Monday, 28 September 2015

Hangman's Chair - 'This Is Not Supposed To Be Positive’ (Album Review)

By: Phil Weller

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 23/09/2015
Label:  Music Fear Satan



A record as powerful and as potent as this, cannot be ignored. An absolutely sterling effort, it stirs something within you like no other music can.

‘This Is Not Supposed To Be Positive’ CD//DD//LP track listing

1. Dripping low
2. Cut up kids
3. Requiem
4. Your stone
5. Save yourself
6. Les Enfants des Monstres Pleurent Leur Desespoir
7. flashback
8. No One Says Goodbye Like Me
9. Dope Sick Love
10. Rouge Pour Le sang, Bleu Pour La Grace

Hangman’s Chair

Clément Hanvic | Bass
Cédric Toufouti | Vocals, Guitars
Mehdi Birouk Thépegnier | Drums
Julien Rour Chanut | Guitars

The Review:


‘This Is Not Supposed To Be Positive’ may have been birthed in a city famed for its romance, but Paris’ Hangman’s Chair aren’t ones for candlelit dinners and compliments; their fourth album is an impenetrable slab of rueful melancholia. It’s beautifully depressing, soulful and bleak.

Somewhere between the dirge of grunge and the grind of zombified doom, it burns slowly like a candle in the still of the night. ‘Cut Up Kids’ brings to mind Alice In Chains with its buzzing, chainsaw-slowed-down riff work, while the throbbing pain in Cédric Toufouti’s vocals on opener ‘Dripping Low’ is as cutting as it is captivating. Here is a band that knows how to create atmosphere and it bleeds across each and every song brilliantly, they’ve not so much created an album here as they have a universe, another dimension in which you are housed for its course: A place of darkness, cold and woe. But for all its downtrodden gruff, there is something so engrossing about it.

Requiem,’ just shy of fourteen minutes long, plays out like a bad dream. It creates an augmented reality with its hazing, trickling chords and whining vocals before a shriek of feedback cuts you into the next track, ‘Your Stone’ with its quiet, dank, and soul bearing beginnings, led by some gentle yet forceful drumming. There’s a real presence about it that, while it pulls you into a deep, negative and highly contemplative mind set, is wonderfully hypnotic. It concludes with a lingering sense of hope beneath all the minor tones. It truly is haunting.

Elsewhere, ‘Flashback’ is afflicting with its scabrous harmonies and imperious grandeur; when the chorus unravels like an orange peel, it leaves you with something sweet and delectable. ‘Dope Sick Love’ sounds like Nirvana’sLithium’ played half the speed were Layne Stayley fronting the band and ‘Save Yourself’ brings to mind a more brooding Mastodon with its menacing dissonance.  However, what is arguably the most impressive element of ‘This Is Not Supposed To Be Positive’ is its impact on you; it sadistically toys with your emotions, plucking on your heartstrings like an evil Cupid and drags you helplessly into the same despairing mood as their own, one where these sounds are the restless breeze that shivers down your spine. A record as powerful and as potent as this, cannot be ignored. An absolutely sterling effort, it stirs something within you like no other music can.


‘This Is Not Supposed To Be Positive’ is available here

FFO: Alice in Chains, Crowbar, Down, Goatsnake

Band info: bandcamp | facebook

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