Anaal Nathrakh - A New Kind of Horror | Album Review

Underneath layers of dirt, dried blood, disease and the ashes of an apocalyptic rage at the hands of humanity, there’s a darkness that feels darker than darkness itself. Here where everything is long dead, buried and cast into catacombs to be forgotten about under endless corpses is an electric sound. Equal parts Black Metal, Extreme Experimental music and Industrial Metal. Here, Anaal Nathrakh rages and looks to tear into mankind from within. Using our sick nature as their weapons. A New Kind of Horror is their latest curse against the human race, taking the First World War as its influence, their tenth album looks to be their latest experiment and comment on the modern world.

Venturing into what a voice can actually do ‘The Reek of Fear’ is a prime example of explorations in destroying the gutturals and seeing the carnage out to the other side. Showing their experimental side that won’t be heard anywhere else but almost feels progressive and pushes metal forward. Their singles included the marginally better ‘Forward!’, which captures a sense of atmospheric innocence made creepy only to be smashed in industrial percussions made by a machine gun. It captures the album a lot better than ‘Obscene as Cancer’ their other single. ‘Forward!’ is the extremity of Anaal Nathrakh’s industrial brutality bleeding from the Black Metal’s distorted taste of experimentation.

With other songs we start to see less Industrial and vocal extremities but more songs that partner with previous albums. ‘New Bethlehem/Mass Death Futures’ captures some of the past operas of previous songs like ‘A Metaphor for the Dead’. Perhaps more traditional – if such a term could be used – for Anaal Nathrakh is ‘The Apocalypse is About You!’. Speed and aggression helps something of a more standard sound as would be found on previous albums like Hell is Empty’s ‘Lama Sabachthani’, but taking ‘Vi Coactus’, this is more to the forefront recalling Eschaton’s ‘Between Piss and Shit we are Born’. To say that they have this commonality suggests to much ill for the songs; they perfectly differ on the album whilst being together adding a surprisingly constant versatility.

Thematically ‘The Horrid Strife’ actually brings brass horns in, in a way that recalls war. Whilst it’s building atmosphere with creaks of scratching screams perfectly built power without ever losing its unsettling nature. ‘Are We Fit for Glory Yet? (The War to End Nothing)’ is everything that the album needs it to be as a finisher. Equal parts Anaal Nathrakh brutality, intellectualism and the albums theme of war pessimistically cast on us through Anaal Nathrakh – the band who brought you ‘If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever’ – via the 1956 film of Nineteen Eighty-four.

This is a dynamic album and a continuation of the bands direction since Desideratum took the band into increasingly Industrial areas. However, they don’t forget some of the perfect atmospheres of In the Constellation of the Black Widow and partner it with explorations in dark music and vocals ranges that we saw with The Whole of the Law but could easily be traced through Vanitas and Domine Non Es Dignus. It may not be their best but it represents their sound and directions very well. Fans of their earlier works may miss more of the Raw Black Metal but it’s still there in abundance; whilst those looking for Extreme Industrial sounds have their fair share to pick from too – especially in the first few tracks. It’s always surprising how bands can sometimes struggle against themselves, being powerful and fighting themselves all the way. A New Kind of Horror is a grim and destructive piece of oral dynamism – only for the bold.

Score: 8/10

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