Anaal Nathrakh: The Whole of the Law (Metalblade Records)

This album's intent is to melt your soul.
Release Date: 
28 Oct 2016 (All day)

Britain’s Anaal Nathrakh have returned with their latest offering to the world of extremity, The Whole of The Law. I was late to the Anaal Nathrakh party, as I only just discovered them when they unleashed their fury on Wacken Open Air in 2015. That show was a complete assault on my senses; and shook me to the core. Walking out of that tent at Wacken I felt… exhilarated, confused… what had I just witnessed?!  It's no surprise that I've been hooked on their intense sound ever since. I couldn’t wait to hear this record, so I thought it an idea to pour a calming cuppa tea, in order to prepare for the omnious invasion that is the latest Anaal Nathrakh experience. 

We begin with The Nameless Dread, an introduction that really sets the tone for the album. A disturbing combination of distorted sounds and suppressed voices hold the stage for the first few seconds, before being taken over by that first daunting riff. This is reminiscent of the introduction on 'Desideratum' Acheronta Movebimus; but with The Nameless Dread, even more anger is seeping through the speakers into space. The track title lives us to its purpose...

From The Nameless Dread, I get launched right into Depravity Favours the Bold, the first single released from the album. This song is IT for me. It is so intense: an aggressive and invasive sound that will spark any Anaal Nathrakh fan. There's an urgency to the sound, as there is with every aspect of the record. It demands the listener’s full attention, as it adds layer upon layer of chaos onto the song. I need more!

The industrial element to Anaal Nathrakh is front and centre for Hold your Children Close and Pray for Oblivion - the flip between vocal styles is the next thing I notice; a chaotic balance of beauty and destruction. The guitar work on We Will Fucking Kill You is incredible. I can hear severe black metal undertones, and fast paced guitar riffs. At the same time there is a balanced sound that shouldn't work as well as it does. The guitar solo almost sounds a bit out of place in this me it presents for just a moment, a tiny slither of light in the darkness, before dragging everything back into the abyss. 

The Whole of The Law is incredible, I need every second of it and as the album closes with Of Horror and the Black Shawls, it is with a serene and almost angelic choir, that the track then turns on to fight or flight with a furious and madcap assault, which bears a visceral resemblance to an eternal battle between good and evil. The song ends with an eerie guitar wailing with which loses momentum like an organ playing away into the night. 

What I truly appreciate about Anaal Nathrakh is their ability to bring so many contrasting elements together with what I can only describe as pure, malevolent rage, this wrath has ultimately created the adrenaline-filled aural nightmare that is both formidable and addictive... By the time the album is over, I am mentally debilitated, and I NEED to play it again and again. 

The Whole of The Law is released today - October 28th through Metalblade Records. Do yourself a favour and get this album immediately!