Hooded Menace - Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed
Season Of Mist
Death/Doom Metal
7 songs (45' 55")
Release year: 2018
Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Andy

2008 was a good year for Hooded Menace's variety of music. I remember hearing, on the forums of the glorious but now-defunct Snakenet Metal Radio, of this new death/doom band named Acid Witch. Suddenly, it seemed like horror-themed death-doom was coming out of the woodwork faster than the rotting hordes depicted in their songs: Hooded Menace, Acid Witch, and Decrepitaph released their debuts in 2008, and Claws and Skeletal Spectre released theirs a year later. This Cambrian Explosion was the product of two factors: a flurry of promotion by Razorback Recordings, and the unflagging musical efforts of Lasse Pyykkö, who was involved with all but one of the above bands and founded two of them. Hooded Menace, one of these two, has flourished over the last ten years; unlike some of Razorback's blasphemous spawn, its sound hasn't changed a lot since its inception. Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed sees its sound modernizing, but only a little bit.

It all comes down to riffs, the deeper and more chugging the better. Paired with new vocalist Harri Kuokkanen's deep growl, the opening track overflows with doom, but picks up into a shambling run after the first few minutes. The guitar distortion used is a lot smoother than the early days of the band, and the general ambience is missing the raw sound that originally characterized those Razorback releases, but if the band has grown more polished, their songwriting has also improved. In Eerie Deliverance's ringing lead guitar is different from anything I heard them do before, with more of a gothic feel than the death-metal-oriented pieces of yore, but there are plenty of harmonized twin-guitar leads howling out of the midrange over a crushing bass if you still prefer the old sound.

In keeping with the band's habit on prior albums, the last track is an instrumental. But the album also comes with a bonus track, a cover of Celtic Frost's Sorrows of the Moon, with the gothic emotion of the original turned way down and the doom metal turned up. It's not an interpretation that's going to blow anyone away -- it has the vibe of Acid Witch doing a cover of a Katatonia song -- but it's entertaining.

The band doesn't really need to add a bonus track like this, though. Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed stands firmly on its six original tracks, and even the updated production doesn't hurt it at all.

Bandcamp: https://hoodedmenace.bandcamp.com/album/ossuarium-silhouettes-unhallowed.

Killing Songs :
In Eerie Deliverance, Charnel Reflections
Andy quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Hooded Menace that we have reviewed:
Hooded Menace - Never Cross The Dead reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
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