Anaal Nathrakh, the dirty baby of Englishmen Mick Kenney and Dave Hunt, is all about fusion. Fusion of the rotten, the cold and the filthy, into a pile of infested scum and litter, encrusted with foulness that long gone has traveled beyond the borders of the British isle: the fourth full-album of the band is the ultimate manifestation of this sewer definition of fusion, that not leaves another option but inhales this putrid scum deep onto you. The final result of it may be labeled as extreme black metal, but it’s consist of other genres, the noticeable is grindcore, but also its cousin crust, newly spouse death metal, uncle through marriage industrial brutal touches, all enriched with a blessed touch of technique, programmed blast-beats and cave-sound, a-la cheerful retro of the Norwegian 90’s, but with a sharp edge, that enables to clearly hear the strings while they cut freely in the delicate flesh.
Continuing the tradition of previous albums’ dirt, here the duo delivers the familiar raw sound, but with some cutting edge adjustments: The first ‘surprise’ is discovered in the second song, “Between Shit and Piss We are Born”, in the body of an epic clean singing in the chorus, between the shit of guitar storm and the piss of rusted blackish vocals. This is yet to appear also in the colossal “Time Wave Zero”. There are also some more mild turns of traditional song-structures that consist of house-chorus-bridge and some real melody swing flickering, like in the almost-catchy “The Yellow Ring”, which clings to NWOBHM rather than other melodic black metal efforts with a similar sense of composing. The traditional black metal side is brightened in a sheer showcase that gives the album much of the black coldness needed, in the opening riff of blast-opus “When the Lion Devours Both Dragon and Child”, and develops into some sort of industrial-influenced mid-paced brutal song with another bewildering epic singing in the chorus, which at moments seems a bit detached. However, not all dirt must shine with foul only, and the clean, pathos-full chants breaking into a blackened death sequence are a proof for the band’s courage, combining the possibly-soft with the clearly-rough, only to breed this three-headed monster of complex metal. Finally, the magnificent melodic ending of “The Necrogeddon” is another example of the two-faced dirt essence.
Before unveiling the guts of the disc, one might notice that a sticker upon it calls for featuring of the cryptic Mayhem frontman Attila Csihar and Legendary Napalm Death bassist Shane Embury. The meeting of these two prominent figures from the vast range of extreme metallic sounds is quite symbolic – it’s about two generations of dirt, entwined into a breed of sulfur fire and crusted vile. It shows that bands such as Anaal Nathrakh can be and are the melting pot of various extreme genres that share some common core with each other and develop into beautiful brown swans. Along with Hunt’s harsh and absolutely insane vocals (much different from the vocals he did in slowcore-death band Benediction), Attila brings forth the beloved manic whispers and screams to the closing song, “Regression to the Mean” and proves once again, why this guy with the Paprika up his ass is the king of hell as we know it, but nevertheless, for his devilish vocals, Dave Hunt should claim for deputyship. Embury gives the well-known touch of someone who was there from the very beginning, when utopia was banished and harmony was corrupted.
This album reeks, and that it should be, for music that aims to deliver the ugly and the rotten sides of the human soul should externalize the rancid essence and core of its sounds to the maximum. Anaal Nathrakh does a perfect job by sending a stink bomb to my CD-driver.
1. Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes