Following their Relapse Records debut in 2012 with the rockin' death-doom masterpiece Effigies Of Evil, 2013 saw the prolific Hooded Menace retreat back into obscurity. However, they weren't merely hanging out watching their 'Tombs Of The Blind Dead' videotape for the hundredth time, as they're back with with yet another monstrous release via Doomentia Records: Labyrinth Of Carrion Breeze.
It's clear from the tone and tempo that 'Chasm Of The Wraith' leans more towards the funereal end of the doom spectrum than their usual fare and when Lasse's chasmic vocals kick in, they'll blow the cobwebs off of your casket, that's for damn sure!
Hooded Menace's strong point has always been in the simultaneous catchiness and heaviness of Lasse's riffs, and this new material is no exception; he packs more interesting riffs into a single song than most bands have in their entire catalogue. Only occasionally descending into histrionics, for the most part this track is all killer, no filler, especially impressive for a 10 minute song!
'The Creeping Flesh' pulls no punches, as that roar emerges from the depths immediately, dragging you down into the darkness. While not quite as varied as the opener, this track does feature some prime ribcage-rattling double-kick work from drummer Pekka Koskelo. For those of you who dig the bands that Hooded Menace take their inspiration from, you'll want to throw on Lost Paradise after hearing this one, trust me.
Hooded Menace are one of the most notable death-doom bands of recent years thanks to a slew of consistently excellent releases, and with the release of Labyrinth Of Carrion Breeze their reputation as one of the best in the genre has only been further cemented. There are still copies of the black vinyl variant going over at Doomentia Records, so snag one while you still can!
You can read my full, unedited review of this record over at Echoes & Dust...
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