Writing anything demonic and with full-on brutality requires finesse to maintain an understandable medium between music and pure noise. Anaal Nathrakh are only a two-piece band despite the enumerate amount of instruments that they use in the production of their albums.
Initially formed back in 1999, the Birmingham outfit have an unchanged writing duo in Dave Hunt and Mick Kenney. Now, after nine albums, their tenth full-length effort ‘A New Kind Of Horror’ has come to fruition.
‘The Road To…’ starts off with a progressive build up of programmed sounds and effects to introduce an initial horror and foreboding ambience for the album. The guitars then open with aggressive intention before launching into the pile driver of ‘Obscene As Cancer’, which is about as a demonic a start as it comes with a surrounding sound of high stringed violins and distorted screams.
Briefly there’s a moment of silence before a heavily distorted bell or horn pierces it with the ominous ring of ‘The Reek Of Fear’. The vocals pound and rebound between pure screams, high-pitched wails, and computerised distortion while the guitars and drums give the whole song a continuous rhythm.
‘Forward!’ is a massively brutal track, and seems to be nearly their only foray into something with a more standard structure. Sound effects such as guns cocking in between the stops of guitars and drums add much more meat to the ensuing drama developed by the vocals. This is off set with the ominous inclusion of a few breaks of keys that then slam back into the frame with pure brutality.
‘Mother Of Satan’ starts off with a distorted guttural build up to a straight up stop-start of guitars and drums then launches into a grind of effects and even more distorted vocals and screams. This then follows into a demonic chant of what is probably one of the few actual choruses on the album. ‘This Horrid Strife’ also follows with a similar demeanor, and resembles more of a classic death metal song leading with a simple but effective utterance of the track title.
This album belongs either on Satan’s playlist as it takes all extremes and blends them into a horrific aggressive onslaught that, despite all the chaos, still has a central structure. ‘A New Kind Of Horror’ is a masterful experience in the extremes.