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There is no band like Anaal Nathrakh. Regardless of whether you like the band, or your view on how they have changed over the years, there is no band that does anything really close to what they do. The combination of frantic guitars, pummelling, rapid-fire drumming and scathing vocals is bound to leave an impression on any first-time listener. When they surfaced with The Codex Necro in 2001, the band rightfully received near universal, albeit generally subterranean, acclaim. Those relative few back then who heard their debut were left dumbfounded at the level of sheer intensity that record had. They single-handedly create a new sound, borrowing from black metal and grind, but creating something that was neither. This astonishingly caustic, explosive charge was followed by the wonderful When Fire Rains Down From The Sky... recording, which was repeated over and over again on my MP3 player back on its release. However, the flipside to establishing yourselves as a band of such great quality and distinction so early on is, what to do after that.
I was so sorely disappointed with 2004's Domine Non Es Dignus, that when Eschaton was released I had virtually no interest whatsoever. While not thoroughly bad, Domine... was so structurally disjointed and often musically perfunctory that I assumed it marked the band's death knell. The horrible clean vocals, relatively poor riff writing and general clear drop in intensity almost felt like a betrayal in trust. Domine also suffered from a noticeable drop in sound quality, sounding duller and less acerbic than even their demo material.
When I got round to Eschaton, my expectations were low. However, upon hearing opener Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes "the war of all against all" my enthusiasm returned. The guitars screamed at me with riffs and sound reminiscent of When Fire Rains Down.... and V.I.T.R.I.O.L's vocals seemed to be back on track; that is to say, totally demented. Bellum... however was a terrific start to what is unfortunately an annoyingly frustrating listen. While I dare say well over half of Eschaton reminds me why I will always sort of see myself as an Anaal Nathrakh fan, there are simply too many missteps to be found here. The opener would have sat happily on either of their two initial releases in its utterly convincing violence and incredibly abrasive production, but ultimately Eschaton is a patchy, poorly-paced recording, which alternates sheer excellence with poorly conceived "moments". If I were reviewing on the strength of the riffing in the "verses", Eschaton would score quite highly. Aside from a pair of limp exceptions, songs boasts numerous fantastic riffs of such a quality as to make me grind my teeth and furiously wrack my entire body. However, these are the riffs that segue into each other; that make up the meat of the songs but do not beg for your validation. Its the fucking MOMENTS on this album which pretty much spoil the experience. It is these moments which ruin the essence and flow of the album, meaning I can never go more than ten minutes or so before realising that I'm not listening to the Anaal Nathrakh that I so dearly love. That Anaal Nathrakh does not let up, does not make any concessions whatsoever.
These "moments" largely consist of efforts to be "epic", or "emotional". This is largely attempted by the use of clean singing in what are essentially choruses in several tracks. Whereas Anaal Nathrakh are at their best when the songs contain little more than one ridiculously furious riff leading into another, leading into another, they have come to rely on the use of musical "events". These are intended to be focal points, but instead simply detract from the onslaught. There is nothing grander and strangely elating than the sheer intensity we are spoiled with when the band spew out nothing but sharply acidic bile. So, we have an often excellent album, denied that status in whole on account of the occasional but obvious loss of footing. The shooting of itself in the foot. A prime example of this perfectly-aimed foot-shot is the third track, Timewave Zero. Until the midway point, we get to hear unadulterated spite and malignancy. But then we have the most embarrassing riff on the CD which undoes all the hitherto hard work. The song slows down abruptly, kicking in with a truly awful riff and the clean vocals at their absolute worst. This same riff is then coupled with the trademark light-speed blastbeat, but is imbued with ZERO intensity, and sounds all the more silly for the attempt. What could have been a great song turns into a poor one. But there are many sides to this particular argument of this album. Waiting For The Barbarians showcases why the band do not necessarily need to be blasting all the way to create audio terrorism. The heavily rhythmic emphasis during the slower sections together with those fantastic two-chord alternations Anaal Nathrakh often do so well offers excellent variation in pace without sacrificing any energy whatsoever.
Nonetheless, what makes this CD so frustrating is that it almost comes across as deliberate self-sabotage, so carefully laced with pockets of methane as it is. Destroy The Angel, like the opener and a couple of others, shows that the band at this point were still more than capable of extraordinary venom; the level of hatred and fury is almost baffling. It is ironically the incoherence of this assault, meaningless in its severity, that defines the band at their most coherent; when you just feel like the subject of a senseless barrage of animosity. The album is mostly comprised of incredibly jarring passages, instinctive and animalistic in their fervour, but the carefully placed segments of greater melody and, usually, singing, are simply at odds with the general unreasonably aggressive tone of the album. The hope is to create some emotional dynamic within the album, and perhaps offer something to those listeners with a shorter attention span. The truth is that the band nail it when the dynamic is one of unapologetic brutality; THAT is by far the most articulate mode of operation the band has. Anaal Nathrakh are at their most valuable and emotionally complex and demanding when the listener is simply struggling to make sense of the ludicrous hostility they are receiving. The distinct sections of "soaring emotion" are in fact emotionally flat in comparison. Like a person who is always extremely unpleasant to you, one can at least admire the strength of character, and one also knows where they stand. Eschaton is like the same person, but they every so often present you with a large bakewell tart. The behaviour is contrived, disconcerting, and hard to trust. The tart may seem tasty, but it is not nourishing, and after a few of them, they taste pretty shit.
