Hooded Eagle – Nightscapes from the Abyssal Plane

Rating: 4.5/5
Distributor/Label: Swamp Metal Records
Released: 2015
Buy Album: https://hooded-eagle.bandcamp.com/
Band Website: http://www.facebook.com/HoodedEagle

Hooded Eagle - Nightscapes from the Abyssal PlaneBand line-up:

Bobby Blackheart, Vocals, Guitars
Lynn Wise, Bass, Vocals
Mark Appelt, Drums, Vocals
Matt Wolfe, Guitars

Track listing:

1. There Is No Goodness Left in This World
2. I Have Dreams…
3. …of Cosmic Horror
4. The Path of Eternal Sorrow
5. From Thence Came Woe
6. Repercussions of Actions Long Regretted
7. The Sleeper Will Wake and the Earth Will Bleed

Review:

Hooded Eagle’s first full-length, ‘Nightscapes from the Abyssal Plane’ which is released on Swamp Metal Records is a well-crafted Lovecraftian journey from South Carolina, USA.

The album overall has a great cohesive structure, moving through a variety of material. ‘There is No Goodness Left in This World’ opens it up with crushingly slow exploration of disgust and hatred. The vocal style is reminiscent of their early, more post-metal style, however, you should not mistake this album to be a post-metal one. It is definitely doom, and good doom for that matter!

‘I Have Dreams…’ continues on this doom with an intriguing intro. Suddenly we hear blasting drums and fast guitars with screamed vocals, but soon enough it comes to an almost halt and we are left with a wall of sound accompanied by an other-worldly noise which comes and goes for the rest of the song. This song is fantastic! I have not been affected by a Lovecraftian world this much since Catacombs’ ‘In the Depths of R’lyeh’. Screams with deeper grunts make this song more haunting than it should be for those faint of heart. The final section of this song prepares for ‘…of Cosmic Horror’. These are obviously connected and well-connected songs. Similar material is then explored in a different sound space. More of the awesomeness struck before- I can’t complain!

‘The Path of Eternal Sorrow’ is an 18-minute long massive piece that changes the mood quite a bit- we are residing in ‘the Misery Suite’ now having moved on from ‘the Dream Suite’.

‘The Path…’ is a torturous heaviness that you both want and do not want to end, another incredible song that relies more heavily on a post-metal vocal style than the previous ones. Guitar solos are intriguing by themselves but I think they do not add much atmospherically, rather slightly take away, especially when it comes to more traditionally scale-y stuff, but I am spoiled at this point, I just do not want to leave the atmosphere, not even for a second.

‘From Thence Came Woe’ is an exploration of the sludge side of Hooded Eagle’s style. We encounter more screaming vocals here as before with alternating slow and fast pace throughout. ‘Repercussions of Actions Long Regretted’ brings us back to the cold Lovecraftian world. The guitar solo here is a much better structured one in terms of cohesion. It flows well with the rest of the song, or songs for that matter. A surprising blast-beat section leads us to the end that is ‘The Sleeper Will Wake and the Earth will Bleed’- very appropriate! The Sleeper of R’lyeh shall indeed wake and only then ‘His Kingdom consumes the Earth; Lord Cthulhu holds all in servitude’. That uneasy drone a little further to the beginning, overall structure of this song, and a great ending show that Hooded Eagle are experts at what they do, that is to create impressive and captivating atmospheres.

I am a big fan of the world Hooded Eagle created in this album. A 78-minute sorrowful and restless journey through the dystopia that is HP Lovecraft!

Review by M. Selim Yavuz
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