Finland’s undead kings have returned from their crypt with four tracks of doom and gloom for our ears. Dripping with the usual rotten growls of Lasse Pyykkö and his slow riffs, Hooded Menace have picked up where they left off on 2012’s Effigies of Evil with their distinct brand of cursed, death ridden and macabre death/doom metal.

The incorporation of death metal elements is their signature and when the track crawls for a while, in come the drums and rhythm guitar to crank the pace back up and chug toward the grave. I am a big fan of these guys and their style of metal, and this album doesn’t disappoint.

They have traded in their usually shorter tracks for four songs lasting more than 10 minutes each, except for “Ashen With Solemn Decay” that clocks in shy of 10 minutes. What this does is allow them to build around their riffs and grow the space within the song, as is typical of the doom genre. That elbowroom works well enough, especially on “Blood for the Burning Oath/Dungeons of the Disembodied,” which has to grow into itself after what is also part intro and part song.

Darkness Drips Forth isn’t my favorite of theirs, but it is a solid entry in their growing discography of the grotesque. Keep it up, boys.

Best Track: “Ashen With Solemn Decay”

Hooded Menace’s newest album, Darkness Drips Forth, is available from Relapse Records now.

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