Anaal Nathrakh
In the Constellation of the Black Widow
Style: Blackened Death Metal / Grindcore
Release date: June 29th 2009


It’s very 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 this?

Try to 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 close. 

ICBW consists 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 concerts.

ICBW is for the extremists. Everyone else will end up like a main character from a H.P. Lovecraft novel.


01. In The Constellation Of The Black Widow 4:45

02. I Am The Wrath Of Gods And The Desolation Of The Earth Music 2:24
03. More Of Fire Than Blood 3:26
04. The Unbearable Filth Of The Soul 3:31
05. Terror In The Mind Of God 3:27
06. So Be It 2:22
07. The Lucifer Effect 3:56
08. Oil Upon The Sores Of Lepers 2:47
09. Satanarchrist 4:40
10. Blood Eagles Carved On The Backs Of Innocents 3:17
Label: Candlelight Records
Promotion: Plastic Head Music
Artwork rating: N/A (download)
Reviewed by: Martin Schjönning
Date: May 23rd 2009
Website: Anaal Nathrakh @ MySpace