Published Jan 22, 2018Hooded Menace are a beast of a particular breed that stand apart from much of their death-doom brethren. From their inception, this Finnish horde have cursed us with their particular take on the genre, taking that well known muddy weight of death metal, but heavily infusing it with the epic, melodious strings of Candlemass and Cathedral. In doing this, Hooded Menace have become true heavyweights in the genre, and Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed is yet another worthy addition to their macabre catalogue, displaying the band's versatility in flirting with both styles of metal seamlessly.
The definite standout track is the opener, "Sempiternal Grotesqueries," which also stands as the longest song on the album. But it justifies its length, as the band go from plodding, funereal crawl to a chugging gallop with horrid elegance. New vocalist Harri Kuokkanen's voice emanates raw fury, complementing the thundering of the rhythm section as the soaring melodious guitars rise over the murk like the triumphant dead from ancient crypts.
As with their previous work, Hooded Menace do not wallow only in the dark hopelessness that countless bands bind themselves to. Instead, their sound encompasses a drama of epic proportions, with each song reflecting moments of horror as well as hope. The light is as present as the suffocating shadow on Ossuarium…, which results in a tapestry of varied emotion and layers that might surprise or even push some listeners away. Regardless, Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed is an album to be considered over multiple listens. (Season of Mist)