Cave Dweller Music

Anaal Nathrakh – Endarkenment


Artist: Anaal Nathrakh

Album: Endarkenment

Label: Metal Blade Records

Release Date: 02/10/2020

Country: United Kingdom

Alright, here’s a band that won’t need an introduction for many of you. The legendary black/grind kings Anaal Nathrakh dropped their latest offering Endarkenment last Friday on Metal Blade Records and its time to look at it.

So before I go any further I should mention that I’m a huge Anaal Nathrakh fan and have followed them for well over a decade, so my opinion on this album may be slightly biased in their favour, but I’ll do my best to remain impartial.

If you somehow aren’t familair with the band, they formed way back in 1999 and hail from Birmingham, United Kingdom. The duo play a disgusting blend of black metal, grindcore, industrial and operatic heavy metal. The band is made up of 2 members (which is mind blowing when listening to their music), Irrumator (guitars, bass and programming) and V.I.T.R.I.O.L (vocals).

The album is the band’s 11th full length release and in many ways is their most polished and mature effort to date. The release features 10 tracks and comes in at just over 41 minutes, a solid slab of highly assaulting music.

Before we get into the music I just have to mention that the album cover we shared above is in fact not the original, but is the social media friendly version. The original album cover is included at the bottom of the review and features a pig with penises for eyes, which is definitely one of the most ridiculous and hillarious album covers I’ve ever seen in my life (in the best way possible).

So lets get to what you’ve all been waiting for, the review of the music on the album. As mentioned this happens to be one of the band’s most polished and mature releases to date. The song writing is simply fantastic and the album really pushes the boundaries of extreme music. Somehow the they manage to create music that is simultaneously more aggressive and more melodic. I believe it’s the way that the band breaks up the songs into segments of melody and aggression interchangeably and at the times when it counts the most.

The album follows in the style of previous releases in that it literally crushes the listener with a wall of raw aggression and noise. The skin peelingly raw as always and genuinly attack the listener with their venom and spite. A friend of mine once described them as “the jabber that you would hear over a PA system in hell” and I have to say that its still the most accurate description I’ve heard of them to date. As with their previous releases the operatic vocals are used throughout the album to break things up and add dramatic effect. I think that they’re used in genuinly clever segments on this album, adding to their effectiveness.

The instrumental work on the album is as always pummeling, with maddening grind based riffs and black metal shredding. The drums as always are programmed, but far exceed any other band I can thinking of in ferocity and relentlessness. The indistrial elements that have drawn fans to the band since their formation remain ever present.

As far as favourite tracks go, while I enjoyed every song on the release there are a few that really stood out to me. Firstly track 3 The Age of Starlight Ends is simply fantastic. The operatic segments are super catchy and have been stuck in my head since hearing the track. The vocals between these segments are harsh as all hell and create a true dichotomy between power and beauty and disgust and rage. There’s some great guitar work on this one too, with a killer solo that begins around the 2:35 mark.

Track 4 Libidinous ( A Pig Aith Cocks in its Eyes) is also just killer (tying back to the albums true album cover). The clean vocals on this track at points reach Sanctuary level pitches and they blow me away. The chorus is again catchy as all hell. The pig noises on this track are a truly nice touch.

Another favourite is track 7 Create Art, Though the World May Perish. This song has some of the most blasting drum segments, shredding riffs and raw vocals on the album. The operatic vocals are again fantastic, but for me the segment between 3:05 and 3:52 is what really blew me away on this one and mixes heavy industrial elements with blistering vocals and part way through becomes crushingly furious in nature.

Overall this is probably going to end up as one of my favourite releases in the second half of the year. The band still know how to blow us away and make an album with limitless replay value. So if you haven’t yet, take some time out of your day and give this a spin. If this is your first Anaal Nathrakh album, I feel bad that it’s taken you this long to have their music in your life, but its never to let to get started on their extensive discography and this is a great entry level album.

Listen to the full album below:



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