This first full length of the Iraqi Anthems Of Isolation, which comes almost nine years after the previous release, is a work that has several reasons for interest, undeniably starting from the geographical origin of the duo formed by Lord Erragal (all instruments) and Karam Endzeit (vocals), but not only; in fact, Apocalyptic Portrayals denotes an approach to funeral doom quite particular, based on an obsessive pace in which an atmospheric base not devoid of dissonance blends with a growl more harsh than deep. Just the sense of impending threat that arises from this mixture is the strong point of a work not easy to understand after the first passages, but able to return an estrangement hard to drive away, a kind of discomfort that sticks insidiously to the skin and that nails to the listening for about three quarters of an hour. The work of Anthems of Isolation is not based about clean sound but, if anything, on the intensity of a conceptual message in which the light of hope is not contemplated; no coincidence that the final track, in my opinion qualitative peak of the album, is entitled Darkness At The End Of The Tunnel, expressing in this way a vision of the present and the future pessimistic and devoid of consolatory impetuses. I’m not sure that Apocalyptic Portrayals can find unanimous approval from the funeral doom users, especially those who are oriented to the more melodic side of the subgenre, but I must say that I really appreciated the attempt of the Iraqi duo to propose a rather personal interpretation of it, maybe risking but avoiding to turn out to be yet another faded copy of the leading bands of the sector.

2022 – Sathanath Records / More Hate Productions