HOODED MENACE - Gloom Immemorial (DOOMENTIA - CD 2014)
What I love about this compilation is that it’s not one of these boring best off type of stuff, but they gathered all songs that were published on rare vinyl releases that Hooded Menace putted out during last ten years. And it’s a lot of it, believe me haha! So, in case you had no chance to buy any of these 7”EPs or splits or whatever, or maybe you’re not a vinyl freak and have no turntable, this compilation is a chance for you to hear some more splendid stuff from these masters of horror. I personally have maybe just couple of these releases, so for me “Gloom Immemorial” is also a necessary and so looked after compilation. Of course I would love to have the original vinyl singles and splits, but damn, I know how hard to find them and expensive they are these days. So, this CD is OK for me!
All songs are presented in chronological order, so… The feast begins with two songs, which also ended up on the debut album of Hooded Menace “Fulfill the Curse”. But the EP “The Eyeless Horde” from 2007 had them recorded in different versions, year before the album was recorded. They don’t differ much from the album version, but damn, I would love to have this EP so fuckin much haha! These are also two among my favourite tracks on this compilation. I love how Hooded Menace combines heavy, doomy riffage with that gloomy, horror atmosphere and some melody. And of course their doom is strongly infected with old school death metal, so this is also why the music of Hooded Menace speaks to me so well.
Later there’s some stuff, which I personally wasn’t familiar with, as I never had a chance to hear original EPs, such as split with Anima Morte, splits with Coffins (another one, which I REALLY need to grab!), Asphyx and Ilsa. It was extremely fantastic to discover such songs as “A Decay of Mind and Flesh” (which is actually Anima Morte cover), as I love the melodies in this track and it works so surprisingly well to hear that it’s an instrumental song!!! I can only give it the best feedback possible, because I love it for its memorable harmonies and great atmosphere (need to check Anima Morte then also haha!). Or “The Haunted Ossuary” from the split with Coffins, which is so, so damn heavy and nasty song, truly monstrous stuff!
I do own such releases as “Labyrinth of Carrion Breeze” and “A View from the Rope”, so I knew these songs, but it was also a pleasure to hear them again, on CD. All in all, I have to say that “Gloom Immemorial” is a fantastic compilation of rare stuff from one of the best doom / death metal bands ever. And so what that I missed most of these releases in original formats. Sure, I would love to have them all, as playing such music in vinyl format is simply pure magic and it always give you a special feeling. But if cannot have what you want, I am happy with what substitute. And believe me, “Gloom Immemorial” is a standout / not boring compilation that all fans of doom / death should have. I’m also happy that the band and the label took it all seriously and came up with fantastic booklet, which shows you each original release in details – with lyrics, original artwork and band photograph from that era. It cannot be done better, so for me this is just near perfection type of release with 75 minutes of horror soundtrack.
Standout tracks: “Fulfill the Curse”, “The Eyeless Horde”, “The Haunted Ossuary”, “A Decay of Mind and Flesh”
Final rate: 90/100