HOODED MENACE / ALGOMA - Split LP (DOOMENTIA Records LP 2017)
Two years after "Darkness Drips Forth" album was released, Hooded Menace brought us another split in their discography, this time with a band called Algoma. With it, they introduced us to new vocalist Harri Kuokkanen, who for some reason replaced Lasse Pyykkö (from then on, Lasse decided to focus on guitars only). Well, musically their new song "Celestial Dissection" is also something new in the musical style of Hooded Menace, in my opinion. They still play a brilliant death / doom metal, but "Celestial Dissection" feels much less depressive and gloomy, less mournful... It sometimes is a bit more melodic (which do remind me old Paradise Lost!), more memorable also, some parts sound slightly more up-tempo. And they are not always that , what used to characterize a lot of Hooded Menace music before. It's not that super depressive and gloomy. Generally, "Celestial Dissection" feels more varied, easier to listen to, heavier... Which is something I like to hear. When I was recently listening to all earlier Hooded Menace recordings, with "Darkness Drips Forth" their music kind of became tiring. So, if "Celestial Dissection" is going to be a sign for some changes within their doom death metal style, then I welcome them with pleasure. I like most of the previous recordings a lot, but it's good to hear also some development in this music. And Harri Kuokkanen sounds very good, I like his voice a lot. He's also in bands like Ride for Revenge and Horse Latitudes, if you want to know. Anyway, "Celestial Dissection" turned out to be a great surprise and for me, this is one of the best Hooded Menace songs so far. I'm writing it before hearing anything from " Silhouettes Unhallowed" though.
As for Algoma, this is my first experience with this band and I've never even heard of them before this split came out. Algoma are from Canada and their discography isn't so big as Hooded Menace's. Anyway, we have here one song, called "Failed Stunt Fatality", and I can admit that I quite like it also. It may not speak to me as much as Hooded Menace music does, but it is cool stuff, anyway. Riffs are straight from your stoner / sludge kind of shit, but they have a nice vibe and are heavy as fuck. That definitely is a good aspect of Algoma music. Sometimes that Sabbath vibe is more audible, sometimes less... but this shit definitely sounds massive and has a cool feeling. Vocals are not necessarily in my preferable style, but they are not bad also. All in all, I enjoyed this song.