Anaal Nathrakh
Eschaton

First, after re-listening to The Codex Necro in preparation for this review, there is no doubt in my mind that the debut album from this British duo was and is one of the most extreme releases ever and arguably the most important extreme record to come out of the UK since Scum. That being said, the 2004 follow up Domine Non Es Dignus was a slightly different beast; clean vocals, melody, pristine clear production made it far less caustic than the debut, but was a solid modern black metal record nonetheless.

Well, here is album number three, Eschaton and no more Mr. Nice Guy as the ‘Thrakh is back. Managing to seamlessly meld the debut’s utterly nihilistic guitar tone and blistering pace with a few clean vocals similar to those of ‘Do Not Speak’ from Domine…. In a nut shell, if you liked the songs like ‘Do Not Speak’ from Domine…, go straight to the amazing ‘Between Shit and Piss we are Born’ and ‘When the Lion Devours Both Dragon and Child’ as they have very similar clean choruses. If you preferred The Codex Necro, tracks like ‘The Destroying Angel’, ‘Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes’, ‘Timewave Zero’, ‘The Yellow King’, ‘The Necrogeddon’ and industrialized ‘Regression to the Mean’. Either way, the paint peeling guitar tone and apocalyptic delivery is back and mixed with very well placed melody and clean vocals. The end result sounds like a nun being gang raped by a demon and a robot on top of a scrap heap.

Mick Kenny (aka Irumator) and vocalist Dave Hunt (V.I.T.R.I.O.L), are joined by numerous guests on Eschaton; Shame Embury and Attila Csihar most notably, but the riffs and drumming of Kenny and the now truly awe inspiring vocal delivery of Hunt alone make for a truly caustic experience that , as with the debut, push your limits of extremity tolerance. The superb clean choruses for the aforementioned ‘Between Shit and Piss we are Born’ (which has a bit of a Napalm Death feel to it, I imagine due to Embury) and ‘When the Lion Devours Both Dragon and Child’, are little respite when layered over the bowel prolapsing intensity and surprising melody of both tracks. Then tracks like ‘The Destroying Angel’, (whose intro made me jump every time) and ‘Waiting For the Barbarians’ remove all premise of melody for a completely and utterly devastating, merciless blackened, industrial assault that matches The Codex Necro, for sheer, nasty, open wound infecting savagery that when topped of by ‘Regression to the Mean’, should have been the soundtrack for the movie ‘Tetsuo: The Iron Man’.

I’m sure it’s now time, after only three albums, that we start mentioning Anaal Nathrakh as a truly elite black metal band and the most important metal act to surface from the UK since Napalm Death.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 18th, 2006

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