We expect most extreme metal to cause an element of fear and discomfort to our lives but it would seem that this year Anaal Nathrakh have taken it to a whole new level. Their blackened grind with an industrial twist has always been disgusting (mostly in a positive way) and ‘Vanitas’ confirms this with a gnarly branding rather than a pathetic stamp. The Brummie boys have managed to continue their style into an even darker abyss with structures so twisted your insides feel crushed and blastbeats add to the pain. The electronic moments on certain songs are a disturbing bonus, rather than losing it credibility like many bands and although the grind element has been left behind in predecessor ‘Passion’ to some extent, it still rears its ugly head in tracks like ‘Todos Somos Humanos’. The black metal riffs show a wonderful paradox of beautiful ugliness, as doomy sections and several melodies are joined by Ihshan-esque clean vocals to haunt you further. Anaal Nathrakh have managed to stick to their roots without becoming boring or changing their ways and have instead grown into a more terrifying monster in a similar way snake poison hardens and expands the human blood, causing death.
Review by Lily Randall
This review is to be published in Iron Fist #2