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Hanged Ghost : Knowledge of the Occult

Every neurasthenic Doom fan will find some to nourish his pain in Hanged Ghost first full-length.

For a little more than five years, the Portuguese label Bubonic Productions, and through it his boss Daniel Miranda (also mastermind of the excellent project Bosque), has been striving to support the often intriguing local Doom scene. And it became some expert in that matter. Most of those Portuguese bands on the Bubonic roster show a particular taste for the extreme (be it Doom or Black) and the old-school ‘know-how’, what gives them a certain kind of authenticity very far from the shiny bleach-polished new archetypes.

Hanged Ghost do not depart from that rule, even displaying a kind of ultimate version of that editorial policy. Searching the influences of this mysterious duet whose members don’t even refer to any human names, will lead you very deep in Doom/Death history, beyond the glorious pioneers’ time of the early 90’s, to darker boggy aeras.

The minimalist and primitive aspect of their creations reminds of the obscure swamps of Necro Schizma, just like the (cadaveric) coldness reeks of dISEMBOWELMENT’s monstrous stench. Thergothon is another giant the bleakness and scrawny side of Hanged Ghost is indebted to - although the band’s extreme Doom isn’t slow enough to really be labelled Funeral - while the throbbing and hypnotic rhythm evokes the pale specter of another famous band: Katatonia… minus the melody which is here reduced to a vague echo in the distance.

The two-part " Remembrance" recently released on demo-tapes already gave a hint of the utter darkness the band dwells in. Born from an evil pact sealed between Bubonic Productions and Universal Tongue, ’Knowledge off the Occult’, the band’s first full-length, is a development on the first draft, even increasing the uncompromising anxiety the mysterious ‘Hanged’ and ‘Ghost’ manage to distill in their compositions. They have a clear vision of their art, building ’Knowledge off the Occult’ as a united monolith, heavy and grim. A personal approach that makes me wonder where those two come from, and whether they had any previous experience. A question fueled by a few clues, like those lyrics supposedly written in 2005… six years from here…

The three songs sound like coming from an old black book lying in a hermit’s hut, the remote dwelling of a morbid misanthrope, living deep in the woods. Living? Not sure about that; because the figure some would have caught a brief glimpse of had a very ghostly vagueness. The music bites your skin like a rough rope around the hanged man’s neck. And you feel it slowly tightening around your very own neck with each new hammering riff, each mortifying chord bringing you closer to suffocation. An inexorable killing sustained by relentless spell-binding drums pounding with an inhuman steadiness, while each cymbal snapping in the darkness only strengthens the occult vibe.

Desolation, solitude, torment, morbid stench… every neurasthenic Doom fan longing for these kinds of moods will have some to nourish his pain. And who knows what Hanged Ghost will be able to come up with next time…

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Calvarium
2. The Wood & the Stone
3. Abhorrence as a Necessary Vision of a Cruel Analysis of Those Who Live Hidden in the Radiance of Treachery
4. ...

Duration : Approx. 48 minutes

Visit the Hanged Ghost bandpage.

Reviewed on 2012-01-13 by Emmanuel Breuner
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