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Ankhagram : Neverending Sorrow

You're missing more releases by Shape Of Despair? Check Ankhagram as talented ersatz…



It’s hard to ignore the actual onslaught of Slavic bands that are flooding the Funeral Doom genre. While there's arguably a good number of these acts that should not even be signed, sometimes, once in a while, we're blessed with quality records that keep our hopes high. This was the case with bands like Comatose Vigil or Abstract Spirit and now another blessing comes in the form of Ankhagram.

Ankhagram has released numerous records ever since the project was created back in 2005. There has been quite a number of personnel changes and according to the bio, almost a different musical orientation in each of these recordings, but let’s just say that basically the band is a one-man project under the gloomy auspices of its mastermind: Dead.

Ankhagram’s ’Neverending Sorrow’ is the 2010 re-release through Stygian Crypt Productions of a record previously self-released in 2007. It features six tracks of orchestral Funeral Doom and while it is claimed in their bio that they pledge allegiance to the likes of early Anathema or Crematory, there is one very (very) obvious influence that will strike you at first: it is Shape Of Despair. This is so obvious that one may even mention “plagiarism” after a brief listen but I couldn't disagree more.

True, the sound, the orchestration, the repetitive structures and the overall feeling are very close in nature to ’Shades Of…’ or ’Angels of Distress’ but it is done with such brilliance and insight that you can’t help feeling you’re dealing with a vey talented tribute to the Finnish band. Some may argue that since Shape Of Despair already exist, why then bother with some “clone”? Well, think of it for a few seconds. Shape of Despair’s latest record was ’Illusion’s Play’ that dates back to 2004 if you except this year’s EP (EP!) so it's probably safe to assume that there is a hole, a need to be filled and when it’s done with such arguments as found in ’Neverending Sorrow’, why deny yourself the pleasure?

This whole record is very much enjoyable and most likely one the best, if not the best, releases in Funeral Doom this year, provided you’re not looking for the likes of Hierophant or Torture Wheel. There’s only one drawback I may think of and this would be the Funeralized version of Frédéric Chopin’s Marche Funèbre which ends this record, a cliché that could and should have been avoided but I guess it’s some kind of trademark for the genre and aficionados of the Pole’s famed funereal theme may see it as additional incentive to purchase the record.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated

Information

Tracklist :
1. To My God
2. No Fate
3. Я Умираю
4. …From My Dying Heart…
5. Last Shout of a Dying Swan
6. …End of Everything…

Duration : Approx. 57 minutes

Visit the Ankhagram bandpage.

Reviewed on 2010-12-18 by Fédéric Cerfvol
Hate Your Guts Records
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