Review Summary: Anaal Nathrakh bounce back and find a form of consistency again.
Anaal Nathrakh have been pretty steady with their releases. Unquietly consistent with five consecutive releases (spanning eight years) they were bound to have one lack lustre release. This came with their 2011 release Passion
. Fortunately, 2012 has Anaal Nathrakh stepping up to a form close to that of In the Constellation of the Black Widow
or even the debut The Codex Necro
. There is an atmosphere presented with this release that reinforces the overall brutality, aided by twenty second plus screams that can be found at the latter end of “Forging Towards The Sunset” and some dark techno themes in “Todos Somos Humanos” Anaal Nathrakh are at least trying to make a statement.
Compared to the previous full length, Vanitas
stretches out. There’s no playing safe with this release nor is there letting up. There are harmonies, some contrast between sections and and interesting display of instrument ability and an intelligence shown when putting together tracks. For the most part the album is a scream fest overflowing with doublebass, riffage and tremolo picking, but thankfully the mayhem is interrupted by stomp riff sections and the occasional guitar solo all adding to the soundscape that for the most part have listeners returning again and again.
This is metal in a very blatant form. With tracks like “You Can't Save Me, So Stop ***ing Trying” and “Of Fire, And ***ing Pigs” it’s plain to see that Anaal Nathrakh are making nursery rhymes- of the vilest sort. For fans of the band they will be pleased to see an unsafe return to form. Vanitas
blasts its way through ten tracks never outstaying it’s welcome. Songs are brief enough to entertain the listener whilst the (slightly) longer (none of the tracks surpass the five minute mark) tracks display Anaal Nathrakh cementing the album’s validity on the black metal scene. Mixing ambience with insanity Vanitas
highlights how extreme metal acts can remain relevant to the metal scene.
is an album for those who enjoyed the last two previous albums such as In the Constellation of the Black Widow
or Hell Is Empty, and All the Devils Are Here
and don’t particularly like a return to their less than greatly received Passion
. There is a lot to listen for here and about the same to be appreciated. The album’s down points are the same as the album’s up points i.e. it’s overall consistency. There is nothing that’s innovative here, especially in comparison with the band’s better releases. Consistency is good but if the band was able to jump out of the box and more importantly pull it off listeners may have been listening to a truly classic extreme metal release. Vanitas
is ultimately heavy and listeners wouldn’t expect any less, this is an album that will get repeat listens.