Review Summary: Pernicious sedation.
Anaal Nathrakh have certainly had a virulent run through a catalogue of death and mayhem. For the last two decades the likes of Mike Kenney and Dave Hunt have been spewing varying levels of pestilential, world ending musical compositions at differing levels of success. The band’s early days would see the rise and rise of The Codex Nexro
and Hell Is Empty and All The Devils Are Here
giving life to the band’s nihilism and raw ferocity. Fairly, the band’s consistent run took a while to fall into a disappointing and underwhelming Passion
but it didn’t take long for Anaal Nathrakh to get back on the proverbial dead horse. Vanitas
reached dizzying depths of unrighteous chaos and vitriol, unmatched by the releases that follow, receiving praise from fans and critics alike. A ream of releases followed suit, bridging the gaps between brilliance and unintentional modesty. Anaal Nathrakh had begun it’s “Nathrakh: copy and paste” era.
A New Kind Of Horror
yields the same beliefs as its predecessors. A tumultuous display of death meets grind-y noise foresees less of a new
kind of horror and presents more of the same. Maybe there’s a desensitisation to be found from listening to compositional bile over and over again, rather than an awakening of catastrophic momentum. Anaal Nathrakh’s latest offering attempts the utmost of venom but instead A New Kind Of Horror
dulls down the septicaemia and replaces it with hook and harmony (bordering on cheese). The potential for over exaggerating the quality of A New Kind Of Horror
runs parallel with the band’s motif of end of the world love. Instead, A New Kind Of Horror
should simply be taken as it is… Anaal Nathrakh on autopilot.
Thankfully, Anaal Nathrakh’s newest recording isn’t quite as blasé as this review, there are the usual highlights (or lowlights depending on your perspective) to placate both fans and new listeners alike. Push past the relatively typical start of the record and a few consistently Anaal Nathrakh tracks, A New Kind Of Horror
becomes stronger in its latter half, replicating the fierce loyalties to unwholesome foulness in sonic form. Tracks like “New Bethlehem/Mass Death Futures” blend Hunt’s dynamic range of visceral screams and powerful cleans into a frenzied grind of industrial tinged experimentation and while the song itself blends into a foundation of sound found throughout the band’s opus, Vanitas
allowing a sense of individuality, making the most of its three and a half minute run time.
Largely, the album itself runs this formula for the best part of thirty minutes, and its experimental nuances are lost in between. It’s the classic Nathrakh sound, without the grandiose or unsubtle majesty to lift this new kind of horror
to where it actually needs to be. Without the aforementioned highlights that pepper the latter half of the record it’s worth mentioning that A New Kind Of Horror
would be forgotten as the last riffs close out the somewhat cheese-filled “Are We Fit for Glory Yet" (The War to End Nothing)”.
In fact, it’s the album’s overall brevity that allows A New Kind Of Horror
to be a solid, albeit passable listen. Anaal Nathrakh have become too comfortable with their insanity, complacent with their anguish and content with their diminishing majesty. Where Anaal Nathrakh would normally invoke the best and worst of listener emotions, A New Kind Of Horror
falls into a safe little rut where nothing is bad, but it definitely isn’t extraordinary. If you are a naysayer of the group’s previous recordings, Anaal Nathrakh’s 2018 piece will not convert any new feelings in the slightest. On the other hand, if you’re looking for that primal ferocity that’s found within the earlier nihilisms (Constellation Of The Black Widow
) the disappointments come as quickly as the blast beats. Anaal is becoming a watered down version of itself.