Review: Hooded Menace – Darkness Drips Forth

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Death! Doom! Hoodies!

Hooded Menace is back with their fourth LP, their first since 2011. While three years might feel like an eternity in today’s hectic world, the band has done their best to fill the gap with smaller releases: two EPs, a split with Loss, and an excellent compilation that gathered all of their vinyl-only releases into one CD. Same thing with the gap between Effigies of Evil and Never Cross The Dead, you’d think founder Lasse Pyykkö and long-term drummer Pekka Koskelo would have run out of steam keeping up with this pace. Like all bands, Hooded Menace has its highs and lows, but never have they released anything bad or unsatisfying. However, it has been noted that writing isn’t getting any easier, and what we have in our hands right now is the band’s most massive release to date. Darkness Drips Forth is composed of four songs, only one of which doesn’t exceed the ten-minute mark. How does it stand against the band’s history? I’m going to spill the beans here and say: well.

With each passing release Hooded Menace, since 2012 a fully-fledged band also including Markus Makkonen on bass/vocals and Teemu Hannonen on guitar, has refined their sound. Looking at the big picture they’ve been heading for a bigger, more melodic and – dare I say – more ‘epic’ sound. Their journey culminates with Darkness Drips Forth. The album begins with a ringing of bells; some would call it cliche, but it simply works. The song unfolds very slowly. For four whole minutes the band trudges on like a funeral doom band, until “Blood for the Burning Oath / Dungeons of the Disembodied” explodes into a a flurry of melodic leads – or so it feels even though the band keeps their approach restrained, opting to blow the listener away later on with the same melody, now tremolo-ish-picked. The songs are long, but the tension is kept at high levels throughout – especially on the slower parts – the riffs keep you banging your head and the melodies bury ‘neath your skin where they remain nesting. In other words, every song is filled with memorable hooks without ever compromising what we have learned to know Hooded Menace as.

 

 

While the rest of the songs mostly do follow suit, each has its own personality as well. Closer “Beyond Deserted Flesh” is a more straightforward cut, whereas “Elysium of Dripping Death” builds on the mournful melodies more than any other Hooded Menace song before. The only song running shorter than ten minutes, “Ashen With Solemn Decay” is also the most upbeat one. Within the context of the album it fits perfectly, but if put to another album and stripped of Pyykkö’s deep growls, it wouldn’t be so obvious who the performer is.

Hooded Menace is keeping busy with their releases, but they’ve somehow managed to keep the quality high. Darkness Drips Forth succeeds at every front, the songwriting, arrangements, performance and production. The crushing bass serves a dictionary definition of heavy, the sharp drum sound sinks well into the occasionally layered world of sound, and the buzz of the guitars conducts power to the riffs and yet takes nothing away from the melodies. Like with their writing, the sound has been evolving slowly, the most perceptible difference here being the vocals – no longer so oppressively on the forefront but rather more integrated into the whole.

In case you didn’t get it yet, Darkness Drips Forth is Hooded Menace’s most complete piece of work to date. And quite possibly their best album. A Four-song fourth effort worthy of:

4.5/5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell

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  • It took me forever to stop getting this band and Ten Masked Men confused

  • Hooded Menace make me a lot less grouchy about modern extreme sub-genres / 10.

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain
    • If I could meet just one living-legend it would be the incomparable Ivan Moody. I would just die.

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Hell yeah, bro!

      • CyberneticOrganism

        *buys Trucknutz*

  • Wow, the melodies are strong in this one, Beargod.

    Everything sounds in the correct place. Great death/doom.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDoUHKdrmGA

  • Super Nintendo Chalmers

    Listened to this twice all the way through. Still glad I passed on buying it. No memorable riffs or melodies. Nothing on this really stands out. Coupled with the beige album cover, it’s pretty anonymous.

  • Killer shit. Listened to them after Blackbeard’s interview earlier this year.

  • BEARD-SPLITTER

    I figured this would be a starred review

  • Ever get so hungover that you can’t even keep water down? That happened to me yesterday and it was a bad time.

    http://25.media.tumblr.com/d3917c5c9e52d04a3f72eec1bc5fbef9/tumblr_meoraqTXDm1rlo1q2o1_1280.jpg

    • BEARD-SPLITTER

      Went too hard too quick?

      • Yup. Broing it up big time.

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      You crazy bastard. Better take a lap.

      • Ha, I honestly ran for 3 miles to sweat it all out. As soon as I got home and drank some water I puked on the floor. Good times.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Good man.

    • Dehydration. Take care of yourself, get dem vitamins.

    • we stop for a few weeks and that tolerance goes down

      • Waynecro

        I bet I’d get my ass knocked out by a single appletini at this point. I used to drink 30+ ounces of whiskey a night, but I haven’t had a drop since 2006. I have become a cheap date.

        • you used to be fun
          #waynecrofacts

          • Waynecro

            I’ve never been described as fun before. I used to have fun, though.

          • ………and this is what my headstone shall say!

          • Waynecro

            But it doesn’t even rhyme!

          • Based Potoo

            I like him.

          • Waynecro

            You’re just trying to get on my good side because you heard I’m updating my will.

          • Based Potoo

            I’m forming an Union of No Fun. I need as many allies as I can get.

          • Waynecro

            Fun no longer exists, so I’ll join. I’d ask you to join my Misanthropic Army, but it’s truly an army of one.

          • Based Potoo

            I love misanthropy, but I dislike armies.

          • Waynecro

            Army is a bit of a misnomer, really. It’s just me sitting here hating everyone.

    • Dagon

      I know that feeling too well. Funny, since my last major hangover I haven’t been able to drink as many beers as I used to. It seems like my body decides not to subject itself to that shit again.

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain
    • I tend to agree with this. I had a conversation with someone the other day about this and I believe that rock music is pretty much dead in the mainstream today. Hip-Hop pretty much took over.

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Yeah, I agree too. It’s totally dead, again in a mainstream sense.

        • BEARD-SPLITTER

          I prefer it that way

          Hipsterism>>>>>>

        • Vote for Jeb

          I don’t think it’s anything to lament, though. I’m not sure how much further rock itself can evolve. Whenever it does, it typically spawns an offshoot rather than remaining pure rock, e.g. metal or indie or punk.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Exactly.

    • “Granted, there have been some amazing Rock bands to come out in America since the mid 90’s like Buckcherry”
      *powers down laptop, sets on fire

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Yeah, good catch. All they were was a newer, shittier Guns ‘N Roses.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      “Rock Is Dead” article #462,781

  • Waynecro

    I like the melodic parts.

  • J.R.™

    nice sleek, modern new Toilets you have there. Because the old one’s were so overwhelmingly skueomorphic

  • theglitteringthings

    so why doesn’t this have five toilets