Hangman’s Chair, from Paris, France, has released their newest album ‘Banlieue Triste.’ Across these ten tracks is tragedy and grief served up in a powerful manner. Such topics have always figured prominently in the band’s music and lyrics, but here, everything is more rooted in reality.
Starting off with the title track, “Banlieue Triste” leads us cautiously into the album. This eerie instrumental is filled with enticing tones that perk your ears up for the next track, “Naïve,” which carries on the drab-doom theme with grace. At this point in the album, I hear a lot of what sounds similar to the style of Alice in Chains. They sound both hopeless and hopeful at the same time. Each lyrical line is dripping with passion and desperation.
“Sleep Juice” has a slow tempo with heavy tones. We are carried through with clean picking in the guitar and a steady beat from the rhythm section; the vocals are melodic and mysterious. The style of this track reminds me a bit of ‘Operation Mind Crime’ from Queensryche, especially in the guitar riffs and hooks. This tune has a very hypnotic way about it, which is very fitting for the theme of this track being insomnia. Next is “Touch the Razor” which is the second longest track of the album. It’s not unlike doom styles of music to lead us on long musical journeys through time and space. This melodic doom metal melody creates a very wild type of adventure in your mind. The ending of the tune gives the drummer a chance to shine as well, without being too overbearing. His rhythm is steady and heavy, complementing the other elements perfectly.
“Tara” fills us with a bit of that classic 80’s sound. It’s another slow and steady groove that carries us on an instrumental journey of the mind and into the next track, “04_09_16”. This track picks up the pace again beginning right away with groovy guitar riffs and beautiful vocals. This tune sounds a bit more upbeat than the previous tracks, but you can still feel the sadness in the tone and lyrical content.
You can view “04_09_16” here
“Tired Eyes” has some epic guitar riffs within the beginning. This tune continues to hold true to the macabre sounds of melodic desperation and woe. Although I was listening to this album during the day with sunshine, I could see this being the track for your indoor days while you watch the rain fall outside your window.
“Negative Male Child” is another track with a bit of an upbeat tone to it. This tune sounds a bit more hopeful than the others. It reminds me of one of those super unique tracks that you would hear in a life-changing Indie film. It’s a very impressionable track in that way-full of emotion.
“Sidi Bel Abbes” is the epic instrumental adventure that takes us into our final track of the album, “Full Ashtray”- which is also the longest track of ‘Banlieue Triste.’ This track is a heavy jam session that wraps up the full experience of this album. It was a strong finishing track to say the very least. I can say that this album was a unique musical experience. The album was heavy and drab, but it had hopeful spirits within it as well. It was almost like the perfect combination of rock, grunge, doom, with a bit of 80’s metal influence all in one album, which is something I can say I haven’t experienced in one place before without it being unappealing. ‘Banlieue Triste’ is an album that comes from its creators’ honest and emotional openness. I appreciate the unique flavor that Hangman’s Chair has brought us with this new album.
‘Banlieue Triste’ is available for purchase HERE
Track List for ‘Banlieue Triste’
1. Banlieue Triste
4.Touch the Razor
8.Negative Male Child
9. Sidi Bel Abbes
10. Full Ashtray
Label: Spinefarm Records
Line Up for Hangman’s Chair
Cedric Toufouti: vocals
Mehdi Birouk Thépegnier: drums
Clément Hanvic: bass
Julien Chanut: guitars
Hangman’s Chair is also on tour! Check out the Dates below!