Metal Storm logo
Hooded Menace - The Tritonus Bell review

Bandcamp music player

66 users:
Band: Hooded Menace
Album: The Tritonus Bell
Release date: August 2021

01. Chthonic Exordium
02. Chime Diabolicus
03. Blood Ornaments
04. Those Who Absorb The Night
05. Corpus Asunder
06. Scattered Into Dark
07. Instruments Of Somber Finality
08. The Torture Never Stops [W.A.S.P. cover] [Limited edition]

The first gulp from the glass of Hooded Menace will give you death doom, but at the bottom of the glass heavy metal is waiting for you.

It should be absolutely no surprise to anyone remotely familiar with Hooded Menace that their brand of death doom can be pretty melodic. Which, to the unfamiliar reader might bring images of Swallow The Sun or Saturnus, but Hooded Menace operate within a melodic space that is a bit different. They never shied away from their love of all things doom, regardless of shape or form. You could hear bits of stoner doom in Effigies Of Evil, bits of funeral doom in Darkness Drips Forth, and Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed is the closest that the band has gotten to sounding like old Paradise Lost. In short, Hooded Menace know how to subtly shake things up while still keeping the death doom core intact, and so far they've never disappointed with the resulting onslaught.

And if you're wondering what seasoning they're adding to their death doom sound this time around, they added a W.A.S.P. cover just to make sure that there is no room for doubt. Though something like Candlemass and Paradise Lost influences have pretty much always been part of their sound, and they're still clearly apparent here, this is probably the first time that their music has conjured images of Witchfinder General, Saint Vitus, or Mercyful Fate. But with, you know, the trademark death growls instead. The riffing retains the sorrowful doom tone, but there's such a muscular retro vibe, bringing it to the cleanest riffs you'd have heard on a Hooded Menace album so far.

Vocals aside, The Tritonus Bell strips most of the death from the death doom package, leaving room for the doom to flourish in its own retro form. There are shapes abound, with there being a pretty big gothic presence in "Those Who Absorb The Night" and even melodramatic clean vocals to contrast the galloping riffs of "Corpus Asunder". Though much of it still stays in rotting slow tempos, it's quite strange to hear Hooded Menace go this upbeat and it not sounding at all awkward. Hearing a Denner-esque solo erupt somehow doesn't feel out of pace. And to completely drive home the point, if you're listening to the right version of the album, once "The Torture Never Stops" comes around, it would feel at home amidst the other Hooded Menace tracks.

I'm quite pleasantly surprised by this heffy detour and how organically it was pulled off. I just hope Hooded Menace don't get too ambitious the next time they decide to season their sound and accidentally bite more than they can chew. But judging by how well they pulled The Tritonus Bell, I'm probably overthinking.

Written on 14.09.2021 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.


Comments: 4   Visited by: 99 users
15.09.2021 - 00:08
Hooded Menace rule. The King Diamond / Mercyful Fate influence on this album and the part Andy LaRocque played are more than obvious. This is a heavy doom album with growls and yet another slight shift in their sound. As you say, they know how to subtly shake things up with each release. I really love this band.
15.09.2021 - 12:07

I love the new elements on this album. They did it very organically. This record is a lot of fun.
15.09.2021 - 15:12

Really love this album and like Nikarg the King Diamond / Mercyful Fate influence is so good!
17.09.2021 - 21:32

Hits total: 770 | This month: 770