23 May 2011
by Tom Dare
The time will inevitably come when Anaal Nathrakh can no longer make an album more despicable, more scathing, more putrid and generally less pleasant than the last. Apparently In The Constellation Of The Black Widow was not that album, as Passion is yet more ear-flaying than before. Although at first you could easily be forgiven for thinking this isn’t the case.
Opener ‘Volenti Non Fit Iniuria‘ is nastier than an infected scrotal abscess, but by Anaal Nathrakh’s particularly vile standards is comparatively tolerable. Immediately following this comes ‘Drug-Fucking Armageddon‘, and from the name you would imagine it explodes with blast beats and shrieks instantly. Instead, you get several minutes of sprawling, atmospheric and epic filth that blackens the soul rather than flaying the flesh. Then about halfway through everything drops for Dave Hunt to roar “HOLY FUCK”. At this point, we’re in skull-deforming territory, and while nipping in and out of the epic stuff, the sheer brutality level is raised to the very nastiest we have seen from Birmingham’s darkest.
The key to Passion is this balance between the atmospheric, portentous rumblings and the explosive eruptions. It’s entirely possibly you could make an entire album as rampaging as the most terrifying parts of this one, but the real risk of it becoming tedious would arise. Instead, the pace variation and alternating moods ensure that you’re suitably nauseated at all times, but that the specific sensation of awfulness varies.
And when the eruptions happen, they are pretty much as horrible as you can imagine. In particular, the grinding blackened strafing run of ‘Post Traumatic Stress Euphoria‘ feels a bit like getting stuck in a washing machine on spin cycle with several large bricks, while ‘Tod Huetet Uebel‘ sees vocals that make being strapped to a jet engine at full turbine speed sound sonically mild.
Hear ‘Volenti Non Fit Inuria’ by Anaal Nathrakh:
The skill of Anaal Nathrakh is to make songs that on any other band’s album would sound total fucking necro seem like breathing space – they are capable of such extremity that they can mix it up while still sounding like the first wave of the apocalypse. They fill space with such a stench that the power is entirely retained, the unsettling nature just as strong and the atmosphere equally as strong – and in a few cases, even stronger.
As you listen more the strength of the less eyeball-dissolving tracks comes across, and you realise just how nasty they are, and Passion‘s appalling intention is achieved. You feel as if the pit of your abdomen twists up like someone’s stuck an electric whisk in your peritoneum and the world seems like a hopeless, awful place to exist. Et voilà.
Sounds like: Birmingham….or Mayhem-meets-Napalm-Death
Top tracks: Drug-Fucking Abomination, Tod Huetet Uebel, Ashes Screaming Silence
Anaal Nathrakh – Passion tracklisting:
Volenti Non Fit Iniuria
Post Traumatic Stress Euphoria
Le Diabolique Est L’Ami Du Simple
Locus Of Damnation
Tod Huetet Uebel
Who Thinks Of The Executioner
Ashes Screaming Silence
Portrait Of The Artist