When the Lion Devours Both Dragon And Child, is the clear "single" of the album. The title is a Nietzsche reference, one of many in the band's discography, and one which here is illegitimate. The track is funnily enough itself the child of the album, with much weaker vocals, naive structure, and wears a bright orange t-shirt of accessibility. An insult to the listener, it gives them little credit, instead delivering generic riffs within a easily digestible, lowest common denominator structure. A lot like a mother spoonfeeding a child and making aeroplane noises to make the experience seem more appealing. This is followed by possibly the best track of the album; The Necrogeddon, which embodies the best aspect of the band. Unsurprisingly this is a rerecording of an earlier track from their demo period, which saw official release as a bonus track on the excellent Total Fucking Necro compilation. This in turn is followed by the album's pathetic closer, the aptly-titled Regression To The Mean, with its dreadful croaky vocals, redundant pace and vapid guitars. The musical equivalent to a whimper.
While at many times reminiscent of the band at their best, Eschaton fails to convince as an album experience. The poorly-conceived bursts of artificial neon light that plague the album attempt to colour something that should really be monochromatic. The thick thread of disgust which held together The Codex Necro as well as When Fire Rains Down... and gave them definition, here has enough points of rot along its length to cause the album to fall apart like a beaded necklace, leaving gems which can be appreciated on their own, but at the cost of owning a fine piece of jewellery.
This album is one of the main reasons I think this band embodies true musicianship and pure genius. This is aggressive black metal with some minor forms of grindcore that will simply rape any black metal band; there are many reasons to justify the complete awsomeness of this album and I want to them down for you. This album contains 9 tracks that just obliderates any mainstream listeners ability to try and distiguish music from earthquake when this is what this album sounds like, the soundtrack to the apocalypse.
First, the sound quality on this album is a total thumbs up. I could hear everything more than good enough. Given the fact that most black metal bands sound quality is scratchy and more "raw," this albums quality is both raw with good sound quality.
Second, the vocals of V.I.T.R.I.O.L. is what I call "skull-fuck." It's original as hell, and will probably leave a mallcore kid running to his mommy! The guest vocalist from Mayhem, Attila Csihar on "Regression to the Mean" was beyond awsome a pure rape of the mind. I loved the track "Between Shit and Piss We Are Born" because it is simply the truth and it pulls no punches to tickling ears especially on what I thought was the climax - "you insignificant fuck!"
Third, the drumming was purely blastbeat programmed. I would recommend that any good drummer not try this, never mind mediocre drummers, this drumming will make you drum your arms into confuckulation!
Fourth, the guitar solos and riffs fit perfectly into the timing and lyrics of the songs. It was more blackened speed metal/ grindcore orientated. This however still allows the album to engulf the metal fan into a pit of the second Hades!
Fifth, the lyrics on here really excited me more and almost gave me a metal-gasm to the extent that I'd cum some black form of ectoplasm.
Well simply buy this album if you want good black metal! For any fan of good old black metal done right!
Anaal Nathrakh is known for their brutality in their music, and they are justly recognized for that aspect. The Codex Necro was an onslaught of rage without any concept. Domine Non Es Dignus was a small improvement when they introduced small guitar solos and clean vocal parts. Now, with the release of Eschaton, they haven't done anything new.
This album starts off very well. The first song warms up slowly and plow through much like their older material. It is brutal, fast, and unrelenting. Theprogrammed drums blast through like there's no tomorrow. The guitars drive the riffs with all the energy that someone would expect in an album like this. The vocals scream and growl with just as much brutality as the music itself. The second song starts with riffs that you can tell are leading up to something. You'll know what it is leading up to when it comes. There's a very catchy and very energizing clean vocal part in the chorus. After the chorus is done, the song continues driving. This album follows this basic formula. Imust say, if it weren't for the clean vocal parts and occasional guitar solos, I would've tried to get my money back.
I like this style of music, and I like this band a lot. Anaal Nathrakh was one of the very first underground metal bands I experienced. I will always have this deep amount of respect for them. However, I cannot listen to a whole album without it becoming nothing but background noise. That is exactly what this album does. The first few songs are amazing because your attention span is higher at the beginning. Half-way through the album, you're beginning to wonder if all the songs are the same.
