Getting Into: Anaal Nathrakh


Written by: ScreamingSteelUS
Published: 30.03.2016


The articles in this series begun by our own Baz Anderson are designed to give a brief overview of a band's entire discography, so as to provide a clear point of entry for the uninitiated. It offers a different approach from the typical review format, for the curious newcomer to a well-traveled band.

Anaal Nathrakh
Black metal, grindcore, industrial metal
UK

Musical Armageddon rarely finds such coherent forms as those that Anaal Nathrakh spews forth from the gaping maw of hell. This English duo constantly seeks to integrate any destructive musical measures possible, paying no heed to the boundaries of genre. Mick "Irrumator" Kenney's rabid instrumentation builds up massive walls of sound to annihilate everything within range, with gut-striking riffs, wailing solos, and insatiable drum machines. Dave "V.I.T.R.I.O.L." Hunt, meanwhile, constantly pushes the envelope with his vocal experimentations, leaving no style untouched; his demonic utterances range from the growling of hellhounds to the hysterical cries of the damned to some unsettling baying that can be described with nothing more specific than "sounds." In any discussion of terrifying, destructive, or just plain brutally misanthropic music, Anaal Nathrakh must be included.

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The Codex Necro (2001)

The Codex Necro bristles with belligerent distortion, an inferno of chilling sound that captures the misanthropic fury of early black metal as well as the musical tropes. The songwriting might go by the books in most instances, but "Pandemonic Hyperblast" and other tracks offer telling glimpses into Anaal Nathrakh's future. Mick Kenney slips some creepily organic riffs in between the stacks of noise, and Dave Hunt, though still a ways from developing his monumental vocals featured on later albums, vomits forth disgusting screams with vile aplomb. This album sticks closest to pure black metal of all Anaal Nathrakh releases, but it still strays into realms more gruesome.
Standout Tracks: "Pandemonic Hyperblast," "The Supreme Necrotic Audnance," "Human, All Too Fucking Human"

Domine Non Es Dignus (2004)

Though musically Domine Non Es Dignus remains more black metal than anything else, Anaal Nathrakh strays into bulkier and more brutal territory, equipped with slightly fuller production. Riffs borrowed from hardcore and grindcore add sonic armor to the steadily-hardening black metal chassis. Hunt pushes himself vocally, introducing his first high-pitched wails amidst torrents of growling, snarling, choking, hissing, and insane utterings. Despite the progression of sound, Domine Non Es Dignus can be a hard album to analyze sometimes; it leans toward the technically-precise mechanizations of later Anaal Nathrakh while trying to preserve the raw noisiness of the debut, and these contradictory directions make the album confusing occasionally. The songwriting, too, falls short of the album's predecessor and successor.
Standout Tracks: "Do Not Speak," "This Cannot Be The End," "To Err Is Human, To Dream - Futile"






Eschaton (2006)

On Eschaton, Anaal Nathrakh truly finds its footing. Eschaton is a mighty whirlwind of weaponized noise, musical chaos only restrained as much as was necessary to bind it to recording equipment. Here, black metal has fully integrated with grindcore, death, and thrash to create a writhing cocktail of borderline-unfathomable rage. The atmosphere recalls the noisiness and unbridled fury of The Codex Necro, but with a powerful low end that makes each song a crushing powerhouse. Hunt, amidst his voracious growls, unveils his much-improved clean vocals to add an entirely new facet of dramatic energy to the punky anger and thrashy violence. Eschaton is at the same time much more focused and much more chaotic than the preceding two albums, and remains one of the best examples of Anaal Nathrakh's sound.
Standout Tracks: "Between Shit And Piss We Are Born," "The Destroying Angel," "When The Lion Devours Both Dragon And Child," "The Yellow King"

Hell Is Empty, And All The Devils Are Here (2007)

Hell Is Empty, And All The Devils Are Here takes another stab at what Domine Non Es Dignus tried to achieve: a more perfect union between blasphemous black disorder and something heavier-hitting. From the outset, this album utilizes much earthier, deeper tones and has a fuller, more rounded sound than its predecessors - not as diabolically insane as Eschaton, but thicker and more calculated. Hell Is Empty has the most thrash influence of any Anaal Nathrakh album, bordering sometimes on groove or melodeath; musically the album is a slight step down, but the vocals - continuing to seek new ground - help push the songs over the edge.
Standout Tracks: "Der Hölle Rache Kocht In Meinem Herzen," "Sanction Extremis (Kill Them All)," "Virus Bomb"






