (1) Chuck Schuldiner (1) Cloud Rat (2) Cobalt (2) Code666 (1) Coffinworm (1) Concussion (1) Coney Island High (2) Converge (1) Convulse (1) Convulsing (1) Creator-Destructor Records (1) Crom Dubh (1) Crucifist (1) crust (2) Curandera (2) Cynd (1) Cynic (1) Dååth (1) Dark Descent Records (6) Dark Tranquillity (1) Darkane (1) Darkthrone (2) Deafest (5) Death (2) Death Angel (1) death metal (64) Deathspell Omega (1) Debemur Morti (2) Decibel (2) Decrepit Birth (2) Defeatist (8) Demilich (1) Dephosphorus (1) Disappearer (1) Discordance Axis (1) diSEMBOWELMENT (1) Disma (3) Disrotted (1) Dissection (2) Don't Give a Fuck (1) doom (27) Down (2) Dream Theater (2) Drugs of Faith (1) Dunkelheit Produktionen (1) Duplicate Records (1) Dying Fetus (1) Dystrophy (1) Earache (4) Eight Bells (1) Eluveitie (1) Emperor (1) Enslaved (3) Entombed (2) Epoch (1) Europa (3) Explosions In The Sky (1) Falls of Rauros (1) Fen (3) FLAC (1) Flaming Tusk (4) Flourishing (6) folk (1) folk metal (2) From Exile (1) Fuck the Facts (5) funeral doom (5) Funeral Moth (2) Fuoco Fatuo (1) Gattaca (1) Gaza (1) GetOverHere (1) Gigan (1) Gilead Media (3) God Dethroned (2) Gojira (5) Google Music (1) Google music beta (1) Gorguts (3) Gorod (2) Gramercy Theater (2) Grand Ballroom (1) Grave Miasma (1) Graveyard Hill Records (1) Grind and Punishment (1) grindcore (30) Grindcore Karaoke (1) Guns N' Roses (1) Gustavo Santaolalla (1) Gwynbleidd (1) Gygax (1) Handshake Inc. (1) hardcore (8) Heaving Earth (2) heavy metal (2) Hells Headbangers (2) Hellthrasher Productions (2) High Water Media (1) Highline Ballroom (1) Hivelords (1) Holy Grail (1) Hooded Menace (2) Horrendous (3) Horror Pain Gore Death Productions (2) Howls of Ebb (1) Humanity Falls (2) Hybreed Chaos (1) I (1) I Abhor (1) Ill Omen (1) Imbroglio (2) Immolation (6) Immortal (4) Impiety (1) In Flames (2) Incantation (3) industrial (2) Infernal Stronghold (1) Infestus (1) Ingrowing (1) Inquisition (2) Interviews (1) Intronaut (2) Inverloch (1) Invertia (1) Invictus Productions (2) Ipsissimus (2) Irkallian Oracle (1) Iron Bonehead (1) Iron Bonehead Productions (1) Iron Maiden (4) Irving Plaza (4) Isis (1) Katatonia (3) Khthoniik Cerviiks (2) King Giant (1) Krallice (10) Kreator (4) Krypts (3) Kylesa (4) Lamb of God (2) Landmine Marathon (3) Last Rites (1) Laster (1) Latitudes (1) Lavadome productions (2) Lay Down Rotten (2) Legion (1) Listenable Records (1) Lit Lounge (1) Ludicra (4) Lychgate (1) Madison Square Garden (1) Magrudergrind (2) Man's Gin (1) Manipulator (1) Marduk (1) Marty Friedman (1) Martyrdöd (1) Maruta (1) Maryland Deathfest (2) Mas-Kina Recordings (2) Masonic Temple (1) Mastodon (6) Megadeth (1) melodic death metal (4) Melvins (2) Metal Bandcamp (6) Metallica (1) Mikael Åkerfeldt (1) Milwaukee Metalfest (1) Mind Mold (1) Mirovia (1) Misery's Omen (1) Mithras (2) Mitochondrion (1) Moksha (1) Mollusk (1) Mono (2) Moonsorrow (1) Morbus Chron (1) Mortician (1) Motörhead (1) Mournful Congregation (1) Music Hall of Williamsburgh (1) Mutant Supremacy (5) Mutiny Within (1) My Dying Bride (4) Nachtreich (2) Naisian (1) Napalm Death (5) Nasum (1) Necrophobic (1) Necrosemen (1) Necrowretch (1) neo-classical (1) Nephelium (1) Nerve Altar (2) Neuraxis (3) Neurisis (1) New Zealand (1) Nile (2) Nirvana (1) No Fashion Records (1) noise (3) Nokia Theater (1) Nordvis (2) Nuclear Blast (3) Nuclear War Now! (1) Nucleus (2) NWOBHM (2) Obscura (4) Obsequiae (2) Ogg Vorbis (1) Opeth (5) Order of Orias (1) Osmose Productions (1) Owen Hart (1) P.L.F. (1) Pact Ink Records (2) Pagan Records (1) Pallbearer (1) Pantera (1) Paroxsihzem (2) Peaceville (4) Pelican (6) Phantom Glue (1) Phil Anselmo (1) Pinnacle of Bedlam (1) pirate metal (1) Plebeian Grandstand (2) Poland (1) Polluted Inheritance (1) Portal (1) post-metal (2) post-rock (2) PRC music (1) Priapus (1) Prisoner of War (1) Profound Lore (9) prog (11) Prosthetic (2) Psychic Limb (3) Pulverised Records (1) Qrixkuor (2) Quorthon (1) Radiation Blackbody (1) random playlist (3) Red Album (1) reissue (1) Relapse (8) Revocation (5) Ritual Chamber (1) Robert Johnson (1) Sabre (1) Saint Vitus Bar (1) Sarcasm (1) Sarpanitum (1) Satan (1) Scion (1) Scrotum Jus Records (1) Selfmadegod Records (1) Sentient Ruin (1) Setentia (2) Seventh Rule (1) Severnaya (1) Shadow Kingdom Records (1) Shea Stadium (1) Siberian Hell Sounds (1) Skeletonwitch (6) Slough Feg (1) Sludge (17) Slugdge (1) Social Distortion (1) Soilwork (3) Soulseller Records (1) Southern Lord (3) Spectral Lore (2) speed metal (1) StarGazer (1) Streetwalker (1) Suffering Hour (1) Suffocation (5) Sulaco (1) Summer Slaughter (1) surf (1) Swallow the Sun (2) Swashbuckle (3) Swedish Death Metal (1) Swimming (1) Swords of Chaos (1) Sydney (1) Symphony X (1) Taake (1) technical death metal (7) Temple of Abandonment (1) Temple of Void (1) Thantifaxath (1) The Absence (1) The Acheron (3) The Ajna Offensive (1) The Binary Code (1) The Bowery Electric (2) The Chance (4) The Charleston (2) The Communion (1) The Faceless (4) The Fucking Champs (2) The Knitting Factory (3) The Path Less Traveled Records (7) The Rolling Stones (1) The Secret (2) The Studio at Webster Hall (5) Thou (1) thrash (10) Thrawsunblat (1) Throatruiner Records (1) Throne Records (1) Tiger Flowers (3) Toad's Place (1) Tombs (6) Triptykon (1) Union Pool (2) Unmen (1) Unspeakable Axe Records (1) Urfaust (1) Vancouver (1) Velnias (1) Vendetta Records (1) Vex (1) Via Nocturna (1) Vic records (1) viking (2) Vit (1) Vitriol Records (1) Vore (1) W.T.C Productions (1) Wadge (1) Wake (2) Warbringer (2) Weakling (3) Weapon (1) Weedeater (1) What We All Come To Need (1) Willowtip (4) Withered (5) WITTR (1) Woe (3) Wolves In The Throne Room (5) Woods of Ypres (4) Wormrot (9) Writhing Mass (1) Xaddax (1) Xantam (1) year-end list (2) Yellow Eyes (1) Yith (1) Zhrine (1) Zosimus (1)