Forgotten Witchery


It's true that good music often takes you places that are often unimaginable otherwise, or […]
By V.Srikar
November 16, 2015
Plagueprayer - Forgotten Witchery album cover

It's true that good music often takes you places that are often unimaginable otherwise, or even not practical. Metal offers wide variety of music to ponder upon and go upon a journey, which can leave a lasting impression on you for a long time. The journey can be often dark due to the nature of the music, and especially sub-genres like Funeral Doom Metal offers a chance to deeper into the Neverland and also change your emotional mood in just a few minutes. Often music, in general, is spoken of making people happy and have a positive outlook of life, but here is a sub-genre that aims to do exactly opposite and still manages to have a serious cult following. I have been fortunate enough to have come across some great bands in this sub-genre in the past and thought it's time to revisit some lost dark places within my mind. So here we have French Funeral Doom Metal band, PLAGUEPRAYER, which is a solo band of Hangsvart (who has many other similar projects) releasing their debut album in "Forgotten Witchery" this May 3th.

Clocking just about 52 minutes, the album starts with the band's ST song in "Plagueprayer", which is just 1:33 minutes of the sound of cold wind breezing with a echoing dark voice speaking some kind of chants. As you would rightly expect with this sub-genre, in the rest of the album, the average song is about 8-9 minutes long and the music is slower and thicker than a dirty thick sewage sludge, often testing your patience if you are listening to Funeral Doom for the 1st time. Unlike most Funeral Doom bands, PLAGUEPRAYER brings the drone guitar sound with the growling vocals only half way through the song, unlike most other bands of the genre that may introduce them after few seconds into the song (listen to "Dark Arcane"), something which I find is particularly distinct and worth noting and it works greatly to the band's music too.  But with "Villagers' Fear", the song starts with the atmospheric sound (wind blowing sound from a 90s horror movie), along with some slow acoustic guitar work before the thick drone sound creeps into your headphones like a slag, but it's worth mentioning that the track doesn't offer anything creatively instrumental wise, other than a prolonged wind sound, which is a bit disappointing.

Halfway through "Germ Deliverance", I thought this is just sounding like "Dark Arcane", but the subtle, as well as the drone guitar works, makes this song worthy of your time. It's painfully slow and rightly should be for this genre.  It's hard to like a band when there is very little freshness in every other song, and all you are doing is taking the core of your sound and repeating the hell out of it. Being slow for the sake of being is not really appreciated. That's exactly what happens towards the end of the album, until "Contamination". But the shorter 6 minute track, "Dead Town", completely blows my mind, especially the sound where the swing is swinging in a dirty abandoned place during rain, completely taking you into a visual horror treat before ending with that women scream.

While there are issues with PLAGUEPRAYER, mainly of monotony, "Forgotten Witchery" brings some of the most insanely slow haunting music that I have ever listened to in recent times, sometimes reminding me of bands like EYE OF SOLITUDE. In any case this record is worthy of your time, especially if you dig the Funeral Doom sub-genre, else tread this path with care as you might end with a bad taste in your mouth.

7 / 10


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"Forgotten Witchery" Track-listing:

1. Plagueprayer
2. Dark Arcane
3. Villagers' Fear
4. Purification
5. Germ Deliverance
6. Contamination
7. Dead Town

Plagueprayer Lineup:

Hangsvart - Everything

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