I Guess Naming The Band "Evil Dead" Would Have Gotten A Little Heated.
Hooded Menace are a death/doom band from Finland. The three piece aren't just another come around band trying to play death metal, but slower, these guys know how to keep things old-school. Lyrical inspiration is probably pretty obvious to anyone looking at the cover, horror movies.
It's pretty obvious from the opening riff of this album's title-track, Never Cross The Dead, that these guys are gonna keep it slow, groovy, and heavy. Taking influences from bands such as Entombed, old-Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, and Autopsy, the death-doom of this album is old-school sounding, and great. Having said in interviews for this album, slower tempos create a better vibe to suit the lyrics, and that they do.
As anyone reading this by now, and if you haven't already figured out that I told you, this band's lyrical inspiration comes from horror movies, namely, the Evil Dead series. Not only do the lyrics reference both evil and, you guessed it, the dead, but they do it in a way that some will take die hard serious, and others will laugh due to some of the cheesiness from which this album's lyrics are in some cases. The occasional sample from the series also makes itself present in the band's sound once in a while, listen to the screams near the end of Terror Castle. Also check the last song on the album, Theme From The Return of The Dead, duh.
The guitar playing on here is some of the best I've heard from within this genre in recent years. It's slow and groovy, but still very melodic and soulful sounding. When things get slow, they get to Sabbath and Candlemass slow, and when things get groovy, they get your head moving, cause those riffs are so damn awesome and catchy. The melodic part keeps things in check, making sure even the casual listener can tell the chorus from the rest of the song.
The soloing fits in with the rest of the playing on the album; it's slow, but soulful. At times the solos can be morbid and dark sounding, while another one will be soulful and bluesy, check Night of The Deathcult for both. But every time a solo comes up, it straight up rocks and blows away all these newer bands trying to solo.
Overall, this album is great, enough said. The slow tempos and the riffs themselves hark back to the glory days of old-school death metal, where bands like Autopsy and Entombed wrote those amazing album, and where Paradise Lost still had their death metal balls. It may just be the fact that this is from Profound Lore Records, but this album, once again, chock that notch in the wall for them, kicks ass. Check this out old-school fans, and new school fans who want to be taught a lesson in real death/doom.
Overall Score: 8.5Highlights: Never Cross The Dead, Night of The Deathcult, Rituals of Mortal Creation, From Their Coffined Slumber