The sixth chapter “The Tritonus Bell” of Finland’s death/doom quartet Hooded Menace is their most monolithic offering of crushing doom metal. Since its formation, guitarist and former vocalist Lasse Pyykkö brought a great degree of what seems cavernous and menacing tone to the craft. This time the band emphasizes the elements of heavy metal to inject the dynamics into the tempos as they add new characteristics while still maintaining the signature sound of the band. Hooded Menace ensures a new direction and yet they are still able to forge the songs on a visceral level. “Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed” was poised towards dramatic melancholy and clear accentuation of mournful melodies, whereas “The Tritonus Bell” brings us another classic installment from these Finnish doomsters at its heaviest sound. The fine honing of skills and songwriting proves how creative the band has become.
Over time, Hooded Menace has gone from strength to strength. The newest album brings unrelenting aggression with ear-splitting riffs and breathless melodies. The virtuous skills of drummer Pekka Koskelo, guitarist, bassist, and keyboards Lasse Pyykkö, along with the rhythm guitars of Teemu Hannonen imbues haunting vistas of doom. The thundering growls of Harri Kuokkanen reverberates powerfully.
After the short intro “Chthonic Exordium” of shredding guitar solos, the album kicks off with “Chime Diabolicus”, where the twin guitars gallop at a steady tempo. Infusing vital dynamics of heavy metal, there are plenty of grooves and a variety of monstrous riffs and layered solos that work perfectly great. Though the tracks have a unique composition of elements, the death/doom riffs are manifold and they slowly plod across the songs.
The majority of the tracks are prone to lengthy mid-tempo despite the heavy pacing. The guitars on “Blood Ornaments” deliver plenty of gloomy rhythms and monstrous death/doom riffing. While the early albums entangled elements of cavernous death and doom metal altogether, “The Tritonus Bell” is still as dark and brooding drenched in dense somber riffs. Hooded Menace gives the fans a definite tone of the heavy metal along the crushing paces. The solos are fired up swiftly. The lucidity of the rhythm guitars depicts a dark and morose mood adding a brooding atmosphere to the plodding riffs, guitar chords, and deep sullen growls that plague the listener.
“Those Who Absorb the Night” delivers an exquisite performance from vocalist Harri Kuokkanen, whereas the guitars weave strong musical hooks emphasizing the woefulness of the beautifully textured melodies. Aside from the plodding drums, “The Tritonus Bell” contains some of the heaviest and catchiest death-doom metal songs. The songs shift to different tempos however they maintain some kind of a cavernous subtlety the element of heavy metal is intricately woven into the tapestry creating a varied range of musical experiences. The emotional undercurrent of the guitars marches into the cold dismal landscapes. With the precise rhythmic patterns the drums and the vocals feel symmetric.
There is a seemingly crushing heaviness produced by the epic riffs and stomping drums blows on “Corpus Asunder”. The clean vocal passages and the growls are brought in an excellent mélange. The guitar melodies drip off like a crimson poison. If the previous album “Ossuarium Silhouettes unhallowed” was chromatically dark and fully drenched in the phantasm of death/doom metal, then the “The Tritonus Bell” is quite the opposite.
“Scattered into Dark” is draped with the themes of traditional doom metal, the approach here captures the riffing styles of Candlemass. Guitarists Lasse Pyykkö, and Teemu Hannonen convey some of the best death/doom riffing on this epic track. The lead guitar brings the kind of awe-inspiring melodies that will freeze your soul. Hooded Menace has gotten quite solid on their newest album. The songs are heavier, faster, and have some slow haunting guitar parts that add a vivid quality to the music. The pounding drum work by Pekka Koskelo is the most striking element, beyond the realm of the traditional death/doom metal, the interpretation of cavernous death metal style is perfectly obtained on the album.
As the song evolves, the guitars build a melodic crescendo in the slower sections, the riffs thunder rising to a towering pinnacle. The kind of musty atmosphere that the guitars create conjure deep melodies especially when the tempo becomes slow. The music illustrates themes of dusty cobwebs embedded between heaps of skulls. The music is filled with a dreadful sense of foreboding. The heavy/doom riffs have shards of inspiration from bands like Candlemass and Paradise Lost.
Hooded Menace manifests catchy musical composition as they merge the melodies and the elegance of the rhythm guitar of the previous album without sacrificing the overall aggression. “The Tritonus Bell” seemingly see the Finns at their best musical form to date. This comes highly recommended for fans of Paradise Lost, Candlemass, and Runemagick.
Release Date: August 27th, 2021
Label: Season of Mist
- Chthonic Exordium
- Chime Diabolicus
- Blood Ornaments
- Those Who Absorb the Night
- Corpus Asunder
- Scattered into Dark
- Instruments of Somber Finality
- The Torture Never Stops (W.A.S.P. cover song)