Anaal Nathrakh used to live on the extreme side of black metal, not that kind of meandering black that is run of the mill, but that well produced, good one, similar to the great names of the style.
But something happened along the way, they keeled over into a more “melodic” death metal rifferama: the brutality was there, but the sound was somewhat blander as far as Anaal Nathrakh is concerned, of course). Their 2009 album - In the Constellation of the Black Widow - attests to that. “Melodic” vocals were a part of that new direction.
Well, if you got hooked along the way, as I was, by the infernally noisy machine that Anaal Nathrakh used to be, than your wait is over. They’re fucking back to explode all over you!
They still run the gauntlet for their kooky vocalizations… but what if you put on an extra dose of Krisiun, Nile and classic black metal riffs (Norwegian and Swedish) into the mix? The result is an insane ode to the total sonic and nihilistic Gods of destruction! It sounds a cliché. But a good one, indeed!
Imagine a bomb packed in 37 minutes of unrelenting and uncompromising dementia: the starter Volenti Non Fit Iniuria brings all the ingredients that make you love or hate this band. Insane drumming (programmed, ahem) screamed vocals pitched to the limit, flat production, and that riffage which I’m so keen on.
Drug-Fucking Abomination has a long intro (as if the music was separated in 2 parts), thus eating time and when the music finally explodes, making the album seems shorter than it really is. By the time of the third assault - Post Traumatic Stress Euphoria - one is totally in (or out) the ambience of Passion. It’s an operation of war for the elite of the elite of extreme music fans.
Now let’s talk about the clean vocals: it might seem a problem since they sound funny and dislodged amid the extreme brutality: it sounds like Dragonforce was invited to a Black Metal spree, with assassinations and burning of churches. It simply doesn’t match. But - and this is a question of perspective - they can be the only thing that can drive you through the ocean of despair and Picassoesque soundscapes which percolates through your eardrums.
By the time of the song Tod Huetet Uebel, you can perceive a Burzumic guitar, along with the most insane death/black approach tof extreme metal. What the heck? Pure destruction.
But other songs reminisce more a Dark Funeral or Marduk with all the heaviness and slams.
Who Thinks Of The Executioner amasses more noxious sounds with some electronic/industrial confusion amid the grinding sections of noisome musical insalubrity. If you have noted the pace of this review so far, you can imagine that, little by little, Passion hoards more elements that make this opus so unintelligible to some due to its unpleasant approach. Perfecto!
Ashes Screaming Silence works as a bulwark in the middle of World War III. It’s not so fast as the other tracks, but the intention is to sound warlike, as if it was in a conclusion of a battle.
Portrait Of The Artist is actually an outro. Noise before noise to wrap up this album that some may see as the dullest and flattest thing on Earth. But for ears trained by 2 decades of disgraceful music, it’ll sound as the most extreme attack of 2011. Like it or not, I challenge you to deny it!