It’s nice to know that even Finland can create a good doom album as Hooded Menace releases “Effigies of Evil“. The 8 song, 50 minute album starts off with a dreary song that lasts for 10:27. That’s one hell of a start! This death/doom album is everything you’d expect, but with a sub-par execution. Their version of this genre is a little different from other death/doom bands I’ve heard this year. Vocals aren’t exactly that typical mean death metal growl, but they do still sound incredibly mean. The riffs on this album are thick and heavy. This album tends to have a more of a groove more so than funeral doom. Very chunky riffs with a basic drum pattern laid over it. Effigies of Evil is a good death/doom album, but it’s far from the best.
While most of the album does get your head moving and foot tappin, I found the sterile drumming to add nothing special to the album. The vocals tend to get annoying after awhile, I don’t care for this approach as it sounds like some sort of swamp monster. The kind you laugh at, not the fearsome kind. The leads over the riffs are nothing special either, while some of the bends and licks are cool, I found most of them to be rather boring.
Hooded Menace’s release isn’t all bad though, some of these riffs are damn fine. It just sucks that you have to sit through many boring parts to get to it. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’ve had far too many death/doom bands send me music this year or what, because I just wasn’t feeling this nor was I in the mood for this. It felt like a definite “been there, heard that” album with me this time around, which isn’t good. Nothing stood out and nothing captivated me. I love the death/doom blended genre but this album is an average release at best.
Just a little constructive criticism, slow the riffs down a little, work on the leads a little more and drop the vocal style. The death metal vocals just doesn’t work with this band.