ANAAL NATHRAKH - Vanitas
November 6, 2012, 7 years ago
England's ANAAL NATHRAKH will probably never top the monumental and genre-shattering 10 out of 10 that was 2009's In The Constellation of the Black Widow, but one senses, as Vanitas rears its absolute ugliness, that the group has become obsessive about re-achieving that perfection, as the shocking and histrionic 30 second throat-shattering scream that ends 'Forging Towards The Sunset' agonizingly attests. Vanitas is an album that is both forceful and impressively well-written, this band possessing the rare skill that is the ability to perform memorable and slickly listenable excursions while also leaving only devastation behind. And while that last line was histrionic (there's that word again) indeed, Anaal Nathrakh's most effective quality is the writing of records that are testaments to abyss-staring-back-at-you rage and the temptation that is the seducing apple in the garden of Eden. The key to Anaal Nathrakh's artistic success is its use of the old-school Stockholm death tone perfected by ENTOMBED and DISMEMBER at Sunlight Studios and the filtering of it through the lens of industrial black metal, the band very evidently masters of their own death and black destinies. This is the type of record that affirms the utility and need for the underground (not that there was ever a doubt) and, in its totality, Vanitas is an album that, on its merits, displays a stunning confidence in its means, its methods and the monuments it has set out to destroy.