Monday, 30 November 2015

Hooded Menace - "Darkness Drips Forth" (Album Review)

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 30/10/2015
Label: Relapse Records


Hooded Menace has delivered a powerful and dynamic record with plenty of doom, fully informed with the approach of death metal of a more Euro/Scandi approach. For me, there is nothing to dislike here and everything to enjoy. A fine and focused record.


“Darkness Drips Forth” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Blood For The Burning Oath/Dungeons of The Disembodied
2). Elysium of Dripping Death
3). Ashen with Solemn Decay
4). Beyond Deserted Flesh

Hooded Menace is:

The Review:

Death/Doom monsters Hooded Menace return to “Finnish” us all off with a brand new masterpiece! That is the most levity you will get from me when reviewing this album. To say that it is not a cheery listen would be a huge understatement.

This is slow. This is heavy. This is very, very dark. In fact, rarely has an album title summed up the contents held therein so accurately. Opener “Blood For The Burning Oath/Dungeons of The Disembodied” is packed full of ideas- leads, melodies, very dark riffing and deeper than the ocean vocals combine to make this eleven minute plus track just fly by (or at least crawl speedily).

I find the production to be a step up from 2012's “Effigies of Evil” and the band really deliver a tightly played opus, neatly shifting time feels and using dynamics to good effect. In fact, the heart of the record is as death as it is doom- in terms of approach and structures, certainly.

“Elysium of Dripping Death” continues the macabre journey with some very funereal sounding doom passages, mixed in with more familiar doom and melancholy. Generally speaking the tracks come in somewhere around the ten or eleven minute mark, so across four songs you get well over forty minutes of music. This is worth noting, as it means that the album does not outstay its welcome and the band is allowed to focus their ideas into the strongest possible showing over the course of the record. It is not all unremitting oppressive weight; there are moments, if not of levity, that at least lift the shroud a little and allow some lighter elements to enter the sound.

“Ashen with Solemn Decay” boasts an enormous and reverb heavy drum sound for the intro and then the guitars kick in with a rather Paradise Lost style lead/rhythm riff section before the doom gets going again. Again, there is rather more lead and melody than I expected on the album as a whole and that is a fine thing.

“Beyond Deserted Flesh” has some excellent chugging riffs and recalls a much slowed down version of peak Swe-Death. Indeed, the track is the best on the record for me. It could be that it takes a while to get into the overall sound and approach, but once you do you will be hooked- if death/doom is your thing.

Hooded Menace has delivered a powerful and dynamic record with plenty of doom, fully informed with the approach of death metal of a more Euro/Scandi approach. For me, there is nothing to dislike here and everything to enjoy. A fine and focused record. 


“Darkness Drips Forthis available here

FFO: Asphyx, Coffins, Druid Lord, Autopsy

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