Band: Anaal Nathrakh
Genre: Black Metal
Label: Metal Blade Records
FFO: Bloodbath, Behemoth, Second To Sun
Anaal Nathrakh has been a force in the metal scene for 2 decades now. Their unique combination of black metal, extreme death metal, and some other third thing is a sound that sonically explodes with every track. Their sound remains just as chaotic and in your face as ever on “Endarkenment”. The production and mix is everything I’ve loved about the previous couple records but even better quality.
The kind of sound this band has is pretty difficult to describe to someone who hasn’t heard them. They seemingly operate under no rules or guidelines within their compositions. However, such a sound is not filled with pointless or typical lyrics as you may expect from black metal. I normally talk lyrics later in my reviews but I want to get across this early on. Nathrakh tends to write rather intelligent/informative lyrics in the form of perspective, story, outlook on life. This current album being focused in modern day and the, well, “endarkenment” we face all around us. The messages within these songs are ones to actually pay attention to. The opening track, being the self-titled single, is a good example of one of those. It describes our current political climate and way of life because of it. Not to mention it’s musically fantastic and huge as well. These dark themes hide lyrics that are actually uplifting and hopeful from time to time. So, the instrumentals...well it’s just completely mental. There’s so many sounds, so much atmosphere backing up these loud guitar riffs and almost non-stop blast beats. To some, it’s a headache, to someone like myself, it’s beautiful. I would point out specifics like I usually do but, that’s honestly too difficult. The vocals are the frosting on this cake that blend into the music in so many awesome ways. Complimenting the music with these almost terrifying outcries that are equally as mad as the music. He flexes a much wider range than I’ve ever heard from him though. Both within the dirty and clean tones. The clean vocals have become bigger and greater than ever. It adds an element you’d never see coming but soon after realize it’s simply amazing. His mid screams are evil, his lows are angry, and sometimes he just sounds like he’s choking due to getting so crazy. I love it.
There’s so much to enjoy and pay attention to that I can’t help but to throw it into my music rotation. It’s also just a fun record in general, as serious as it may be at times. There honestly isn’t much different musically compared to the previous record, just honing in on what made that one great, and improving. As for older music, this is a more well rounded sound in general. My favorite quality being that pure chaos ongoing every second of the album.
‘Endarkenment’ is another one for the books of fantastic metal music. Anaal Nathrakh has crafted yet another ghastly beast front to back that I will be jamming for a long time to come. For a duo, they are an absolute power house that never fails to impress. I don’t think this record meets perfect standards, but pretty dang close.
Strongest Song: Libidinous, Create Art Though The World May Perish
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/anaal-nathrakh/72869936