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Go to the Anaal Nathrakh website  Anaal Nathrakh - The Codex Necro [Mordgrimm - 2001]

Anaal Nathrakh is Great-Britain's hope in these dark days for black metal. That the genre has passed away or not, is something one should decide for himself. But fact is that this duo consisting of Irrumator and V.I.T.R.I.O.L. brings a breath of fresh (or rotten) air in the extreme metal genre. This debut album already received rave reviews and the band was featured in some big magazines. Quite unexpected, listening to this piece of unrelenting mayhem called "The Codex Necro", which is certainly not suitable for weak ears.

The band's ferocious brutality surpasses everything I've ever heard before. The pure intensity found on tracks like "Submission Is For The Weak", "Pandemonic Hyperblast" and "The Technogoat" just blows your mind away. Who said that Dark Funeral is fast? Listen to this! The choice for an artificial drummer is thus an obvious one; there probably won't be any drummers around to handle that speed without his arms falling off. But it's not high-speed all the way. The always present samples and harsh mid-tempo parts are the things that give the album the highly necessary diversity. The vocals from V.I.T.R.I.O.L. are just insane, even when I realize there's a lot of distortion used. It perfectly matches the concept of the album, which can be traced back from the album title. I wouldn't say the production is as "necro" as the title indicates. In fact, it's pretty good. At least this is what they wanted, since they recorded it themselves in their own studio.

The duo doesn't seem to be very comfortable with people in general, taking titles as "When Humanity Is Cancer" or "Human, All Too Fucking Human" for example. The artwork has the same message, displaying victims chocking in a plastic bag and stuff like that. It looks very professionally done, unlike those 1-page black & white booklets we've seen in old-school black metal for years. I'm not saying that Anaal Nathrakh is black metal tough. After all, there is no satanic concept in here as far as I know (the lyrics are inaudible and not printed in the booklet). But it just the feeling what I get that make me compare this to black metal.

Sometimes I just need to escape from all these electronic, jazz, experimental, avant-garde or whatever –releases and just put on an extreme metal record. It's like putting on an old Burzum or Darkthrone LP and feel the hate coming forth from this kind of music. I get that same grim feeling when I play "The Codex Necro" by Anaal Nathrakh. No, I'm not spontaneously putting on corpse-paint or getting dressed like an idiot, I'm just enjoying this record. And you should too...

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Justin Faase
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