Album Review: HOODED MENACE Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed
Finland’s Hooded Menace return with a brand new collection of doom/death metal in the form of Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed (Season of Mist). While there’s that consistent element of drone to be found in their work, there are plenty of times where the band shift gears to deliver hefty moments of intensity, dropping rounds of brutality. The combination of instrumentation allows the music to emit emotion, playing to a core foundation of somber and melancholy tones. Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed comes with six tracks, which works in favor for the record. Even though the band incorporate variety into their work, more than six songs would end up taking away from the moments that shine on the album.
Starting things off with the record’s longest song, “Sempiternal Grotesqueries” roars in with a blend of dark density and radiance. Ominous droning emits from both the bass and guitar, while additional guitar work strikes through with streaks of melody. The tension slowly builds to incorporate a twilight aura to the material, as the density of the rhythm holds onto the core of the track. Eventually the song jolts into a faster tempo, producing a metallic rhythm that clashes away. Mind you that all of these elements have appeared before the song’s halfway mark, giving fan's an idea of the band’s range in song structure. “In Eerie Deliverance” continues the use of melancholy feelings through bright guitar twangs, while introducing a heavy choppy rhythm. The drumming picks up, beating away to a higher tempo as the guitar rhythm brings in a gothic/doom melody.
The technicality in play helps to make each track standout from one another. The only factor that becomes monotonous is the bright guitar twang, which pops up numerous times in each song, as well as throughout the entire record. Luckily, the rest of variations found in the songs help to keep the progression interesting. “Cathedral of Labyrinthine Darkness” draws out the guitar’s twang to produce a more epic brightness in the sound. There’s a distortion that lingers around this, and rather than contrast one another, they blend together, offering this mystic vibe to the atmosphere. “Cascade of Ashes” also plays around with rhythm, at times tossing in a chugging metallic section into the song. “Charnel Reflections” brings in a nice kick of additional heaviness (coming in right before the ending outro track "Black Moss"). The instrumentals expand into this hectic nature, thrashing around for a bit to break up the droning component of the track.
Rather than just release six songs that pack overwhelming droning, Hooded Menace introduce bits of variety into Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed, helping to provide a sense of freshness to their music. While the album has some monotonous elements to it, the range in technicality keeps the music from ever becoming stale. Overall, the music includes a nice mixture of songs to kick back and vibe to, as well as head bang. In the end, Hooded Menace offer a satisfying record, displaying their various skills in the doom/death genre.