Anaal Nathrakh
In the Constellation of the Black Widow


4.0
excellent

Review

by Greg Wood USER (20 Reviews)
June 29th, 2009 | 270 replies | 25,781 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The musical equivalent of sadomasochism; painful, but oh so gratifying.

13 of 13 thought this review was well written

My experience with black metal is rather limited. I enjoyed the works of atmospheric black metal band Agalloch, but that’s as far as my knowledge on the genre goes. While listening to them, I remember thinking to myself, “this isn’t that bad, where’s this evil, satanic, brutal genre I’ve heard so much about?”

Then Anaal Nathrakh force-fed me my words.

This is by far the most brutal album I’ve heard in a long time, Anaal Nathrakh effortlessly combine black metal, death metal and grindcore to create a sound like no other. The band is comprised of only two members, Mick Kenney who writes everything and plays all the instruments, and Dave Hunt (a.k.a VITRIOL) who handles all the vocals. It must be noted that Dave Hunt is actually a really talented vocalist, capable of ear-piercing screams and bowel-churning growls, while occasionally providing some melodic singing. Of course, Mick Kenney’s talents are not overshadowed by any means, his breakneck riffs and pounding drums beat you into submission constantly throughout the album, usually through pure speed than anything else.

That’s not to say there’s no variety in the songs however. The Unbearable Filth of the Soul, for example, features a bass/drum intro leading into a gallop-like riff before (excuse the pun) all hell breaks loose. The riffs on show here are actually quite varied and often take influence from other genres such as melodeath, for example. So Be It features a melodic riff similar to that in Blinded By Fear by At The Gates, as well as Iron Maiden-esque twin-guitar harmonies, while the main chug riff to Oil Upon the Sores of Lepers would make Pantera fans cry out “plagiarism!”

As mentioned earlier, Dave Hunt’s vocals are something to behold. His high-pitched screams are unlike anything else out there, capable of making even the most seasoned extreme metal fan cry in fear. Just check out his long screamed notes in Terror in the Mind of God, or the outro to the title track. He’s also capable of extreme guttural vocals that aren’t as impressive as his screams, but still pack a punch or several. Lastly, his singing voice isn’t particularly brilliant compared to other metal singers but it does provide a welcome break from the screaming and shouting, and at times can be quite melodic, the chorus to More of Fire Than Blood for example.

This is usually the point where I discuss the lyrics, but I won’t be able to do that for two reasons: 1. Anaal Nathrakh have never published their lyrics, and 2. deciphering the growls and screams is a nigh-on impossible task. Judging from the song titles however, it’s clear that they’re about your typical black metal lark: Satan (The Lucifer Effect, Satanarchrist), destruction (I Am The Wrath of the Gods and the Desolation of the Earth, More of Fire Than Blood), and torture (Blood Eagles Carved Onto the Backs of Innocents, Oil Upon the Sores of Lepers).

To summarise, In the Constellation of the Black Widow is a worthy addition to the catalogue of any extreme metal fan. A consistently heavy, fast, and brutal journey that will destroy your soul but have you begging for more. Anaal Nathrakh have created the musical equivalent of sadomasochism; painful, but oh so gratifying.

Recommended Tracks

In the Constellation of the Black Widow
More of Fire Than Blood
Terror in the Mind of God
So Be It



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user ratings (337)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Nicksta101 (5)
Add all this up and "In The Constellation of the Black Widow" is Anaal Nathrakh's most insidious and...

Eternalnow (4.5)
'In the Constellation of the Black Widow' will rip your face off with brutal, punishing guitar riffs...

Motiv3 (5)
Anaal Nathrakh may be a bright spark in the British metal scene, but don’t let that fool you. They...

ThyCrossAwaits (4.5)
In this constellation, there is pain....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Greggers
June 29th 2009



2375 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album has been released in Britain, not sure when, over the last week or so.

Mendigo
June 29th 2009



2299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

band name makes me lol for some reason. nice review.

I enjoyed the works of atmospheric black metal band Agalloch, but that’s as far as my knowledge on the genre goes.

get some early Ulver (Bergtatt especially), you won't regret it. and maybe something from Emperor as well.

Greggers
June 29th 2009



2375 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks I'll have a look once I've caught up on my 2009 releases :D

lauriej
June 29th 2009



1711 Comments


noice review. i need this so much, and the sadomasochism analogy totally works for this band

Hawks
June 29th 2009



34492 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I listened to the first two tracks on youtube last night and I was blown away. This is definitely the most brutal black metal band to ever exist.

Digging: Equilibrium - Erdentempel

jingledeath
June 29th 2009



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

one of the best metal releases of the year, no doubt

Hawks
June 29th 2009



34492 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good god I really need to listen to the whole album.

FistfulOfSteel
June 29th 2009



894 Comments


excellent album, totally agree with the summary/

fireaboveicebelow
June 29th 2009



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

band gives me a major clue

foreverendeared
June 29th 2009



14678 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah. i get a bit bored during the last 2 tracks but still pretty good

Phantom
June 29th 2009



8930 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this album ruins lives

OllieS
June 29th 2009



2029 Comments


Good review and track recs, I would add The Lucifer Effect though cos is has this riff which is like the heaviest thing I've ever heard

Willie
Moderator
June 29th 2009



15877 Comments


Good review. This album went beyond what I could deal with, though. I liked their previous one but this album is too much (so far).

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

Greggers
June 29th 2009



2375 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It definitely isn't for the faint-hearted, I learned that the hard way...

SmurkinGherkin
June 29th 2009



1769 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Fuck. A couple of weeks ago, i listened to Pig Destroyer for the first time and cam to the conclusion that it was the heaviest thing i have heard. Then a few days ago i listend to Insect Warfare, I thought they were heavier that Pig Destroyer. Now, i listen to this. Fuck, probaly the heaviest thing ive ever heard.

Mendigo
June 29th 2009



2299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah, fuck sums it up :D
myspace tracks are really heavy as hell. put it on my wishlist.

Essence
June 29th 2009



3578 Comments


I will review this.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
June 29th 2009



16263 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album is fucking amazing.

Digging: Ulver - Bergtatt

SCREAM!
June 29th 2009



9977 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is great. My first by these guys but wont be my last!

My experience with black metal is rather limited. I enjoyed the works of atmospheric black metal band Agalloch, but that’s as far as my knowledge on the genre goes.
Try SIG:AR:TYR's two full lenghts. Theyre a bit more acoustic folk metal then black metal(especially the first one) but they both have clear BM elements in them (especially the second one)

Digging: Agalloch - The Serpent and the Sphere

Wizard
June 29th 2009



19231 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wasn't their a review for this already? Oh well, good review dude.

One thing about the formatting, you have most of your song titles in bold and a few that have no formatting. I would even this out or lose the bolding and replace it with "song title".

band gives me a major clue

Oh man..

Digging: Monarch - Sabbracadaver



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