Hooded Menace hail from Finland the home of other Doom stalwarts such as Reverend Bizarre, Lord Vicar, Shape of Despair and Unholy. The line up consists of two people but for live appearances there are a series of live musicians. The band released their first demo in 2007 and since then has released two albums, an ep and five splits with the likes of Asphyx and Coffins.
“Effigies of Evil” is third full length release, this time on the Relapse label which will bring the band to a wider audience. The band is under the doom/death tag which to an extent understates the range of influences that can be heard in the music.
Opening track “Vortex Macabre” is a weighty 10 minute track; it builds from swishes and brings in slow harmony guitars which are reminiscent of early Queen records. When the band kicks off you are dealing with a snail’s pace doom workout with guttural vocals before picking up into a standard metal speed. This track has many twists and turns with main rhythms complimented by harmony guitar lines before dropping like a stone back into the slow doom.
“In the Dead we Dwell” has opening samples concerning the various methods of killing vampires before again following much the same blueprint of the opening track. “Curses Scribed in Gore” picks up the speed and nods heavily towards Paradise Lost’s “Mortals Watch the Day”. “Crumbling Insanity” uses samples of the now well worn Vincent Price, this track flirts between solid mid paced riffing and slow doom passages, Autopsy is a reference point when they play more melodious passages.
“Evoken Vulgarity” gets right down to business with a driving double kick and tortured vocals before dropping the speed and upping the intensity of the doom and vocals. The music and vocals blend perfectly; even though there is plentiful supply of melody in the riffs and the vocals total indecipherable terror. The album as a whole is quite similar but never boring and really stands out in this genre.
Overall this album is superb, very heavy with a perfect blend of doom, death, melody and horror. Production is outstanding, warm with plenty of bottom end with all instruments getting an even slice of the sound. If old school doom death such as Paradise Lost and Autopsy or more recent bands like Hail of Bullets are your thing then this will sit neatly in your collection. The previous album “Never Cross the Dead” is also worth searching out and is more of the same. I don’t think the ethos behind this band is to reinvent the wheel but rather give it some stripes. This is apparent in the care taken with the production and the different flavours of bands and genres displayed in the songs.
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
Band Line up
Lasse Pyykko – vocals, guitars and bass,
Pekka Koskelo – drums