Saturday, September 1, 2012

Review of “Effigies of Evil” by Hooded Menace

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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

Finland’s doom/death-lords Hooded Menace make their Relapse debut with ‘Effigies of Evil’, a brutally ripping album of slow-paced, down-tuned ultra-heaviness.  Combining the grooving riffs of High on Fire and early Cathedral with the fire of classic Autopsy and Dismember, ‘Effigies Of Evil’ is an instant metal classic.  ‘Effigies Of Evil’ is the peak combination of Hooded Menace’s fascination with classic 90s death metal, prototypical 70s doom and cult horror flicks-----a collection of obsessions that any heavy-music fan proudly wears for life.  ‘Effigies of Evil’ is a triumphant album of filth, sludge, riffs and groove that transforms cult heroes Hooded Menace into legitimate heavy metal of the most intimidating and unforgiving metal albums of the year" - Decibel

Eerie winds and guitar starts off the album and begins the first track “”Vortex Macabre.” The vocals are very Mikael Åkerfeldt feeling when he does his harsher vocals. The guitars keep it fresh and aren’t boring at all. They definitely have an old school death metal feel to them and it shines through in the solos and harmonized riffs. Some parts felt thrash-like as well which was interesting and the ending groove bit with lead over top was a nice way to end the track. If the prior riff played right into “Effigies of Evil” the transition would have been beautiful. I really like the sludge in the opening riff and the solo a minute in was pretty cool. The lead riff that follows had a great vibe to it as well.  The main riff on this track is very catchy and the solo with the lead three quarters of the way through is much better than the earlier part.

The sound clip at the beginning of the next song about vampires with the guitar fading in on top of it is really awesome sounding in the next song. The guitar in “In the Dead We Dwell” really reminds me of Tyr in a way, it just has a little bit of their folk vibe. The lead sounds superbly groove feeling and make this song. Starting of with a menacing growl, is “Curses Scribed in Gore.” This track definitely shows off their old school death metal vibe the best on the album. The slow lead and harmonization was really badass sounding. The main riff is really catchy and I can hear a little slam on the end, that is almost not noticeable but I caught it.

The opening guitar riff in “Crumbling Insanity” is very entertaining because it feels like it belongs in the accompanying sound clip. There is a very melodic, groove like lead on this track and also has a trash bit about two minutes in that is really mosh inducing.  Definitely another slam type riff in this song, which sounds awesome with the solo. The lead after that is very evil sounding. “Summoned into Euphoric Madness” had some really catchy, groovy guitar in it. The solo and lead a quarter the way through was well done. When the guitar started chugging with the lead over top of it sounded great. The harmonized sludge sound is really dirty.

I really digged the guitars in the beginning of “Evoken Vulgarity.” They were very chug and groove like and when the lead comes in over the top, it all sounds like a masterpiece. The harmonized part sounds very mellow but in an eerie way. Three quarters of the way had some great solos, especially the second one with the guitar effect. To end the album we have “Retribution in Eternity,” which is just very eerie feedback and guitar that makes for a creepy but mellow outro with sound clips.

This was a very well rounded album and though it also had death metal vocals on top of doom style riffs, I find it had more substance than Surprise Path. With vocals like Mikael Åkerfeldt and guitars taking from every genre of metal, Hooded Menace really prove to be not just you run of the mill doom metal band. This album is an obvious by

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