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.

87/100

Hooded Menace Myspace

7 comments:

Orthodoxyn said...

I am not a big fan of doom, but the tag of death/doom has sold it to me alongside the artwork, will give this a go.

atanamar said...

@Orthodoxyn - I'm also not a big fan of doom. I've tried pretty hard to get into some of the more acclaimed albums over the past few years, and it never really clicks for me. Hooded Menace are an exception.

this is a band i've been meaning to check out and you hand until my dying bride, etc. i prefer my death/doom along the winter/grief axis. am i gonna be disappointed here?

atanamar said...

@Andrew - you'll probably be disappointed if that's what you're looking for. I mean, the lyrics are unintelligible, so if you pay no attention to them you definitely get a cold grieving vibe from this stuff. But then it shifts into some kick-you-in-the-dick grooving that really pulls it away from that world. It's only similar to My Dying Bride (of the era I referenced) in that there's a lot of tempo-changing and memorable doomage. Spirit wise, it's in another universe.

Also - got the new Decibel today, and they have a feature on Wormrot, in which you're name-dropped. I think that deserves a hells yes. Fist bump.

forreal? that's hilarious. i haven't got my copy yet.

i'm still railing against last month's issue where they let lord worm from cryptopsy review it and he passed it off as just another grind band. still trying to hold in the urge to punch someone in the dick over that one.

runlevel0 said...

Well, not all doom is funeral doom. I am a full-time doomster and I barely never hear bands with "riffs that doesn't lead anywhere". There's quite a lot of misunderstanding about doom metal, I have no idea why people tend to thing that all doom is funeral-drone stuff, while indeed a huge part of the doom scene is actually almost classical Heavy Metal like Candlemass or Solitude Aeturnus or even Doomsword. Or stuff that borders with hard rock, stoner or psychedelia. Or the groove bands as Cathedral. In fact the fun in metal is always at the borders, where styles mix, like Behemoth or Acheron in the Death/Black scene or like what DRI did mixing thrash metal with hardcore. Doom is actually the style with more variations and you can find bands mixing any style from hardcore to death and black... and even POP (I swear it!): Torche (check them out in Metal Archives), not my style but quite nice to hear!
Ah, and THX for your review, I always read them before buying.

Aylmer said...

Everything these guys do is rad. Lasse Pyykkö's Claws is really good too. Nice blog.

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