Anaal Nathrakh
Endarkenment

For some reason, we didn’t review the last album from the British stalwarts, Anaal Nathrakh, A New Kind of Horror, despite reviewing the band’s album pretty consistently from blistering the debut, The Codex Necro, through personal favorite Eschaton, more direct Vanitas, to 2017s The Whole of the Law. But let’s be honest, does it really matter? I mean 10 albums in, did you really need a review? I mean, the duo of Mick Kenney and Dave Hunt has entered rarified Obituary, Bolt Thrower, Dismember and Cannibal Corpse territory at this point in their discography. They have locked into a sound and you know exactly what you are getting with each album, the only subtle shift is how catchy and frequent are the choruses from Dave Hunt on each release?

I could say the same for album number 11, Endarkenment. You know exactly what you are getting with the blistering industrial black metal/grind fusion and dave Hunt’s ear worming, Ihsahn-ish clean vocals thrown in. And on this album, the pendulum definitely swings to the ‘more frequent’ side of things, as there are more choruses, and I dare say this might be Anaal Nathrakh‘s most ‘melodic’ and ‘accessible’ album. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still seething and vicious as fuck, and certainly, still undeniably Anaal Nathrakh, but there is certainly an increased level of melody, and not just in the choruses, and Hunt said it succinctly leading up to the release;  “I think in terms of feel, it’s brighter, more open and direct than maybe we’ve been in the past”.

And speaking of choruses, the album gets right to it with the opening title track, with arguably the best song/chorus the duo has penned since “Between Shit and Piss We Are Born” from Eschaton. I mean, it’s like the band just throws down a power metal chorus right in the middle of the sonic shit show. And there are plenty more where that came from in the likes of ” The Age of Starlight Ends”, “Libidinous (A Pig with Cocks in Its Eyes)” and “Create Art, Though the World May Perish”, as Dave Hunt continues to show he’s one of the best and most varied vocalists around and to be honest, I’m at the point where I’m ready for an album of some sort with just his clean vocals (just not an Anaal Nathrakh album though, maybe an A. A Nemtheanga Dread Sovereign type of side project?).

And it’s not just the choruses, the melodic developments can be heard in riffs like another standout track “Singularity”, “Feeding the Death Machine” (also with a cool chorus from Hunt), “Punish Them” or pure melodic black metal as seen on closer “Requiem”, and still, the duo keeps things as devastating as ever amid the proceedings making sure your face is peeled off no matter how melodic (i.e “Thus, Always, to Tyrants”, “Beyond Words”).

Yet another killer album from Anaal Nathrakh, who is now a model of brilliant consistency almost 20 years after the apocalyptic debut, The Codex Necro, and somehow manage to keep things interesting yet vehemently creative.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 28th, 2020

Comments

  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    ha I thought power metal on that title track chorus too. the last one left me cold but I’ll be listening to this in full when it drops.


  2. Commented by: J. Mays

    You should have posted the uncensored artwork… or probably not.


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