Thrash Hits

May 27th, 2011

Live: Anaal Nathrakh + Xerath + Palehorse @ Camden Underworld – 15 May 2011

Anaal Nathrakh may have been around for over a decade, but for most of that time they were a studio-only project. So when they came to London to tour their vicious, putrid and generally despicable new album Passion we rushed down to the dingy hall of the Underworld to bathe in their filth. Mmmmm, filth-bathing.

Six things we learned when Anaal Nathrakh played the Underworld:

1) Palehorse are so galactically heavy we swear the audience gets at least two inches shorter during their set. Half the crowd doesn’t seem to know what the fuck to make of them, the other half roar their enthusiasm almost as loudly as the PA.

2) Xerath’s grooving majesty still rips your banging head from your shoulders live, and the new songs – particularly the enormous ‘Unite To Defy‘ – should be propelling them to much greater popularity. Can you just play a bit more often, lads? Oh, and guitarist Owain does a frankly uncanny impression of a character we expect to see in The Hobbit.

Owain Williams Xerath dwarf Thrash Hits

3) There’s nothing inherently wrong with triggered drums, but when metal as extreme as Anaal Nathrakh’s is played on drums without triggers them it sounds fucking astonishing. The sheer primal barbarism thundering out from the kit alone is violent even without the monstrous noise of the rest of the band.

4) Dave Hunt is apparently only able to appear on stage through the power of Strongbow and strong painkillers today, after a back problem made them cancel their previous show. Given the maniacal way he throws himself around before roaring inhumanly into the mic, you can see why he might injure himself. You know those gigs when your attention wanders around and possibly even away from the stage? This ain’t one of them. You’re watching Dave.

We think the crowd likes this song. They asked for it about 1496 times during the set.

5) Anaal Nathrakh are a band people love so much, when one of their gigs gets cancelled, members of the support band who were supposed to play with them travel all the way from Wales to watch them strip the paint off the Underworld walls. That’s dedication, and we at Thrash Hits salute you.

6) From the portentous opening of ‘Drug Fucking Abomination‘ that opens the set through to the venomous spite of ‘More Of Fire Than Blood‘ that closes it, Anaal Nathrakh are so furious and abominable that one of the hardened Thrash Hits contributors present was literally forced to scarper halfway through because he could take no more. Any band so caustic they can force people from the room gets our respect.

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