Hooded Menace - Fulfill the Curse: I first heard about Hooded Menace in Decibel Magazine. Apparently the band is a bit of mystery. They had no picture of the band. Just a cartoonish image of hooded druid-like figures. Cool. I don't remember what it was about the article that peaked my interest, but I managed to obtain a digital copy. I tried to listen to it a few weeks ago but gave up early. The first couple tracks are kinda boring. I knew I had punchier stuff to listen to so I moved on. But I decided to give it another shot. Glad I did. Once the album gets going, they add a few more notes to a pretty massive guitar tone. Had I been in an altered state of mind, I may have been enveloped by that tone and the somewhat hypnotic riffing. The weak point of this album may the the vocals. That typical atonal black/doom bellow (recorded in a cave) that I am sure is recreated by a litany of misunderstood, pizza-faced basement dwellers. But I can tolerate them.. I really don't know if any other vocal style would fit the music anyway. It bounces back and forth a bit between a slow dirge and a gallopy pace (dun dadada dun dadada dun.....). It serves the album well though. It breaks up what could have been a very monotonous record. Fulfill the Curse finishes with a 3 minutes instrumental piece entitled Theme From the Manhattan (something I can't remember right now), that breaks from the overall feel of the album. It seems out of place. It might even be a cover. It's not bad, it just doesn't fit. They could have left it off because the album was long enough already. Fulfill the Curse doesn't break down any walls, or blaze any new trails, but it has earned a spot on my ipod for a little while longer anyway.