In The Constellation Of The Black Widow (2009)
In The Constellation Of The Black Widow presents the crystallization of the Anaal Nathrakh sound. This album combines excellence in songwriting, production, performance, and genre-mixing; professional production exists in tandem with the almost-sloppy anarchy of reckless, violent noise - not stifling each other, but straining each other further and further into oblivion. A clinical coldness has settled into the band's mindset, an inhuman mechanization borrowed from industrial that offsets the unbridled, crushing discord of grindcore and jagged black metal. Operatic, utterly chilling choruses showcase Hunt's true vocal v.i.t.r.i.o.l. Kenney and Hunt both offer some of their strongest performances to date, sparing no effort to craft a record as unsettling as it is heavy and as disgusting as it is evil.
Standout Tracks: "In The Constellation Of The Black Widow," "I Am The Wrath Of Gods And The Desolation Of The Earth," "Oil Upon The Sores Of Lepers," "Blood Eagles Carved On The Backs Of Innocents"

Passion (2011)

Passion carries on the approach of In The Constellation Of The Black Widow, perfectly melding all kinds of sick and twisted musical forms into a cold wasteland of monstrous detonations. The songs never sacrifice energy or rage for all their precision, allowing the conflicting methodologies of black, grind, noise, industrial, and death to compete and create brutal conflict, rather than losing focus in a mire of varying techniques. Now settled on the exact atmosphere, Anaal Nathrakh experiments somewhat with song structures, investing in some more adventurous compositions and collaborations. "Tod Huetet Uebel" is the most putrid, vile, disgusting, inhuman, gruesome, and insanely evil song ever recorded, due in no small part to guest Rainer Landfermann's unutterably horrifying vocals.
Standout Tracks: "Tod Huetet Uebel," "Drug-Fucking Abomination," "Paragon Pariah," "Who Thinks Of The Executioner"






Vanitas (2012)

Vanitas, too, follows after In The Constellation Of The Black Widow, further demonstrating that this sound more than any seems most suited to the Anaal Nathrakh ethos. Of course, not content to stay in one place for too long, Anaal Nathrakh begins to sneak some electronic elements into the mix, introducing an entirely new array of potential sonic weapons with which to induce insanity in the listener. The album is more aggressive than Passion, and overall has stronger songwriting, making Vanitas more brutal, intense, and virulent.
Standout Tracks: "Forging Towards The Sunset," "Todos Somos Humanos," "You Can't Save Me, So Stop Fucking Trying"

Desideratum (2014)

Desideratum takes the brief moments of electronic experimentation and develops them into greater themes under the aegis of breakcore/dubstep artist GoreTech. The "wholesome" production robs the album of some power and bite, making Desideratum perhaps the cleanest-sounding Anaal Nathrakh album, but the new musical direction and strong songwriting make up for the smooth edges. Even a "softer," more experimental Anaal Nathrakh is an unstoppable tyrant of hellish noise.
Standout Tracks: "The One Thing Needful," "A Firm Foundation Of Unyielding Despair," "Unleash," "Rage And Red"




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Overview:

Anaal Nathrakh is misanthropic rage personified. Anaal Nathrakh is the aural equivalent of a Hieronymus Bosch painting of Dante's Inferno. Anaal Nathrakh exists to terrify, to destroy, and to spew forth horrors unimaginable with no purpose other than to remind the human race of how disgusting it is. To achieve these goals, Anaal Nathrakh employs any and every frightening musical technique within reach, mixing black metal, grindcore, noise, industrial, death metal, and some sounds that can only be described as "emanating from the victims of some sightless horror out of the depths." Ruthlessly vile in philosophy and delivery alike, the duo succeeds in making terrifying music in a world already jaded to so many transgressive forms.



 



Written on 30.03.2016 by Reviewing since 2010. Reviewing competently since ____. More metal than you since before the dawn of 'istry.


Comments

Comments: 18   Visited by: 210 users
30.03.2016 - 20:47
ScreamingSteelUS
Agent of Steel
The last article I did took six months. This one took me three days. Granted, Anaal Nathrakh is much easier to analyze than Sigh, but maybe I'm getting better at this.
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Row, row, fight the power
Djently down the stream

I wonder how you will defend your ludicrous assertions.
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31.03.2016 - 01:06
FYA
Destroyer
I fuckng love AN.
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31.03.2016 - 11:52
RaduP
Noob
Is there any way to edit those old Getting Into articles to add newer releases by the bands?
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Headbutt yourself!
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31.03.2016 - 18:31
ScreamingSteelUS
Agent of Steel
Written by RaduP on 31.03.2016 at 11:52

Is there any way to edit those old Getting Into articles to add newer releases by the bands?

