Hooded Menace – “Elysium Of Dripping Death” (Stereogum Premiere)

The Finnish death-doom band Hooded Menace have been a beloved cult presence since 2008, when they released their debut LP, Fulfill The Curse. They’ve gotten markedly more attention in the years that followed, though — especially after hooking up with the hugely influential independent label Profound Lore for their sophomore LP, 2010’s Never Cross The Dead, and then with the metal powerhouse Relapse Records for their next one, 2012’s Effigies Of Evil. Along the way, they’ve released splits with similarly minded underground greats like Asphyx, Ilsa, Coffins, and Loss. If you like any of those bands, you’ll probably like Hooded Menace, too — they all deal in massive, thundering doom metal of some variety, producing art that appeals to both purists and aesthetes — but if you like any of those bands, you probably know Hooded Menace already. If not, you definitely should. Hell, even if you don’t care about any of those bands, you should familiarize yourself with Hooded Menace. There are few bands today playing death-doom of this magnitude (Triptykon and Indesinence are two that come to mind, and that’s intended as basically the highest possible praise). Their music is based around titanic, melodic riffs, proceeding deliberately to towering heights. Hooded Menace are going to release their fourth full-length, Darkness Drips Forth, next month (again via Relapse), and today, we’re premiering the album’s first “single,” the 11-and-a-half-minute-long “Elysium Of Dripping Death.” That title is a mouthful, but it’s apt: Hooded Menace’s music does indeed “drip,” like blood or rain — slowly, with increasingly high stakes — while “Elysium” is a mythological afterlife realm reserved for the gods and their relatives — and Hooded Menace’s majesty rarely feels anything less than godlike. Listen.

Darkness Drips Forth is out 10/30 via Relapse.