Hailing from England, ANAAL NATHRAKH started off as a mostly black metal band with hints of industrial influence here and there. Being a fan of their early work from 1998’s Codex Necro to their 2012 release Vanitas, I was excited to hear what they had in the works. Desideratum (October 28 via Metal Blade Records) starts off strong with “Acheronta Movebimus” but halfway through the first song I began feeling a bit discouraged. ANAAL NATHRAKH definitely has fallen into the path of “progressive metal”, with the intro having a bit of a dubstep feel to it in terms of a more electronic sound.
I needn’t have worried because by the third track “Monstrum In Animo” my faith in the album was restored. The song starts off with a riff that was both catchy and just overall, for lack of a better term, heavy as fuck! Dave Hunt definitely brings his ‘A’ game to this new album, and his vocals definitely brought Desideratum together. Despite the new sound that seems to be more industrial and “death grind” influenced the heavy vocals along with the nasty riffs helped bring out the original ANAAL NATHRAKH sound.
Despite the mostly clean vocals on the fourth track, “The One Thing Needful” it shared both a heavy rock and death metal feel to it. I will admit, it was definitely one of my favorites on the album for a completely different reason than the previous. Knowing the huge black metal influence ANAAL NATHRAKH had in the past, they were able to take something that is the furthest from what most would indeed call “black metal”, and turn it into something was equally as heavy as it was beautifully composed.
The last four tracks in Desideratum were by far my favorite of the whole disc. “Sub Specie Aeterni (Of Maggots and Humanity)” starts heavy with an almost punk/thrash sound to it. Being the self-proclaimed “Queen of Headbanging” it was hard to keep still listening to “Rage and Red”. The song was the perfect combination of Death Metal meets Thrash Metal; a song that definitely has both the kickass feel, and the uncomfortable uncertainty you get when you’re at a show mushed between two enormous sweaty men, and the excitement of seeing a great band that puts on a badass show.
The closing track “Ita Mori” was definitely a song for the lovers of all things black metal, like me. Everything from the heavy, distorted vocals to the ridiculously sick blast beats; this was the perfect way to end an overall great album.
STAND OUT TRACKS: “Monstrium in Animo”, “Rage and Red”, “Ita Mori”
WRITTEN BY EDITH SABBATI