ALBUM REVIEW: Hooded Menace ‘Gloom Immemorial’

Gloom Immemorial

HOODED MENACE
‘Gloom Immemorial’
Doomentia Records
(Released December 2014)
9/10

‘Gloom Immemorial’ is a compilation of bits and pieces from the superior Finnish death-doom giant Hooded Menace’s seven-year history. It’s a very satisfying collectors’ item, featuring rare and filthy gems dating back to the band’s 2007 demo and including stuff from the 2012 EP ‘Effigies Of Evil’, as well as splits with Asphyx, Coffins, Loss and many more.

In total, you get your doom-hungry hands on 11 excellent tracks spanning around 76 minutes and four different band line-ups. The songs flit between a kind of trundling, leprous Cathedral style to soporific, rotten death in the vein of Autopsy.

Bruising tones, crawling anguish, melodic leads, mid-paced groove, volcanic vocals… Hooded Menace are like some horrendous hybrid of Dismember and Candlemass.

Some songs work better than others; the opening two songs, taken from the demo, seem a little raw compared to more recent compositions, while one or two other tracks wander off-course slightly. But the slow, twisted riffs keep coming like a relentless plague.

Hooded Menace are heavy and dark, but also inventive and fiercely determined songwriters, dancing on your skull like doom-jesters and grinding your soul into dust. Songs such as ‘Abode Of The Grotesque’ and ‘I, Devil Master’ showcase the band’s ability to combine originality with unfeasible power.

As well as new, typically cheery visuals courtesy of Misanthropic Art, the CD comes with original artwork from the previous releases too. All of which makes this the perfect gift for any doom metal fan, to ensure a truly miserable Christmas.

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