Review Summary: A fun ride, but one you may have ridden before.
Hooded Menace’s newest release embodies an odd sense of adequateness that wafts from its cavernous halls of doom flavored death metal. Sure, much of Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed
contains enough slow tempo riffs and oddly bright guitar solos to portray atmosphere, but this world building doesn’t go beyond average tactics used by a large quantity of other artists, leaving the listener to fill in the blanks that the empty drones and stings don’t. The music here surely does cover some ground, attempting to build up some form of “monolithic cataclysm,” but it doesn’t convince my ears that this danger isn’t extremely thin.
This thinness even carries over to the production and, in some respects, the song composition as well. Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed's
cacophony is quite treble heavy, with over emphasis on the oddly clear snare sound, especially on a song like “In Eerie Deliverance.” The bass presence leaves a bit to be desired, with the guitar having much more prevalence, although the welcome bass ambiance is interesting when it is allowed a tiny bit of room to breathe. Songwriting on this record is also noticeably simple, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as songs like “Charnel Reflections” and “Cathedral of Labyrinthine Darkness” use it to their advantage. Regardless, quite a few of the long, dissonant guitar leads do very little in terms of surprising the listener or engaging them enough to be on the edge of their seat.
On the other hand, while this record isn’t particularly inventive or flawless, its simple approach to the genre can make many of these moments enjoyable, as I’d be lying to you if I said this album didn’t have me nodding my head along to some of these crushing grooves. The record also has a way of flowing from riff to riff, beat to beat, and passage to passage in a satisfyingly smooth manner, never abruptly or jarringly shifting around. There’s also a passionate energy that flows from these performances, with a dark charisma surrounding the energized drums and the above average vocals. The emissions of evil are here and, sometimes
, cascade from the walls of sound like the putrid stench from an unknown origin.
In many respects, there is a lot of fun to be had with Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed
. What it lacks in ingenuity, lackluster production, and a strong sense of atmosphere, it makes up for in consistency, passion, and enjoyably simple song structure. It leaves a bit to be desired, but what it does give is a decent riff filled romp, with many moments of foreboding fun, the kind of which is less striking the more you think about it.