Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Hooded Menace - Gloom Immemorial (Album Review)

Album Type: Compilation
Date Released: 19/12/2014
Label: Doomentia Records

‘Gloom Immemorial CD//DD// track listing:

1. Fulfill the Curse (from “The Eyeless Horde” 7"EP)
2. The Eyeless Horde (from “The Eyeless Horde” 7"EP)
3. A Decay of Mind and Flesh (Anima Morte cover) (from split with Anima Morte 7"EP)
4. The Haunted Ossuary (from split with Coffins 7"EP)
5. I, Devil Master (from “Live Evil Volume One” comp. DLP)
6. Catacombs of the Graceless (from split with Ilsa 12"EP)
7. Abode of the Grotesque (from split with Asphyx 7"EP)
8. Instruments of Eternal Damnation (from split with Horse Latitudes 12"EP)
9. Chasm of the Wraith (from “Labyrinth of Carrion Breeze” 12"EP)
10. The Creeping Flesh (from “Labyrinth of Carrion Breeze” 12"EP)
11. Monuments of Misery (from split with Loss 12"EP)

Hooded Menace is

Lasse Pyykkö | Guitars (2007-present), Vocals (2007-2010), Bass (2010, 2011-2012), Vocals (studio) | (2011-present)
Pekka Koskelo | Drums (2009-2010, 2011-present)
Markus Makkonen | Bass, Vocals (live) (2012-present)
Teemu Hannonen | Guitars (2012-present)


The Joensuu grave robbing death/doom act Hooded Menace are back with a compilation of tracks from various EP’s and Split releases that further exhibit the consistency in the quality of their material.  From the beginning to the end of this record, the listener is served with a premium dose of heavy and crushing death doom. In terms of musicality I see comparisons to Acid Witch but with less hallucinogenics, fans of epic Japanese band Coffins will also be delighted with what they hear. The most melancholic tracks could also be mistaken for Paradise Lost’s earliest work.  Interested?? You should be!!

In the interests of being concise with this review and for the benefit of you, the readers, I’m going to focus on the songs that made my heart tick, that little bit extra, so let’s get started.  The compilation starts with one of my favourite tracks, ‘Fulfill the Curse.’ It has melodic leads that sound very much like Paradise Lost, contagious like some rampant plague; the volcanic vocals I love and a mid-paced groove give this song great dynamics. ‘A Decay of Mind and Flesh’ is an epic instrumental song and despite my usual reservations about instrumental tracks in general, this touches my nerve, starting with a groove-oriented riff, heavier than ten ton of bricks and with additional guitar leads floating around the song, this is truly mind-blowing stuff.

Onward with ‘The Haunted Ossuary’ and this starts out in the same vein, but with an added bruising vocal underpinning the track, the crushing landscapes that Hooded Menace serves up, scares me to death, but trust me, I love it!  ‘I, Devil Master’ is another slow beast with pounding heaviosity from the guitars. The song reminds me of Autopsy and the performance from Lasse is reminiscent of chief gurgler Mr Reifert. Seriously, I’m down on my knees begging for more. The song ends with a psychedelic trip, giving the music a much richer and deeper perspective. This song is an all-time classic.  After this, I’m left feeling quite exhausted, but it is short lived and I am soon soaking in a bloodbath, with ‘Catacombs of the Graceless’ which includes some mind-expanding sounds. Brilliant Stuff!  Abode of the Grotesque’, is a pretty basic song but not in a bad way, pounding riffs but with breaks and nice double bass drum rolls, with those distinct guitar harmonies.

Finally ‘Monuments of Misery’ is introduced by an up-tempo guitar intro and then the cadence is slowed to a drone influenced riff, with a vocal performance that could wake the dead.

In summary then, this compilation is an essential purchase.  For those fans with empty wallets, this is a means of collecting the out of print, heavily overpriced EBay splits and EP’s at a reasonable price. If you like Hooded Menace you love this record

Words by: Sven-Åke Alveving

You can pick up a copy here

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