Anaal Nathrakh
Passion


2.0
poor

Review

by J. Ponton EMERITUS
March 12th, 2011 | 123 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is one example of why some listeners will never connect with extreme metal

Fellow staff writer Robin Smith occasionally makes fun of me and says that I like metal bands that would “never hug me” and the like, and while, yes, I’m sure many of these underground, ornery Norwegian types would more easily slit my throat than to share with me some manly love, I think Smith is hitting on a deeper issue. To Smith, metal music cannot connect with the listener as much as the type of music he listens to can: Shout Out Louds, indie pop, Sufjan Stevens, and more Shout Out Louds. It cannot ‘hug’ me, or so he thinks - silly Brit. Now I obviously disagree with him in most instances of my fist-pumping revelry – ‘long live metal!’ and the whole bit, but in the case with the duo of Anaal Nathrakh and their new album, Passion, I’ll make an exception.

Passion is that Anaal Nathrakh album that you saw coming, but wished would never actually come, the one where the British extreme metal duo would slip up and blotch an otherwise consistent discography of releases. They sound hellacious and as black-grind as ever, hence how I will would never ‘hug’ members Irrumator and V.I.T.R.I.O.L. in person, but as far as connecting to us as listeners, they fail as well this year. The first half of Passion carries a somewhat progressive layout, which is fine, particularly in the longest track present, “Drug-Fucking Abomination”, where instrumentalist Irrumator enters in with crackling guitar distortion and steady, rolling drums, letting loose with fury at the halfway point of the track, carrying V.I.T.R.I.O.L. and his vicious vocal delivery along as they so often do together on their albums.

But on the second half of Passion, Anaal Nathrakh settle into a monotonous groove of essentially playing their by-now typical fare of extreme metal that has characterized much of the project’s output thus far in their career: blackened grindcore really no different than their more accessible 2006 Eschaton and onward-to-the-present releases. Where the duo’s work of the past half-decade was consistent and fluid, if hellacious and frantic, this side of Passion is dull and routine, clashing badly with what meager variances in Anaal Nathrakh’s formula are offered on the somewhat progressive first half – keyboard “sway”-sounds in “Post Traumatic Stress Euphoria” and the devouring of human flesh at the end of “Drug-Fucking Abomination”, and the like - for a sloppy-sounding, poorly-put-together album.

Even the melodic side of Passion, which was a strength of 2009’s In the Constellation of the Black Widow, is b-grade quality and lazy-sounding. The cleanly sung vocal melodies of the likes of opener “Volenti Non Fit Iniuria”, “Paragon Pariah”, and “Ashes Screaming Silence” are far and away behind Anaal Nathrakh’s more memorable tracks, such as In the Constellation of the Black Widow’s “More of Fire Than Blood” or Hell is Empty and the Devils Are Here’s “Shatter the Empyrean”. All told, Anaal Nathrakh have really taken a step backward with Passion, losing their flow, their direction, and finally, their connect-able-ness with listeners. Albums like this are the very reason why listeners like Smith will likely never 'hug' any metal bands and their albums: it's lazy, off-putting, and in context of Anaal Nathrakh's usual quality work, messy in all the wrong places - no flow, no love, and certainly no passion to be found.



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user ratings (136)
Chart.
2.9
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Athom
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2011


17224 Comments


didnt you post a review for this yesterday?

Ponton
Emeritus
March 12th 2011


5806 Comments


i did but it sucked

i hope this is better

Digging: Ben Howard - I Forget Where We Were

Hawks
March 12th 2011


35838 Comments


This review is great man. Still gonna check this out, just to see for myself.

WashboardSuds
March 12th 2011


5025 Comments


nice review, I'm pretty fond of your writing style.
I'm not really big on this genre and this review cemented my belief that I will never really enjoy it

Ponton
Emeritus
March 12th 2011


5806 Comments


appreciate it guys, ive been in a writing funk so hoping to get out of it soon

ShadowRemains
March 12th 2011


21156 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

ugh this band

Digging: Execration (NOR) - Morbid Dimensions

james420
March 12th 2011


200 Comments


never heard this band ever

ShadowRemains
March 12th 2011


21156 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

a good thing

Ire
March 12th 2011


41805 Comments


bad band

Essence
March 13th 2011


3586 Comments


lost interest after Constellation

Derkyle
March 13th 2011


188 Comments


Nice review and, for the record, I thought your review yesterday was just fine. Haven't listened to anything this band has put out, but always wanted to check them out. Seems I won't be starting with this album.

TheSpirit
March 13th 2011


17940 Comments


last album was p decent

DonniSharK
March 13th 2011


466 Comments


This review was much better than the last one you wrote.
I haven't listened to Passion yet, but it sounds like I could be in agreement with you.

sifFlammable
March 13th 2011


2741 Comments


i thot constellation and some of their other albums were good-ish, but if this is worse than those, then i wont bother checking this out

robin
Emeritus
March 13th 2011


4249 Comments


y-es

Tyrael
March 13th 2011


20929 Comments


Aww I miss that amazing opening sentence but this is a good review too.

Motiv3
March 13th 2011


8939 Comments


last album was great but from the song i heard, sounds like a rehash of it.

MoosechriS
March 13th 2011


5036 Comments


Anyone else think that mick kenny has lost focus on this one? Reckon he's been putting more energy into his suffer well project since theyve just signed a pretty big deal

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2011


16448 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Much better, great review Jared. The opening paragraph was funny.

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2011


31398 Comments


I think Robin gets hugged too much

Digging: Objekt - Flatland



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