Behind the Cover: Hooded Menace - The Tritonus Bell

Ringing in a new sonic avenue with a blood-curling depiction inspired by the greats.

Words by Luis (@luis.hoa):

From the raw and uncompromising instrumentation of Phlegethon to involvement in Vacant Coffin, Claws, Ruinebell, and more, Finland's Lasse Pyykkö lets his work ethic take center stage as a testament to his character. Among the several bands and responsibilities Pyykkö takes on, Hooded Menace leads the charge as a prominent force among metal's flooded underground ranks. First formed in 2007, Hooded Menace paved their path through a cataclysmic take on death doom, one that paved the path towards a promising reign of the slow burning subgenre. They became a staple for Finnish excellence with efforts as towering as Never Cross The Dead (2010) and Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed (2018), the latter of which serves as the pinnacle of the band's existence...until this year. New heights have now been reached with the arrival of the next Hooded Menace chapter, The Tritonus Bell.

Releasing on August 27th via Season of Mist, The Tritonus Bell presents a unit harkening back in glimpses at their golden era of death doom in favor of a more heavy metal leaning approach. Upon the initial reveal, lead single Blood Ornaments introduced us all to the band's varied new sound palette, the likes of which bridged Gothic (1991) era Paradise Lost and Mercyful Fate in seamless fashion. The record alternates in pace and breaks you down as hard as it builds you up through an electrifying collection of riffs and pulsing tones. To preface it all, The Tritonus Bell comes adorned by the macabre art of renowned metal artist Wes Benscoter, completing the deadly multi-sensory experience as Hooded Menace typically does. Those expecting a traditional Hooded Menace will find it in sections, but only as components of a larger, heftier work that stands tall amidst its counterparts as one of this year's leading death metal efforts. Benscoter's work heightens the composition tenfold and in following suit with the Heaviest of Art DNA, we had to dive in and uncover what lies behind its creation.

We go Behind the Cover of The Tritonus Bell with band mastermind Lasse Pyykkö and Wes Benscoter to learn of their seamless partnership, the significance of visual investment, the compositional shift, and much more:

From Adam Burke’s gloomy atmospheres on ‘Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed’ to Matthew ‘Putrid’ Carr’s twisted depiction for ‘Never Cross The Dead', you excel at putting a face to your towering death doom. Hooded Menace just never fails to deliver on the visual end. Would you say that a great deal of effort goes into expanding beyond the musical end of Hooded Menace?

Lasse: I’d rather say that a great deal of enthusiasm goes into it! It’s fun. It’s a lot of work for the artists for sure, but most often they seem to be just as excited about the process as we are.

adam burke