Ankhagram - Where Are You Now review
|Album:||Where Are You Now|
|Release date:||September 2010|
01. Life's Ocean
02. The Mistress
03. Trees Of Feeling
04. Shade You
06. Kids [MGMT cover]
Russia has a huge crush on dark music in general, well, of course not every band coming from there is great, but there are bands that definitely have a cause of existence and they prove it with their releases. Such acts are not that well-known and sadly enough they remain in underground circles, keeping together a core of fanbase that supports them and with every album they create this circle becomes wider, slowly but steadily. After all in the end, the genres these bands are into have an underground air themselves and one of those is Ankhagram, a one-man band by someone named... Dead. Cliché, I know, but, oh well, you can't have everything in this tear-filled world.
The cover artwork is fabulous, it holds a sense of some kind of abstract manic depression that rises the interest of the listener offering a thrilling first impression. What lies in Ankhagram's fourth full-length release Where Are You Now is funeral doom with a doom/death metal approach and an orchestral touch. Down-tuned guitars with heavy distortion that present more melodious moments, deep crushing grunts from the depths of an exploding stream and obscure recites, wonderful use of piano/keyboards that enrich the ambiance either with their slight but to the point appearance or more wealthy aura and a spot-on rhythm section with almost absent bass lines in the final mix is what you'll find lying in here.
Well, Ankhagram's not the most original band you'll find around and I don't think the figure behind it would like to make the band seem this way. The influences are vivid and Shape Of Despair of Angels Of Distress and Illusion's Play are quite obvious, in fact, they breathe life to the compositions, probably due to the fact the keyboard/piano/orchestrations are way too reminiscent to the atmosphere of the Finnish masters of melancholy. And as for that, take into concideration "Trees Of Feelings", the second half of the opener and "Shade You". The first half of the album is filled with inspiration and intense emotions that overwhelm the listener, satisfying his desire for blue moments. The second half, at least to my ears, was way too controversial, "Shade You" sounds like a cheerful version of Shape Of Despair on drugs while opening the gates of heaven, leaving behind the bleak horizon, something unacceptable in my personal opinion. But then, "K.O.D." starts spinning and everything comes back to life with a beautiful doom/death metal composition that simply can't dissapoint. As for the end, Dead kept a big surprise for us all, a heretic cover on one of the ugliest songs ever written, "Kids" by MGMT. Firstly I listened to the original song on youtube so as to recall how unworthy it feels to spend your time this way, well, I didn't listen to it as whole, I'm not a masochist, but the cover version was rewarding, it kind of felt like the best song ever written after the truce I made with non-musical idiotic crap for a while. Well, it's a very good cover, proving that a "song" noone would ever think would sound like doom can sound like doom actually, I applause the transformation of pure shit into fertile ground for beauty, despite the fact it may sound like second class Crematory of the first era sometimes.
Concluding, Where Are You Now is a very good release, it will please the ears of funeral doom/death metal adorers with its aesthetic, it may not be so original, but it's sincere enough, you may proceed.
||Written on 05.11.2010 by "It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."|
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