The clean vocals and guitar solos make this album a lot more enjoyable than the screamfest that was The Codex Necro. Sadly though, that is the only thing. If this is your first experience with Anaal Nathrakh, then I reccomend it. However, if you have been into this band for awhile like I have, then you will be disappointed. The purpose of making a new album is to have something...uh new. There is not a difference between this album and Domine Non Es Dignus. Buy it if you're a first-timer; download it if you're a longtime fan.
21st December 2012. That is when the world, or a prominant era shall end. It is also the concept this album is based around.
Anaal Nathrakh have a reputation for being one of the extreme black metal acts in existence at the moment. 'The Codex Necro' kicked off this legacy; a noisy, violent bastard spawn of two very pissed off people; followed up by the'When Fire Rains down...' EP which showed a sign of progression in sound, still extremely violent but somewhat 'cleaner' production. This led quite nicely onto 'Domine Non Es Dignus', which even had (shock horror) the inclusion of clean singing on various tracks, including the awesome songs 'do not speak' and 'this cannot be the end'. People were shocked! Cleaner (relatively that is) production, more clarity and singing! What next?
Well...this is it, in my opinion their best album. The production has been hurled back into the realms of 'The Codex Necro' bringing back the wall of noise, apocalypse-baiting sound that brought Nathrakh their well deserved praise. This, combined with the musical progressions made in 'Domine...' mean this is one hell of an album! You press play and are thrown into a frenzy of chainsaw guitars, blast beat drums and the most gloriously hideous vocals I have ever had the pleasure of having my ears raped by. The songs are all incredible and there is not one that even borders on mediocre, though perhaps the oddest song on the album is the album closer: 'Regression to the mean' (which is a swaggering, almost industrial sounding piece that features Attila Csihar). The lengths vary from between just under 3 minutes up to about 5 minutes but you won't really notice this, you'll be too destracted by the intensity of the noise...you may even feel it neccessary to duck occaisionally to avoid having your head blasted off!
One of the main highlights of this album is definately the inclusion of singing and the melodious shifts, which can be found on most tracks (a good example would be 'Time Wave Zero'). Often, it comes as a shock and you may find yourself questioning who you are actually listening to, but any such notions are brought right back to earth with a crash as soon as they are raised, as the production remains appropriately dirty to remind you who exactly it is...like someone sticking various pointed objects into your body to remind you that you are talking to them.
This album is no less than incredible...and sounds like none other; something Anaal Nathrakh are no doubt priding themselves on. This is definately one album that HAS to be in the collection of any fan of extreme metal.
The soundtrack to armageddon? Listen to this and you'll believe that it's already here.
Is normal black metal too merry for you? Do you laugh at the childishness of modern DM? Do you like grindcore but not the bad humor it's often related to? Then fear not, because the Thrakh is here again!
Anaal Nathrakh has become quite a big name in the BM underground, and I can see now that it was for a reason. They're well-known for making some of the most hateful music ever designed, but Eschaton is even more. You don't 'write' music like this, you vomit it, and that's just what this British duo does! Listening to this album on headphones actually gives you a sick and claustrophobic feeling because of the tons of hate it spits into your ears.
The first song 'Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes' (meaning War of All Against All) is good, but actually quite mediocre compared to the rest. It's in the style we already knew from the Thrakh - a well-produced aural black/grind assault with the hateful vomiting of singer V.I.T.R.I.O.L. It gets really interesting on song two, 'Between Shit and Piss we are Born'. Here, V.I.T.R.I.O.L.'s clean vocals show up - they're not really good or beautiful, but they provide a sick atmosphere and some sort of calm between the storm. Other highlights include 'Destroying Angel', the strangely named 'The Yellow King' and 'The Necrogeddon'. It doesn't offer many new things, but Anaal Nathrakh is unique enough to sound good anyway. However, last track 'Regression to the Mean' is a revolutionary piece of 'hateful industrial black' featuring a catchy(!) beat and atmospheric warped vocals, making itself the absolute masterpiece of Anaal Nathrakh.
Altogether this is a very strong album with atmosphere, great production and instrumental skills. But you can love it or hate it, and I know what the masses are gonna choose.
Listening to this album straight after "The Codex Necro" shows the progression that has been made by Anaal Nathrakh. There are more death/grind influences as well as melodic vocals.
The album opens with Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes. This song is typical Anaal Nathrakh, heavy as hell with V.I.T.R.I.O.L screaming his guts out. What follows next is a the progression mentioned earlier. Between Shit And Piss We Are Born contains a melodic chorus. This is not just the stupid melodic bull shit we get way to often though. The melody is very epic in style and works very well with Irrumator's instrumental ablilities.
