BravePicks 2020 - ANAAL NATHRAKH's Endarkenment #14
December 18, 2020, a year ago
If there was any year that music was a true saviour, it was 2020. The ultimate diversion, as the world sits in virtual stagnation waiting anxiously for a fix. We will keep it brief here with the COVID commentary. Let’s let the music speak for itself. It is time to unveil our annual BravePicks countdown, where the devout scribes at BraveWords cast their votes at the hits and misses of the year! So who will be our #1? You’ll find out as we count down the BravePick Of 2020 each day in December!
Everybody has an opinion and it’s time for ours! And stay tuned in January for the writers’ individual Top 20s (new studio albums ONLY), Top 5 Brave Embarrassments (a fan favorite!), What/Who Needs To Stop In 2021? and Metal Predictions For 2021. Sadly no concerts. But all will be showcased come the New Year!
This virus can go to hell! Let’s let the Top 30 releases of 2020 rock your world!
14) ANAAL NATHRAKH - Endarkenment (Metal Blade)
Dripping in cynicism (and who could blame them), Anaal Nathrakh’s Endarkenment is a strange slab of their chaotic grindcore/black metal character. Some of it grinds with great integrity while other parts sound more uplifting despite the subject matter. The Birmingham duo remain one of the most talented acts out there and while they continue to take things to the extreme, there is a degree of accessibility to Endarkenment. It’s brutal yet also beautiful, which makes this offering just that much more memorable and earns the #14 spot on our countdown.
Extremity has been Anaal Nathrakh's stock in trade for more than two decades, and with Endarkenment, they maintain their legacy of aural devastation. However, for all the furor they stir up, the duo have never been a two-dimensional entity, with a great deal of depth involved in everything that they do, and on many levels the new record is distinguished from its predecessors.
"I think in terms of feel, it's brighter, more open and direct than maybe we've been in the past," states vocalist Dave Hunt. "Obviously I don't mean it's happy-go-lucky sounding, or suggestive of a sunny disposition. I mean something more like it burns with light rather than glowers with darkness. It's coruscating." The evolution since 2018's towering A New Kind Of Horror has been personal and profound, and is very much in line with that experienced by many of their listeners. "Personally, I feel more cynical, more bitter, with a greater sense that the world is fucked, and is continually re-fucked by people who have no idea what they are doing. Musically, I think we're more mature - not less frenetic, but better able to channel our energies where they'll be most effective. That's an ongoing process, you never finish growing into what you're doing and being better able to push at the edges of what you can do. But we aren't interested in evolving what we do, only how we do it. We remain unlike the vast majority of other bands in our sound, and we're proud of what we do."
BravePicks 2020 Top 30
14) ANAAL NATHRAKH - Endarkenment
15) AC/DC - PWRϟUP (Columbia/Sony)
16) BENEDICTION - Scriptures (Nuclear Blast)
17) KATAKLYSM - Unconquered (Nuclear Blast)
18) BLACKGUARD - Storm (Independent)
19) MEXICAN APE-LORD - Survival Cannibalism (Unable)
20) THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER - Verminous (Metal Blade)
21) ENSIFERUM - Thalassic (Metal Blade)
22) PROTEST THE HERO - Palimpsest (Spinefarm)
23) SODOM - Genesis XIX (Steamhammer)
24) INCANTATION - Sect Of Vile Divinities (Relapse)
25) MIDNIGHT - Rebirth By Blasphemy (Metal Blade)
26) NAGLFAR - Cerecloth (Century Media)
27) RAVEN - Metal City (SPV/Steamhammer)
28) KIRK WINDSTEIN - Dream In Motion (Entertainment One)
29) VANDEN PLAS - The Ghost Xperiment: Illumination (Frontiers)
30) GREEN CARNATION - Leaves of Yesteryear (Season of Mist)