Oct 3, 2020

Anaal Nathrakh - Endarkenment

By now, and by the frequency Anaal Nathrakh come out with a new album, it feels like it's effortless from their side to make new music. And since they have such a good grip on their own fairly distinct and personal sound, they have become a band with an almost secured fanbase, with the odds of this changing to be very low, as they would need to seriously mess an album up to alienate people who dig their material. What I pinpointed in Endarkenment was that a lot of unusual -and to some, possibly including me, unnecessary- electronic elements that had been circulating in the last few albums are now gone and we are back to a more straightforward, Anaal Nathrakh-ish brutality. The album throws dirt on many global subjects of today, having the band heavily criticizing social / political issues while painting a rather dismal picture of the current status of the planet, without missing the vulgar lyrical touch that makes them appalling but at the same time, effective. Yes, this time you can tell parts from the lyrics from Dave Hunt's vocals, which the textual parts more understandable, but part of me always longs for the catastrophic vocals of once-upon-a-time Anaal Nathrakh. As I couldn't get into their last couple of records too much, I reckon some of the most characteristic, potent and dynamic guitar lines they have composed lately can be found in Endarkenment, even though you can't say that they haven't relying a bit on muscle memory. It's been eleven albums so they deserve a break, what I can say with certainty is that Endarkenment grows on you the more you listen to it, and you will listen to exactly what you expect: an undulating combination of scourging guitars - apocalyptic vocals, epic melodies with clean vocals, including high falsettos to remind us once again that Anaal Nathrakh are big fans of King Diamond. An issue I have had with many of their albums is the plastic drum sound, however with Endarkenment they are brutally convincing, and to me achieved some even heavier levels than Desideratum, The Whole of the Law and A New Kind of Horror. All in all, a very intense and vile album from a band whose heart is in the right place. 

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