Never Cross the Dead

Profound Lore
rating icon 7 / 10

Track listing:

01. Never Cross The Dead
02. Terror Castle
03. Night Of The Deathcult
04. The House Of Hammer
05. Rituals Of Mortal Cremation
06. As The Creatures Ascend
07. From Their Confined Slumber
08. Theme From Return Of The Evil Dead

The ever-prolific Lasse Pyykko (CLAWS, VACANT COFFIN, ACID WITCH) has brought back HOODED MENACE for a second round of deathly doom in the form of "Never Cross the Dead". The follow-up to "Fulfilling the Curse" (Razorback Records) offers more murky doom crawling and (occasionally) mid-tempo death churn, this time with an infusion of melody not heard on its predecessor.

Inspired again by cult/classic horror films with lyrical assistances from Elektrokutioner (DECREPITAPH, FESTERED, etc),Billy Nocera (Razorback Records),Lucio Holocausto, and Tanya Sim, "Never Cross the Dead" swamp tromps its way through eight tracks of convulsing buzz 'n bubble. Along with those creepy, buzzing riffs and Pyykko's gut-wrenching gutturals, the songs are significantly enhanced with melodic leads and harmony parts that offer effective contrast. In the way of qualification, "melodic" in this sense is of a sorrowful variety that leaves one less than certain about the continued viability of the human race. Quicker than a snail's pace, yet far from jackrabbit speed, "Never Cross the Dead" does come with a fair amount of tempo variety too, periodically moving between a seething lurk and a mid-paced crunch, sometimes bolstered with double-bass punch ("The House of Hammer").

At 51 minutes and sans the proper mind frame, chemically altered or otherwise, "Never Cross the Dead" starts to wear down a smidgeon during the final 15-20 minutes or so. But hey, this is deathly doom, plain and simple; the denizens will scarf it down like a Jethro-sized bowl of pasta, feeling no regret about the fatigue that ensues from the blood rushing from the brain to service the bloated belly. Atmospherically speaking, "Never Cross the Dead" is all shivers, chills, and dreadful feelings, just the way it is supposed to be, while the songwriting boasts more than an average degree of dynamics and relative tunefulness. As such, it is hard to go wrong with this sophomore release.

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