Hooded Menace [Finland]
Hooded Menace is one of those bands that I have every intention to follow, yet find it tricky with the whole host of EP and split releases that they have. While the band has 3 full length releases under their belts, a release like Gloom Immemorial is therefore something that I actually look forward to, a compilation of tracks taken from EP and split releases from the start of the band’s career, for those lazy to dig up those releases (like me), or for those who are unable to find these (possibly) out-of-print releases.
Fans of Hooded Menace will probably already know what they are in for with Gloom Immemorial, as the compilation goes to show the consistency in the quality of material that is put out by the band. From the opening track Fulfil the Curse to the closing track Monuments of Misery, one is treated to a nice dosage of heavy, crushing, and even at times slightly melancholic death/doom metal. Comparisons with death/doomsters Acid Witch are obvious right from the start with the right amount of groove to balance out the intensity, though with obviously much less hallucinogens in Hooded Menace‘s material. For the most part as well, similarities to bands such as Coffins are also strong, pleasing the Coffins fan in me. The more melancholic tracks on the album even brings one back to the earlier material of bands like Paradise Lost.
Generally, unless a band has a huge discography I personally tend to frown upon compilation releases unless it’s for a new discovery. However, releases such as Gloom Immemorial manage to retain its relevance, containing songs from out-of-print releases, managing to fulfil the purposes of completing the Hooded Menace discography.