Hooded Priest – Devil Worship Reckoning   Leave a comment

Hooded Priest, was originally put together in 2006 by several members of different Dutch and Belgian old school Heavy Metal bands. The band was meant to be a side project but by 2009, it became a full time unit. The band is very much in the 80’s old-school metal tradition and while it would be easy to think, “oh no not another one”, the truth is most of the bands playing in this historic style are very good. Its also kind of funny to see the photos of them presented on some websites as they look like a Black Metal band complete with face-paint and cheesy image, listening to them though tells a different story thankfully. This is the vein of Candlemass, Trouble, (early) Solitude Aeturnus and Witchfinder General but is mixed with elements of bands like Mercyful Fate and other bands of their kind. Their demo recorded in 2009 titled “Call For The Hearse” contained 4 great tracks and some get a reworking here on “Devil Worship Reckoning”.

What kills about this album is the simplistic yet incredibly infectious songwriting craft that is on display, there is many tempo changes, heavy rhythms, great arrangements, melodic solos and also thankfully no grunting cookie monster vocals, its all good, effective and irresistible Heavy Metal that has a dark, menacing atmosphere. The influence of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal is everywhere on this disc when it comes to melody lines and catchy riffing but the band is full of surprising moments like the Black Metalish section in the title track or the old-school Power Metal bits of “Alibi” and “8 o’Clock Witch” but this is still Doom Metal with enough gloom in the grooves to satisfy both the old and the new Doom Metal fans. The members of Hooded Priest have roots in Black Metal and that still appears here and there on the album, usually this would be a abomination for a Doom Metal album but here it works as it keeps up the listener’s attention throughout.

The contrasting musical ideas is the albums strong point, a example would be how the opener “Mrs. Satan” is upbeat and very early 80’s HM while the following “8 o’Clock Witch” is steep in really slow, epic doom, again this repeats itself many times throughout its 53 minutes. There is no fillers and its hard to not like something that is so instantly head-bangable. When the final track, “Hooded Priest Pt. I & Pt. II” comes to a crawling halt after 12 minutes, there is a instant urge to hit replay. The production must also be highlighted, it sounds like a genuine artifact from the early 80’s but it doesn’t sound dated or stale at all. The band members have been in contact with each other since the mid-nineties through something called the Committee of Metalheads with an Unbelievably Low Sense of Humor (abbreviation in Dutch: CMOLH). I am not sure what its all about but with a moniker like that, all I know is I want to join up. This is essential for all Doom Metal fans but also for those from the Heavy Metal community who are old enough to remember the simpler times of the 80’s before sub-genres took over and watered everything down. This is just too good to ignore, out on Emanes Metal Records. 9/10
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Emanes Metal Records


Posted September 7, 2010 by doommantia in Hooded Priest

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