Hooded Menace Darkness Drips Forth on LP + Download
Horror and doom metal have gone hand in hand since the dawn of heavy metal. From their 2007 inception, Finland's Hooded Menace have embodied this dualism, drawing lyrical inspiration from the main subjects of the classic Spanish horror movie series The Blind Dead, the undead, eyeless Templar knights who rode on horseback and drank the blood of their victims. Musically, the band were inspired by pioneers such as Candlemass, Paradise Lost, Autopsy, and Asphyx, among others. Founded by guitarist Lasse Pyykko (Phlegethon, Vacant Coffin, Acid Witch), Hooded Menace aspired to play doom-laden death metal that mixed somber riffs with a hint of melody. The band's debut 2008 full-length Fulfill The Curse found them abundant underground acclaim, and established the act as an artist to keep an eye – or, at least an eye socket – on.
Following the band's well-received 2010 full-length Never Cross the Dead (Profound Lore) and a series of splits on Doomentia Records with the likes of Asphyx and current Relapse morticians Coffins, Hooded Menace signed to Relapse Records in 2011, and released the full-length Effigies of Evil in September 2012. The record received widespread positive reception, heightening Hooded Menace's profile and attesting to their status as a cornerstone of modern European death/doom. Decibel called Effigies "one of the most intimidating and unforgiving metal albums of the year," while Revolver deemed the release "highly recommended for those who are looking to get away from the cookie-cutter mold of today's oversaturated death metal scene."
Now, four years later, Hooded Menace are poised to return with their most gruesome work yet, Darkness Drips Forth. The band employ a new approach on their latest effort, compacting their compositions into four mammoth tracks that nearly all exceed ten minutes (save for the 9:48 "Ashen With Solemn Decay"). Pyykko's cavernous vocals preside over the rocky riffs, while the unshakable rhythmic pair of Markus Makkonen (bass) and Pekka Koskelo (drums) provide the steely backbone of the lengthy tracks.
That hint of melody Hooded Menace sought back in their earliest days, powered by the twin guitar onslaught of Lasse Pyykkoo and Teemu Hannonen, has fully blossomed into an essential element of the band's music; Darkness Drips Forth is as melodic as it is devastating and as emotionally disquieting as it is thematically stirring. Funereal, deliberated, and unhurried, Darkness Drips Forth is Hooded Menace's strongest output to date, and is sure to be an essential acquisition for fans of crushing doom and old-school death metal alike.