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Hooded Menace: Effigies of Evil

Imagine if Cathedral had not gone all hippie after the release of their magnificent debut album. What would they have sounded like? Well, chances are that they might have sounded like the Finnish doom metal act Hooded Menace do on Effigies of Evil.

Effigies of Evil features the same type of slow and oppressive doo metal music heard on Forest of Equilibrium. And, yes, the Cathedral influence definitely seems ubiquituous on Hooded Menace's latest effort. However, the Finns do add their very own twist on the genre that was resurrected and redefined by Cathedral back in the early 90s, combining traditional doom metal with a slight touch of 70s psychedelia and an overarching death metal attitude.

Thus, Effigies of Evil features some of the most crushing doom metal riffs known to mankind, but these are combines with a very melodic approach to the use of two guitars. More often than not do Hooded Menace make use of harmonic twin guitars, and, on the whole, melodic guitar leads constitute the defining feature of this album. Into the mix, Hooded Menace pour a good dose of 70s groove and a pinch of psychedelia, without their music ever tilting over into stoner metal territory.

On the musical side, Effigies of Evil is defintiely one of the finest doom metal albums to see the light of day since Cathedral's debut, and, if you like haunting slow and depressive music, then look no further. The only aspect of the album that does not appeal to me personally is the use of gutturally growled death metal vocals. Then again, after a handful of listens, my ears have at least been attuned towards the vocals, but I still have not learned to fully appreciate growls in doom metal, so, essentially that's my own problem. Also, given that Hooded Menace's lyrical universe evolves around horror, the growls might actually not be that misplaced after all. I am sure that most metalheads will totally dig the guttural growls on this album.

Fans of doom metal and especially death-doom and, even more so, fans of Cathedral's debut album must not miss out on the depressive and haunting, darkly melodic doom metal that Hooded Menace offer up on Effigies of Evil.

1. Vortex Macabre
2. Effigies of Evil
3. In the Dead We Dwell
4. Curses Scribed in Gore
5. Crumbling Insanity
6. Summoned into Euphoric Madness
7. Evoken Vulgarity
8. Retribution in Eternity

Added: September 8th 2012
Reviewer: Kim Jensen
Related Link: Hooded Menace @ Bandcamp
Hits: 2387
Language: english

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Hooded Menace: Effigies of Evil
Posted by Carl Sederholm, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-09-12 20:11:56
My Score:

I'm a big fan of Vincent Price and I loved the way Hooded Menace (in the track "Crumbling Insanity" drew on his speech from the Roger Corman film The House of Usher. The passage they use comes when Price's character, Roderick Usher, describes the scratching sounds his twin sister Madeline makes as she tries to get out of her casket. Taken from Poe's story, "The Fall of the House of Usher," the movie deals with, in part, the way that Roderick's heightened senses drive him crazy. Worse still, he buries his sister, knowing full well that she is alive but suffering from a fit of catalepsy. Hooded Menace, of course, isn't directly responding to Poe (or the film) but the allusion sets up a strong hint that the music itself deals with questions of madness. I like it when metal bands turn an eye to literature and film to help strengthen their musical ideas. Musically, this album is generally strong and consistently shows off some good songwriting. I found the vocals, at times, a little too heavy.

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