ANAAL NATHRAKH - Passion [Review]

Genre: Extreme Metal

Label: Candlelight Records

Release Date: May 17th, 2011

Reviewer: Karim Tarek

Those of you who are familiar with Anaal Nathrakh can skip this paragraph and jump to the next one, but for others who are not; you first need to get introduced to the maddest, most insane and destructive band ever up to date.
Anaal Nathrakh is a Birmingham-based English two-member band, founded by Benediction’s vocalist, Dave Hunt, and the stark mastermind, Mick Kenney, in the year 1998. They play some kind of an extremely peculiar genre that is often abridged in the statement “Black Metal/Grindcore”, but to be a little articulate, I would call it “Experimental Nekro Hellish Wrenching Black Metal Grind.” Yep, Anaal Nathrakh’s music is that atrocious!

We all know what hell is, but none of us knows how it looks… Right, but we particularly know how it sounds; it simply sounds Anaal Nathrakh!

While Dave Hunt is responsible for vocal duties, we can simply hail Mick Kenny as a god for his efforts on guitars, bass, and programming. He, alongside people like Dave Suzuki and Galder, is sorted as an omnipotent musical deity, standing solely behind the most hellish tunes ever written by a terrestrial life form! If you’re not familiar with Anaal Nathrakh, you’d probably tell, from my parlance/tone, that I’m being somewhat exaggerating, but believe me, I’m not; Anaal Nathrakh is diametrically one of the wonders on earth.

On their brand new album, “Passion”, the British duo stay true to their original infernal, diabolic sound and don’t trend towards any futile changes, a point that deserves kudos from me. The evil on the album starts off incrementally; the opening track is a stand out with its clean intro, backed up with a distorted ambient sound – it gives you the feeling of safety and that this album is going to sound pretty mild, even the following couple of guitar riffs give you that same impression, and BOOM; at exactly 1:37, all meanings of the word “Hell” get emitted at your face, and the unhallowed noise of this whole world gets unleashed at your poor small mind for an entire 36-minute period. You can’t certainly do anything about it but raise the volume to the maximum and enjoy your senses being raped like a veteran masochist.

Moving to the musical aspects on “Passion”, I find that the album, though bears Anaal Nathrakh’s usual sound, has a lot of moments where you can clearly sense that the band’s sound is now more developed, sophisticated, and mature, which is quite a difficulty considering the kind of music that they play. I mean, they play the most complicated and chaotic music ever, but you can still observe a perfect sense of coherence and solidarity nonetheless.

What also keeps on bringing endless shivers down my spine, is the consolidation of epic clean vocals with the infernal, fast tremello riffing, the inhumane blast beats, the exquisite melodic solos, and the extremely eargasmic violent and slick breakthroughs. I know the word “epic” has been really overused/misused in an ignorant way that it has almost lost it’s meaning, but if there’s anything that is still epic in this world, it’s Jet Li’s double punch, and clean vocals on Anaal Nathrakh’s albums. It’s really amazing and astounding how Dave Hunt can perform those sick, masochist screams and shrieks, those deep growls, those tortured groans, in addition to those charming clean vocals. It seems like Mick Kenny is not the only mastermind in Anaal Nathrakh! Clean vocals on tracks like: “Volenti Non Fit Iniuria”, “Drug-Fucking Abomination”, and “Paragon Pariah” basically melted my whole body and got me endless seizures and shudders that I now feel that my whole body is tingling.

Surprisingly and contrary to Anaal Nathrakh’s trademarked sound, you find a lot of melodic and down-tempo moments on “Passion”, ones that clearly showcase the immense musical value that this album holds. They really have a magical effect being shoved in between the most destructive and abominable parts ever. “Drug-Fucking Abomination” for instance, is a track that is very groovy and sane on a lot of its moments compared to others; you can feel the relative lack of the usual Anaal Nathrakh subversive, mind-crushing sound on a lot of parts on it, but what really deserves a round of applause on the track in particular, is the fusion of some of the most brutal excerpts on the album into this groovy seven and a half-minute track like that of 3:03.

All in all, we can safely say that this album in particular, is a huge stride from Anaal Nathrakh towards reaching a notable global stature as one of the most technical, fast, insane, hellish, occult, scourging, and face-ripping bands ever. I speculate it’s going to be even more successful than its predecessor, “In The Constellation Of The Black Widow”. I can’t say anything about it other than it’s literally optimum on all conceivable aspects, and it even hits the notch and moves the deepest parts of me on numerous moments on it. I can keep on writing about this inhuman masterpiece forever, I’m telling you, but I can’t go any longer as the local police are now waiting for me to take me into custody after my neighbor called them and complained about me playing this album at full blast 24/7, but don’t you worry; we have a bail box here in Metality and either iRoar or Spiritcrusher is going to save me whenever they get the chance.

Highlights: Paragon Pariah, Le Diabolique Est L'ami Du Simplement Mal, Volenti Non Fit Iniuria.

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