Hangman - A Vile Decree [EP] (Cover Artwork)


A Vile Decree [EP] (2017)

Flatspot records

Long Island’s Hangman are a youthful group of hardcore kids whose enthusiasm for the genre is palpable, and frankly, refreshing. And with A Vile Decree they offer their first release on Flatspot Records. The five-song EP highlights a band who does well in drawing on both past and present hardcore stylings, and who does so with a sense of their own music evolution.

The production quality on the release is an immediate standout component here. There is a delicate balance to be struck when trying to record at a high quality while also trying to capture the organic angst so foundational to hardcore music. Hangman found that balance on A Vile Decree and the entire EP benefits from it. The layers of guitar tracks don’t feel too polished or stuffy, the vocals maintain a robust aggression, and the rhythm section is in no way lost in the background.

The EP’s third song, “Abandoned,” features guest vocals by Brian from Neglect. The cameo is certainly appropriate given Hangman’s clearly aggressive and antagonistic brand. In fact, it’s about as direct an homage as one can get here. The song itself stomps along with grooving and heavy rhythms as the vocals take center. The end offers a nicely balanced back and forth between both frontmen, and the song simply adds to the austere hardcore-over-everything feel on the EP.

The title track is the strongest on this record, and it opens as another showcase song for frontman Dan Mulligan’s aggressive vocals. He does a great job in balancing what is a ferocious delivery with really strong annunciation. Not much clarity is lost to Mulligan’s guttural yelling. The music moves into a typically heavy breakdown but then slows into choppy but grooving closure that shows some of the more subtle guitar-writing on the EP. The harmonics that complement the bass and rhythm guitars at the song’s end show that Hangman are evolving in their own way.

A Vile Decree is a really strong release for Hangman. The production and song-writing blend well in creating a full-bodied hardcore assault that rings with youthful angst, sound musicianship, and heavy yet catchy rhythms. Their live show is similarly intense too. Give this EP a shot.