Sunday 2 November 2014

Anaal Nathrakh - Desideratum (Album Review)

Album Type:  Full Length
Date Released: 28/10/2014
Label: Metal Blade Records

‘Desideratum’ CD/DD track listing:

01. Acheronta Movebimus (03:30)
02. Unleash (03:41)
03. Monstrum in Animo (04:01)
04. The One Thing Needful (03:53)
05. A Firm Foundation of Unyielding Despair (03:37)
06. Desideratum (03:59)
07. Idol (03:38)
08. Sub Specie Aeterni (Of Maggots and Humanity) (03:16)
09. The Joystream (04:24)
10. Rage and Red (03:30)
11. Ita Mori (03:42)


Anaal Nathrakh was created for one purpose - to be the soundtrack for Armageddon, the audial essence of evil, hatred and violence, the true spirit of necro taken to its musical extremes. Since being founded in 1999, the band has gained a reputation for embodying precisely these things, with a history including not only the release of seven albums and an EP to rapturous acclaim, but collaborations with such legendary figures as Attila Csihar (Mayhem), Shane Embury and Danny Herrera (Napalm Death), Nick Barker (Testament, Dimmu Borgir), Joe Horvath (Circle of Dead Children), Sethlans Teitan (Watain) and so on. This, alongside appearing on BBC Radio 1 at the personal behest of sadly missed icon John Peel, headlining a stage at the renowned cult Inferno Festival in Norway as their debut international live appearance, countless placings in 'best album of the year' polls and album of the month awards in the press and cover appearances on leading magazines such as Terrorizer… Anaal Nathrakh's status as one of the leading lights in extreme metal is undeniable

The Band:

Mick Kenney | guitars/bass/programming
David Hunt AKA V.I.T.R.I.O.L | vocals


Following 2012’s monolithic masterpiece ‘Vanitas’, noisy grindsters Anaal Nathrakh yet again offer listeners a complete sonic barrage in the form of ‘Desideratum’. Known for combining elements of all the most extreme subgenres within metal, Anaal Nathrakh prove once again that they can obliterate ear drums and bring the destruction.

Taking a step back and looking at the past works of Anaal Nathrakh you can see a definite progression from pure black to where they are today. Albums like ‘Hell Is Empty And All The Devils Are Here’ stepped up their game with groove orientated verses and operatic vocals. Although this may not have been the first time they used elements like those, it was certainly where they started to feature heavily in their signature sound. Their previous album ‘Vanitas’ took the groove, power metal vocals and big choruses and mashed it perfectly with the sharp production and grindcore stylings into a beafy blackened death battery for the senses.

This album tends to lean more towards the black, death and grind side than it’s predecessor, which by no means is bad, just slightly unexpected seeing as the last two albums made it look as if they were going to commercialise their music slightly (again, not a bad thing).

Fans of the past 3 albums will feel right at home here. It completely rips in places with blast beats and classic inaudible screaming used to completely desolate your mind. It’s because of this however that it has lost quite a bit of its groove however. With ‘Vanitas’ it seems more like a riffy affair, where ‘Desideratum’ returns to their more tremolo picked songs that fly past at a million miles an hour.

There is no reprieve from the brutality. Not one point does it let you rest from the insanity to take in a cool section or space out the onslaught of blast beats. But really lets be honest, who would relax by listening to Anaal Nathrakh? Anaal Nathrakh are the sort of band that you could imagine a high school kid listening too before shooting up a school.

All round this album has everything you would expect from them in spades. Noise, pummeling verses, big choruses and some groovy sections to top it all off. There really is a lot of great extreme metal out there at the moment and you’d be doing yourself a favour not to ignore these guys. Not that you could even if you tried!

Thanks for reading Y’all!

Words by: Asher G. Alexander

You can pick up a copy here

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