After discussing the latest album by Abysmal Growls Of Despair, let us take a step back and examine a work released last spring under the monicker Plagueprayer, another solo project by the hyperactive Hangsvart. Compared to what I personally consider to be the French musician’s best incarnation, this Forgotten Witchery shows more experimental traits, while retaining the catacomb-like ones strictly related to the funeral genre. The ambient component is in fact quite dense and manifests itself somewhat in all the tracks, occupying the entirety of the self-intitled intro and the much longer Dead Town placed at the close of the work; In the other tracks, the two souls are made to coexist, which end up integrating rather well, highlighting a sound that can be traced back at times to the seminal Worship, especially in the two best episodes, such as Dark Arcane and Germ Deliverance, where a trembling melodic vein humanises a sound whose recording is symptomatic of a claustrophobic compositional vis bent on itself. The decision to resort to screaming instead of the more usual growl (which Hangsvart also lends to the excellent Arrant Saudade) increases the sense of estrangement provoked by this first release under the name Plagueprayer. An interesting listen, which is a good corollary to what for the transalpine musician remains his main project in terms of quality and peculiarities, namely Abysmal Growls Of Despair.

2015 – Independent