Anaal Nathrakh


Written by: MST on 03/05/2011 18:36:50

Grind-black metal lunatics Anaal Nathrakh return in 2011 with yet another record. The band wrote one of 2009's best albums according to on/off-Rockfreaks scribe AB as he gave "In The Constellation Of The Black Widow" an almost perfect grade, and I completely agree. The duo's sixth full-length "Passion" thus has a lot to live up to.

The style is almost the same as on "In The Constellation...". We're talking grim, blasting grind-black metal with V.I.T.R.I.O.L's ridiculously insane shrieks and epic clean vocals making Anaal Nathrakh sound unique. The drum machine is both extremely fast and brutal and very varied at the same time, never repeating itself and always bringing something new, but fitting the riffs. Speaking of the riffs, multi-instrumentalist Irrumator's ability to write apocalyptic riffs and bass-lines is as impressing as it was in 2009. One of the things that makes Anaal Nathrakh's sound really stand out is the eardrum-shattering bass that accompany the riffs. It sounds way heavier than any other black metal band - the music still has the viciousness of black metal, but the grindcore brutality of the drums and bass makes it sound way heavier without turning it into blackened death metal.

So, yeah, the musical and instrumental awesomeness is still present on "Passion". But one has to compare this album to the previous album, and it is clear that what separates "Passion" from "In The Constellation.." is that the latter was a neverending hurricane of extremity, and sadly, the former falls short of delivering what you'd expect from a new Anaal Nathrakh album. It simply doesn't bring that relentless brutality. Second song "Drug-Fucking Abomination" starts with a 3 minute intro that gives the listener an undesired break that brings down the overall tempo of the album. Third and fifth songs "Post Traumatic Stress Euphoria" and "Locus Of Damnation" would've been pretty good songs if they had broken the 2-minute mark, but because they do not, the songs don't really capture the listener. Seventh song "Paragon Pariah" has an over-the-top cheesy chorus that makes me unable to enjoy the rest of the otherwise good song properly. There's even a couple of annoying breakdowns in "Who Thinks Of The Executioner".

These things are what separates "Passion" from its predecessor that scored a 9½ here on Rockfreaks. But I'm not trying to say that this is a bad album. There are plenty of good things as well; aside from the issues mentioned above, the album continues in the vein of awesomeness that is Anaal Nathrakh: blasting, ripping, furiously extreme grind-black metal. The vocals are inhuman when they're shrieking and distorted, and they're epic when they're sung cleanly. A new vocal style is even introduced: imagine the vocals throughout the record being the painful shrieks of a detainee in a mental facility being tortured in all possible and impossible ways. That detainee has now escaped and is preaching the coming apocalypse in "Tod Huetet Uebel", a song that takes the regular insanity of Anaal Nathrakh a huge step further.

I want to like "Passion", but I keep comparing it to "In The Constellation...". There are simply too many things that annoy me on this new record, so my final verdict is going to be this: "Passion" is worth checking out, because there are some really good songs here. In the Download section we find "Volenti Non Fit Iniuria", which is Anaal Nathrakh as we know them at their best and "Tod Huetet Uebel" that simply must he heard to be understood. And who knows, maybe other listeners will like some of the things that I dislike. But when I put this album on in the future I'm always going to want to listen to its predecessor instead.


Download: Volenti Non Fit Iniuria, Tod Huetet Uebel
For The Fans Of: Early Emperor, Mayhem
Listen: MySpace

Release date 23.05.2011
Candlelight Records

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