They started out in 2009, released a demo, a split and an ep, replaced both guitar players and continued to alter their sound. Originally a post-metal band, this album shows a highly versatile doom band with influences from black metal, death metal, sludge and still quite a bit of post-metal goodness. Besides, the doom metal part isn't to be underestimated either. Doom could be Yob, Conan, My Dying Bride, Saturnus or even Type O Negative.
Hooded Eagle has it all, the massive, crushing riffs, the spineshaking drums and the fierce screams but they also have a flair for melody and atmosphere. Opener 'There is No Goodness Left in this World' shows an ugly harsh and brutal side while 'I Have Dreams' comes up with blackened riffs and drums for a while. Even the vocals nudge towards the evil Scandinavia born genre. However, at the very same time, fans of Eyehategod or AmenRa can certainly appreciate this.
Then of course there are some vintage doom metal riffs and elaborate instrumental passages which are too good to ignore. 'The Path of Eternal Sorrow', the longest track on this album, still reeks of post-metal, in a good way obviously. The song slowly builds towards epic outbursts of distorted guitars and sheer brutality, some of which clearly inspired by (often melodic) death metal. Some of those brutal passages even come with melodic guitars, making the whole pretty damn stunning.
There's even three more pretty long tracks on this album, 'The Sleeper will Wake and the Earth will Bleed' probably being my personal favorite, the grand finale so to speak. This song is an epic piece of despair and aggression, driving on more noise than some noise acts create. This is also the most fearsome song on the album, coming with a dark, bleak atmosphere which in its turn is simply awesome.
With this monolithic piece of work, Hooded Eagle set a standard for heaviness in 2016. I know that many bands will try to surpass this standard but believe me, they will have to come up with something massive to be able to compete with this, especially if they also want to add some melody and atmosphere too. This album feels like there a giant boulder on your back for about seventy five minutes.