Anaal Nathrakh always claimed never to be a touring band. For their recent album releases however this has changed, so to my delight as a long time Anaal Nathrakh fan they came over to London to play a show at the Boston Music Rooms in Tuffnel Park, a venue infamous for holding concerts for a great number of metal acts.
Starting off the evening with the groove orientated intro track from the new album, I have to say, I was shocked at how sloppy they were. Literally none of them were in time with each other, worst of all was the drummer who just couldn’t seem to get any kick’s in time. Surprising as I was told he plays to a click.
Moving on though, the night did improve, but it struck me that perhaps they didn’t warm up before hitting the stage, big mistake for a band that doesn’t play a lot of shows. After the second song the band went into full swing and really got into it, the grindy madness was tighter and more controlled.
The singer was definitely the best part for me. He was consistently spot on, whether shrieking, growling or belting out the operatic choruses. He was also a great front man in the sense that he knew the songs well enough to put emphasis on crowd participation in just the right spots. Also he looks like one mean motherfucker!
One glaring problem was that the lead guitar was far louder than the rhythm. The rhythm guitarist had a much more controlled tone in comparison, and in a band that plays as fast and distorted as AN, he deserved to be turned way up in the mix. Although all this is true, it did make the lead parts absolutely shine, with the tremolo picked melodies sounding ultra brutal.
Crowd involvement was at its peak for the shows and there was at any one time at least two people on stage and then diving off two seconds later. The band actively encouraged it too, with the rhythm guitarist asking for more stage diving in between one of the songs. Hilariously at one point, some dude tried to hug the singer in between a song. The singer wasn’t very happy about this and shoved him away, looking unbelievably pissed off. This dude then had the cheek to get up multiple more times throughout the night and throw himself into the crowd.
Overall it was a pretty good gig. Definitely not the best gig ever, and considering my expectations were pretty high because I love the recordings, it could have been a hell of a lot better. But maybe it was an amazing gig, and maybe I was too far back or not in the right mood? Sometimes when you see a band you really love and come out disappointed, you have to take a step back and ask yourself if you are the correct audience for the show. The majority of people there were getting really stuck in and going absolutely nuts, which at a grindcore/ black metal show I’m sure is the norm. I’m just not that kind of guy though, so for me it was just a tad disappointing.
Thanks for reading Y’all!
Words by: Asher G. Alexander.