“Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed”

By Dr. Abner Mality
Hooded Menace is a band that’s run out of gas completely. They just basically keep releasing the same songs over and over, only not as effectively as when they first did it. The ponderously titled new album is not really any different from their previous record, except now they have a new lead singer who also is not as effective as his predecessor. Hari Kuokkenen’s growls are a diminished version of Lasse Pykko’s stone crushing guttural roars. Lasse is  still in the band, though, which is now a full five man unit. I liked them better when they were a duo.

The first Hooded Menace album “Fulfill the Curse” was a genuinely bone-breaking example of death/doom that has stood the test of time. At that point, they had not yet gone overboard with twin guitar harmonies. “Never Cross The Dead” saw the band adding those guitar harmonies and a more obvious Candlemass influence to their grisly sound. It was an interesting and welcome evolution. Since then, they have mined the same waters with regularity and the sound has become tired. “Sempiternal Grotesqueries” starts the album exactly like the opening track of their last album. I have a hard time telling these tunes apart. There are still effective riffs and impressive solos but it’s just too familiar. Getting through the whole album is a chore and ironically the brief instrumental “Black Moss” that ends the album might be my favorite track.

They needed to shake things up on this album and failed to do it…ironic considering all the new faces in the band. I think time has kind of passed Hooded Menace by.