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