Hooded Menace – The Tritonus Bell (Review)

Hooded Menace - The Tritonus BellThis is the sixth album from Finnish death/doom band Hooded Menace.

Following on from 2015’s Darkness Drips Forth and 2018’s Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed, The Tritonus Bell is another gruesome slab of death/doom, only this time it has been infused with a greater amount of classic heavy metal influences.

This added injection of traditional heavy metal means that although still gloomy and dark, The Tritonus Bell features some of the more upbeat material I’ve heard from Hooded Menace. It’s also probably the catchiest they’ve ever been. When I listen to The Tritonus Bell I’m most strongly reminded of Paradise Lost‘s seminal work Shades of God, but obviously with Hooded Menace’s own interpretation of that band’s timeless Gothic style. Imagine an old-school mix of Paradise Lost, Mercyful Fate, and Anathema, and you’ll have a good starting point for The Tritonus Bell.

This album excels in its Gothic doom grooves and rich melodic presence. The songs combine crushing riffs with forlorn melodies. They’re heavy and grim, but also brightly lit by the band’s colourful melodic textures. Some of the riffs are pure headbanging gold. The band’s decision to incorporate more of their classic metal influences has yielded strong results, and many of the music’s thick grooves are thunderous successes. The music is also atmospheric in places, with the core instruments bolstered by keyboards that effectively add value whenever they appear.

The Tritonus Bell finds Hooded Menace in fine form. There is still more death and doom here than heavy metal, but the latter’s influence is undeniable and positively applied. This is a very enjoyable and satisfying album, and I strongly recommend that you check it out if you have a taste for old-school heaviness.

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