ANAAL NATHRAKH – VANITAS
Label: Candlelight Records
Release Date: October 15, 2012
What happens when you combine black metal and grindcore; two of the most extreme, raw and bone-crushing sub genres? You get Anaal Nathrakh!!! The Brit duo featuring Michael Kenney (guitars, bass, programming) and Dave Hunt (vocals) already have six albums under their belt, Vanitas being their 7th studio effort. Let me make this very clear, if you want to listen to some djent or metalcore, this is not the place for you to be. This is pure, raw, industrial extreme metal.
Anaal Nathrakh have made sure they stick to their roots yet offer something new to the listeners. Don’t get me wrong here. It’s all there: insane guitar work, over-the-top vocals, brutal drumming and machine gun riffing. I like the way, they have experimented with some harmonies and clean vocals here and there. Now most people won’t even care to check out the album after reading my previous sentence. But the point is that these harmonic and clean vocals are not a downside of the album. On the contrary, they act in the band’s favor. Anaal Nathrakh have always succeeded in creating new sounds and have matured over time. The terrorism and assault on this record continues.
The album has some of the best clean vocals I have heard on any black metal album. And of course, needless to say, there are those agonizing screams and deep death/grind growls too. The guitar tracks are well constructed and weirdly sophisticated. Chaotic tremolo riffing accompanied with soft melodic hooks are executed perfectly, thus adding variety to the album.
The bass guitar brings alive the darkness on the record, following the guitar riffs. The drums are well programmed and a great amount of ferocious blasts on the skins makes the album sound powerful. And as for the production, there is a very strong, raw and heavy sound to the album.
Tracks like “Of Fire And Fucking Pigs” and “You Can’t Save Me, So Stop Fucking Trying” are a delight for true black metal fans. “Todos Somos Humanos” and “Make Glorious The Embrace Of Saturn” had some electronic and industrial bits too it, which didn’t work too well for me. The clean vocals are great but have been used in some wrong places. The album has some musical changes, distinguishing it from its predecessors.
Apart from few things which didn’t work for me, Vanitas is surely a good extreme metal album. The most impressive thing about this band is the energy that they’ve maintained unflaggingly for more than a decade. Looking at their discography, this album delivers more mature compositions from its predecessors.