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Hanged Ghost : The Attraction of Oblivion

With Hanged Ghost's new offering, Misfortune has knocked at your door again, and She has a nasty look.

Once upon a drab morning… One of those mornings when mist clings to the landscape with her long, ghastly fingers, painting earth and mind in leaden grey. One of those mornings when the stool and the rope dangerously obsess the thoughts…
Three knocks pound at the door, dismally echoing through the house. For whom the bell tolls… Then the frightening silence again…
No living soul outside: just meagre silhouettes, dimly seen, the grim remains of dying vegetation. A small parcel lies on the ground like an ominous sign, as disturbing as a crow nailed to the door. A CD: the new album of Hanged Ghost

Misfortune always strikes back. And revives old memories…

Two years have passed since the release of Hanged Ghost’s debut, 'Knowledge of the Occult', but the smell of the vault is still there.
Back then, not much was known about this Portuguese duet. Today, the band’s background is still written in the same mysterious, opaque ink - that has even thickened, since: the label Bubonic followed the first steps of Hanged Ghost, but has recently decided to end the collaboration. So a new pact has been signed, with Labyrinth this time. Absolutely no information is available about this new structure: no country, nobody behind it… All that surrounds Hanged Ghost is a well-kept secret. But never mind…the human beings have stepped back to let the music speak for them.

Hanged Ghost’s music is very regressive, monolithic and pessimistic Doom Death which has the outstanding ability to put the listener into a very bad mood at once. On this second album, the band reassesses their genetic attachment to their roots, but at the same time, they show some progression.

First of all, the sound has become clearer and more powerful, although the production quality still sounds home-made. The melodies are more complex: they develop in ghostly tunes, dancing a bleak waltz like a blurred souvenir of the legendary 'Dance of December Souls'. The influence of Katatonia was previously quite discreet, rather hidden in the shadows: it is more tangible now, in particular on 'Death Extraction Methodology'. Nevertheless, this track still bears the bleak mark of Hanged Ghost.

Some new, inglorious hints of Black Metal can be felt too - not really composition-wise but rather, on the whole, there’s a typical Black Metal sense of the gruesome. Depressed echoes resound in abandoned places where misanthropy roams. These are echoes from Forgotten Tomb’s 'Springtime Depression'. It’s a total aversion towards this stupid herd named humanity that you are offered to witness - an overwhelming hatred that is literally spat in your face on the last moments of 'Disastrous Lithomancy'.

The dominant colour tone of 'Knowledge of the Occult' was black. That of 'The Attraction of Oblivion' has turned to grey. Does it mean less sinister? Not at all. Quite the opposite, even. Because while opaque darkness hides horror and gets the imagination going, the grey-ish mist doesn't mask anything. More than that: grey forces the raw and unremitting contemplation of a world crumbling down; the face of decay without any make-up.

The lyrics follow this tendency. From fertilization in a vile womb ('Conceived in Pestilent Womb') up to death in another womb, this one made of putrid mud ('Someday I'll Die Again', the acronym speaks for itself - note by the admin: "SIDA" is Portuguese for "AIDS"), Hanged Ghost vomits its radical vision of humanity as a viral threat, a threat nobody can stop. Slowly but surely, humanity contaminates the surface of the earth, from it crust to its heart.
This infernal cycle is translated into the rhythmic part of the music through a merciless and stubbornly low tempo. Every rhythmic phrase, progressing at an obsessive pace, appears like a rite of torture where instruments beat down your body and crush your throat… When the pressure eases off, it’s only to let you grasp some air and regain a bit of consciousness. Then pressure again, breath stopped: you face the perspective of your demise through bulging eyes - again and again, until you become mad from being tormented between two states of existence; to be tossed between growled vocals from beyond the grave and others screamed by a maniac; to constantly fall between deep gloom and pathological hatred. Hanged Ghost proves its great talent to balance those two insane poles.

Misfortune has knocked at your door again. And She has a nasty look.

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Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
1. Conceived in Pestilent Womb
2. Death Extraction Methodology
3. Disastrous Lithomancy
4. Someday I'll Die Again

Duration : Approx. 44 minutes

Visit the Hanged Ghost bandpage.

Reviewed on 2014-03-16 by Manu Buck
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