Bugger me, I’ve actually managed to review an album before the release date… The lucky victim of this momentous occasion is Anaal Nathrakh‘s eighth long-player (and first on new label Metal Blade), Desideratum. It’s hard to believe, given the praise chucked at them over the years, that they were only formed in 1999 as a studio project.
For those who don’t know them, Anaal Nathrakh are an extreme metal band with the aim of creating the sound of Armageddon. Chaos. Destruction. And bloody hell, they don’t fuck around when they do it. Their sound is predominantly the standard “batter you in the face with a non-stop wall of noise” extreme standard, but with a side-serving of melodic overtones and a squirt of industrial metal. Desideratum does not disappoint on any of these essentials.
If you prefer the more traditional end of the metal spectrum, then you’ll probably find Desideratum a little too much. Take the time to actually listen to it, though, and you’ll start to appreciate the multiple layers in the sound. The ebb and flow of the blasted beats and the melodic undertone, the mixed vocal styles, the frenetic pace undercut and interspersed with doom-laden samples. This is an evil record and if the band have been working on a soundtrack to the apocalypse then, frankly, I’m worried that the next album might actually cause it.
This isn’t just an album of face-shredding speed and ferocity, it’s a collection of eleven songs which will make your soul weep. Stand-out tracks? Who cares – the world’s about to end…
Desideratum is released on October 28th, 2014. Assuming the four horsemen don’t arrive sooner.