rare indeed that a band lives up to the – often pathetically
exaggerated – claims of the press material. According to these
texts, every band in the world is the most brutal, fastest playing,
most evil, most hardcore, tightest and best dressed band ever, and
(logically) 99,9% of these postulations has to be false. However! –
when Anaal Nathrakh writes they are “the soundtrack of Armageddon”
it’s actually correct…
I have never
heard anything like their new album, “In the Constellation of the
Black Widow” (ICBW). It is – by far – the most vicious and primitive
sounds I’ve ever had the esteemed pleasure of exposing my ears to.
It does not sound like the music of human beings. How can I explain
imagine the “Panzer Division Marduk” album, played at double speed,
and performed with twice the intensity. Then add some hymn-like
vocals – on top of deeply animalistic growls and distorted screams.
Actually, try to imagine the entire Second World War, distilled into
a musical assault of about 35 minutes. Then you are just getting
of 10 paroxysms of pure hate and belligerence, at a technical level,
virtually unheard of. Each of these songs are based on intense and
very capable string-work, super tight speed-of-light
sound-of-thunder drumming and the vocal abuse of Dave Hunt (a.k.a.
Vitriol), mixed with a blurry circus of background sampling. This
recipe has a number of variations, all of which are utilized
throughout the album. The short time span of ICBW is meticulously –
almost surgically – weighted against what any sane person is able to
withstand before going suddenly totally mad. Half a minute more of
this maniacal tempo and excessive aggression and the listener would
start banging his head into walls. And I write this in the most
positive sense – I’m utterly impressed by the chaotic virtuosity of
Anaal Nathrakh. Especially the last track, bearing the imposing
title “Blood Eagles Carved On The Backs of Innocents”, proves how
the British duo manages to mix absolute Pandemonium with an almost
fragile melody, smelting and combining together feelings of disgust,
sorrow and anger, into an extremely heavy and strong amalgam. It
also proved my point about the time span. As the song – and thus the
album – draws near the end, the listener is effectively molested by
technically enhanced screams and squeals, that leaves no doubt about
the state of the lead singers mental health (he must be outright
insane!). If these “sounds” had continued for a few seconds more,
this review would have been carved on my chest, written in my
self-invented language Roodypoolian, in a cell without windows.
However, they did not continue, so I’m ready for more. I can’t wait
for their next album, and I lament the fact that they play so few
ICBW is for the extremists.
Everyone else will end up like a main character from a H.P.