There is. So far, the only article of mine for which this possibility is relevant is W.A.S.P., and I published it so close to Golgotha's release that I did half-intend to add that album later. At this point, though, I still haven't heard Golgotha, and I'm beginning to question whether or not I want to go back and edit articles when they become outdated at all, or simply leave them intact as reflective of the time in which they were written. I'm sure I will eventually make a habit of keeping my articles updated. Some of Baz's original articles are surely out-of-date by now, but it's up to him how to proceed with his work.
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Row, row, fight the power
Djently down the stream

I wonder how you will defend your ludicrous assertions.
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31.03.2016 - 18:34
jafewohag
Great article for a great band! I gotta say though, More of Fire Than Blood and Joystream are some pretty killer tracks worth mentioning.
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01.04.2016 - 00:17
Bad English
Masterchief
One of bands I cant get into, article wont help, even its interesting to read as always.
Same time band I found on old BM radio episode, well more DM and so on, and I don't like such bands whit such names what don't name a sence....
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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01.04.2016 - 12:10
corrupt
With a lowercase c
I'm afraid I have to pull a Marcel on you and say that the only 5-Star album they ever did is Codex Necro. Stuff afterwards is good, highlights here and there, but nothing compares to the atmosphere on their debut. Especially the overly clean production on the later releases kills a lot of what AN meant for me in the beginning.
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Schwarzmetall!
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02.04.2016 - 06:51
3rdWorld
The Psilosopher
Codex Necro is the greatest album they've written. Period.
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03.04.2016 - 11:31
Fallen Ghost
Metalhead
Written by 3rdWorld on 02.04.2016 at 06:51

Codex Necro is the greatest album they've written. Period.


Because your opinion is the only opinion? I friggin love Vanitas
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03.04.2016 - 14:19
3rdWorld
The Psilosopher
Written by Fallen Ghost on 03.04.2016 at 11:31

Because your opinion is the only opinion?

Learn to read. I never said that.
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03.04.2016 - 14:40
Fallen Ghost
Metalhead
Written by 3rdWorld on 03.04.2016 at 14:19

Written by Fallen Ghost on 03.04.2016 at 11:31

Because your opinion is the only opinion?

Learn to read. I never said that.


"Codex Necro is the greatest album they've written. Period." It totally says that that's the way it is But obviously it's not how you meant, so I apologize if you got offended
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03.04.2016 - 15:22
3rdWorld
The Psilosopher
Written by Fallen Ghost on 03.04.2016 at 14:40

"Codex Necro is the greatest album they've written. Period." It totally says that that's the way it is But obviously it's not how you meant, so I apologize if you got offended

You didn't really have to apologize. But anyway I think that comment was quite aggressive from me as well and as an apology I will go back and listen to Vanitas now.
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03.04.2016 - 15:53
Fallen Ghost
Metalhead
Written by 3rdWorld on 03.04.2016 at 15:22

Written by Fallen Ghost on 03.04.2016 at 14:40

"Codex Necro is the greatest album they've written. Period." It totally says that that's the way it is But obviously it's not how you meant, so I apologize if you got offended

You didn't really have to apologize. But anyway I think that comment was quite aggressive from me as well and as an apology I will go back and listen to Vanitas now.


Cool man, let me know what you think of it
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03.04.2016 - 18:07
jafewohag
Written by Fallen Ghost on 03.04.2016 at 15:53

Written by 3rdWorld on 03.04.2016 at 15:22

Written by Fallen Ghost on 03.04.2016 at 14:40

"Codex Necro is the greatest album they've written. Period." It totally says that that's the way it is But obviously it's not how you meant, so I apologize if you got offended

You didn't really have to apologize. But anyway I think that comment was quite aggressive from me as well and as an apology I will go back and listen to Vanitas now.


Cool man, let me know what you think of it


Very much agree on Vanitas. And kudos to the both of you on your civility!
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14.04.2016 - 15:13
Alondate
Great article. Every word you use is very much accurate defining this hellish band
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14.04.2016 - 23:45
Enteroctopus
This is awesome!! Definitely one of the most diverse and interesting metal bands I've ever heard. I have purchased the Constellation of the Black Widow. Can't wait to rip it up.
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24.04.2016 - 18:18
VIG
Crimson King
In the constellation of the black widow is definetly the best
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23.06.2016 - 14:17
jackluter
Interesting article which can also help to know new things.
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