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Monday, October 15, 2012

Anaal Nathrakh - Vanitas review

Year : 2012
Genre : Grindcore with a Melodic Death Metal tint
Label : Candlelight
Origin : United Kingdom
Rating : 8.0 / 10

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Birmingham based Anaal Nathrakh delivers a record that maintains the sonic hyper-aggressivity the formation is known for, yet a notable attraction for the clearly identifiable melodic hook is on eloquent display all throughout the disc. You'd be unfathomably mistaken if you'd think that this hardened duo of veteran silence assassins are seeking ways for the not at all mysterious preferences of the mainstream with the introduction of choruses that truly reek melodic death metal in character. The format/temper of the music still resonates relentless audio terror as it is being courted by delicious, adept variation - although the builds now claim the fortunate liberty to further compliment the flamboyant jackhammer-fray with motives that are sculpted out to reveal a catch-factor in pretty much all ten songs. Funnily enough, the musical language/affection of the disc is akin to the favorite moods of Fleshgod Apocalypse's 2011 LP Agony. The name of the game is neoclassicism orchestrated to a music production environment that can start or end a war at will. Read more or don't.

Certain criteria can't be satisfied by any other means than to deliver and assuage their inherently insatiable expectations - you absolutely have to feature drums and other sounds - the ensemble delivers in top-, yet safe form, courtesy of the neoclassical lingo which permeates the disc at its intriguingly festering heart. The album exhibits a wide skillset on how to sculpt out and offer melodic diversity while ruling the field it is given the objective to do that on, but, with this very same act, it naturally and elegantly submits to a certain rule set, as well - and does so with wisdom, without hurting the overall picture. The very end of the album is the furthest that it will venture away from the heavy duty grindcore/melodid death blend, as quoted portion is nothing less than beautiful power metal, I swear to you! Don't be alarmed, it is power metal done Anaal Nathrakh style, and both parties - the power metal genre and the group - will keep their respective dignity and ethos intact in the process. Oh wait! Power metal does not have (all that much) dignity. That is its point, basically.

The Anaal Nathrakh fronter gives you the classical central performance, though his voice is subjected to top of the heat effect wizardry, but he delivers highly competent and powerful melodic (!) singing in the choruses, and no, you need not fear : the choruses will kick your ass to hell and back. As noted, the premiere charm of this album lies in its willingness to submit to ultra-hefty grindcore with the intention to compliment it with a neoclassical musical rhetoric. I only have one major caveat : the high frequency detail is pretty rudimentary when inspected for its musical anatomy, and on this site, every song is scrutinized for the musical anatomy. A pleasant disc, and the production work demands your attention. Anaal Nathrakh deliberately went with the as-loud-as-possible-only-twice-as-loud decision, so, everything is larger than life and the guitars will split a golem in two without warning. A solid, competent, safe-but-sound (sic!) take on the contemporary face of grindcore/melodic death. Recommended.

Rating : 8.0 / 10

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