A complex villain is often more compelling than the hero they’re up against. In order to fulfill their narrative, a villain must break the mold of those who came before them. They must be unpredictable in their actions and their motives. They must always keep the audience guessing. And if they show a little humanity here and there, perhaps they can even draw empathy. The same can be said, and pardon the stretch here, for doom metal. As a genre that is seeing a surge in fandom and critical acclaim alike, doom metal is in danger of falling into a strictly molded pattern of lengthy songs that perhaps change a few chords and tempos here and there. Luckily, several bands are making compelling cases — with the help of some outside influences — that doom is a genre worth remaining faithful to. Finland’s Hooded Menace stand tall among them.