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Wednesday, 31 March 2010

From Brum (Again) with Hate, Despair and Desolation

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I know this is my 3rd album I have reviewed which features at least one member of the Kenny brothers, and my second review of Anaal Nathrakh, but what can I say I love Anaal Nathrakh. If you wish to read generally about  the band and also my review about In the Constellation of the Black Widow you may do so here. For those who have already or just read or just wish for me to skip straight to the review then carry on reading.
Thinking hard about it this album is probably my favourite album of all time. In fact I love this album so much that I have 2 versions of it and am awaiting to get my hands on the 3rd and 4th version. The first version is the basic 9 song, the second a reissue by Earache with the Peel Sessions featuring additional tracks which I do not have, the 3rd, I believe to be a fan made one which features live tracks and the final one a reissue in 2009 by FETO records which I also lack.Ironically the two I lack are the two released by my two favourite record labels. However all good things come to those who wait.

This album generally had a mixed reception, with some proclaiming it was the greatest sound to hit the earth, whereas others claimed it was aimless. I tend to find that die hard black metal fans are the ones who detest this album so much, whereas those who aren't big on the black metal genre are the ones who really like it. In fact my house mate who likes drum and bass loves the Humanity Loves Cancer track, one which I highly recommend. I remember reading a journalist describe the track as the gates of hell are being opened up, and further more it was the track used on the premier of an epic british horror film 28 Days Later, another overlooked masterpeice.  I really have been painting this album with Gold, and best get on to reviewing it.
This album is neither Black metal, Death metal, Grindcore nor any other genre you can think of. It is a sort of hybrid beast that possess the best elements of all 3. The underlying clockwork and machinations of their songs are rooted in the rawest black metal, with that constant layered guitaring and a sense of mortal fraility and global demise. However this release and band all together borrow heavily from the death metal  and Grindcore end of the spectrum of the extreme metal family. In my opinion they take some of the better elements and nail it into this already cruel black metal framework.
As I believe I have previously described them, they don't create music so to speak but create this grim and eerie atmosphere, and other points just release forth all manner of dark odium in a tornado of brutality coupled with despair. The use of audio sampling is used frequently to give their songs that additional ingredient for success. My favourite of which is the Technogoat, which samples Event Horizon, which is another masterpiece which has received minimal attention it deserves.
If we think of the songs in terms of verses and choruses then the songs often consist of a audio assault as a verse, which is loud fast and aggressive (not to the extent of grindcore, but more on the lines of early death metal or even thrash) and then we have this sort of more melodic break into the songs, this sort of repeats itself 2/3 times and then we have this sort of well structured climax which combines the two. This is the general formula used, and they manage to pull it off very well. There is no one song that I dislike, there are times that some songs have that sort of amateurish feel to them, but if you listen closely you realise how much of a coordinated effort.
The Vocals are your savage screams, to your low bellows and occasional sort of being told through a fuzzy microphone, which paints a picture for me of some sort of Fallout scenario (I have been playing too much fallout recently).  The drums are good and are pretty standardised apart from your occasional machine gun blast, and the use of the beloved blast beat. The guitaring is layered and fluid, and tends to be different with each song, and is always well integrated with the fast tempo set by the drumming. For you grind fans I suggest checking out the song Pandemonic Hyperblast, for me the beginning feels like some put Insect Warfare through the Hadron Collider and recorded the result. Another highly recommended song is the first track, the Supreme Necrotic Audnance, infact I have it as my alarm clock, it isn't a song that is about speed or heaviness (that comes later in track 2), but is a well crafted peice of art.
In my conclusion I will copy a qoute from another review, as I pretty much think it summarises my views about music and the band in general.
"They've released several great albums since this one, but I always return to 'the Codex Necro', their finest and darkest hour, and I recommend it to you as your inaugural neckbreaking to this band. Jesus avert your ears."