Doom metal has come in so many different forms and incarnations over the years that to hear any new take on a classic sound is almost always a fun thing to experience for me. Being able to approach a very classic style with a modern viewpoint is something that can easily lead to material that is a very intriguing mixture of the present and the past. Going into their latest album, I didn’t think that Hellhookah would be able to do it as well as they have here on their latest album, and it’s a very interesting thing to see.
I have to be honest and say that it has taken me some time to really get into this record despite its worth being all but obvious to me. Throughout the whole of “The Curse”, it’s absolutely Riff City. So, it’s much like a lot of doom but that doesn’t detract from the simple truth that it’s a tried and true formula for success with it not being too terribly hard to pull off for a capable group of musicians. Hellhookah have known what they’re doing for some time now and it becomes clear pretty quickly with this album that they still do. All of the strings and the drums come together to create a melodic and hypnotic work that do their job to the absolute maximum in such a way that they all work off of each other more than perfectly. It’s the vocals that I have my main problem with, though. While fine in their own right, they just don’t fit too well with the surrounding music such that it all starts to fall apart just a little minute by minute. They feel a tad forced, but even then they’re not bad whatsoever and still get the job done to a respectable level. The disparity could absolutely have been made less, but that’s to undermine what goodness is to be found by default within “The Curse”.
Much like a large swathe of the doom community, Hellhookah undoubtedly knows how to perform the style without hesitation but improvements can definitely be made in light of clear success. “The Curse” does exactly what it should right from the onset and to say that it does anything less without passion or solid execution is be to insult much of the doom world.
LISTEN to “The Curse” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Hellhookah on Facebook here.