The album progresses well with a number of great songs including two more songs with the melodic vocals (Timewave Zero and When The Lion Devours Both Dragon And Child) as well as more traditional Anaal Nathrakh songs. The Necrogedden is one of Anaal Nathrakh's older songs rerecorded for this album and thus is very similar to the songs of their debut release (A.K.A black/grind mayhem). The final song, Regression To The Mean features Atilla Csihar of Mayhem and is almost comical. The cries of regression to the mean sound wierd and just plain funny, yet undeniably catchy and closes well. Unfortunately I don't think this should've happened and Anaal Nathrakh should stick with V.I.T.R.I.O.L's brilliant screams and growls.
Interestingly there are no keyboards in Anaal Nathrakh. The keyboard sounding parts are actually Mick Kenney layering on a third, very epic guitar sound. The drum machine pounds away as usual with an interesting amount of variety. V.I.T.R.I.O.L is currently my favourite vocalist-his screams are just what metal needs to keep it new and refreshing.
What prevents this album from getting a perfect score is incosistency. While most of the album is absolutely awesome (or necro as the band would put it), there are a number of gaping holes in the album, namely When The Lion Devours Both Dragon And Child. The guest apearances aren't superb either. Not the best Anaal Nathrakh material, I'll leave that to The Codex Necro, but an extremely solid and gratifying release
As being a huge Anaal Nathrakh fan, I was very excited to hear of a new full length release. I was somewhat worried that they would change their style for the worst, but my doubts couldn’t have been more wrong. Anaal Nahrakh’s newest release, Eschaton maintains and reinforces Anaal Nathrakh’s reputation of extreme musical brutality, but also shows more talented song writing and ear catching melodic solos, and riffing. The album is absolutely amazing for the evolution that Anaal Nathrakh has gone through from combining the Codex Necro’s brutality and Domine Non Es Dignus’s melody and with a newly added death metal type sound to some of the tracks.
Anaal Nathrakh has done it again with the release of Eschaton, which I consider now one of my favorite albums. Anaal Nathrakh fans will sure to be pleased and fans of a brutal and fast, black metal sound will be thrilled by this release. Eschaton grabs you by the ears and doesn’t let go until the CD has ended. Every track hits hard, fast, and amazingly catchy. Recommended tracks for skeptics would be: The Yellow King, The Destroying Angel, and When the Lion Devours Both Dragon and Child. Fans of the “Total Fucking Necro” compilation will be pleased, as they have re-mastered “The Necrogeddon” which brings a smile to my face every time I hear it.
I purchased my copy of Eschaton online the day it was released, and I recommend everyone that is a fan of the genre to buy it also, if you haven’t already.
In my opinion, this is the most mature AN release todate. The band is, of course, in full force, per usual, but there exists somewhat of a different feeling here. Compared to 2004's Domine Non Es Dignus, this includes more catchy riffs and structures, but also contains more pure brutality in the vein of their very early works. There are plenty of moments of grinding, fast guitars, and also a great deal of blastbeat material. However, the level of emotion is a bit higher here, there seems to be more conviction in the playing and I feel as if this is the niche they should probably stay in for the rest of their career.
Often the songs will break into slight, subtle epic melodies and/or fast, blazing solos and capture attention that way. At other times, the vocals seem to be the main attention-getter, jn all their vitriolic (no pun intended) glory. For instance, "The Yellow King" contains a brilliant harmonized guitar part along with the churning chords present in most Anaal material to date. This is a great change up and only solidifies their position in the metal world as an evolved band, coming from the depths of a somewhat limited scope of black metal to a very worthwhile, demanding listen with plenty of substance other than being loud, fast, and heavy.
Anaal Nathrakh’s fourth major release has been met with a lot of anticipation. The first 3 were undoubtedly some of the hardest, fastest, and most hellish audial noises ever recorded. With guest vocals from legendary vocalist Attila Csihar of Mayhem, and guitar from Napalm Death’s Shane Embury, “Eschaton” proves that true necrosity can be attained in music. And it’s a hell of a ride.
Clocking in at just over 35 minutes, “Eschaton” grabs the listener from the opening track, “Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes” and whirls them on a sinfully enjoyable hell ride. One of the main issues of concern with longtime fans, were the presence of clear vocals in the song “When The Lion Devours Both Dragon And Child”, which was released as a teaser. But the thing is, the clear vocals definitely work. It’s like the eye of the storm passing overhead, with a moment of clarity, before the onslaught of terror begins again.
The guitars, all done by Irrumator (Mick Kenney) are some of the best I’ve heard. The drumming is insanely fast, just as it has been on past releases. The guitar work is also phenomenal. Guitar solos pepper the songs, and they couldn’t be more face-shreddingly necro. All the instruments are tied together through the unbelievable vocal work of V.I.T.R.I.O.L. (Dave Hunt) He should be inducted into a metal hall of fame for having the most terrifying, guttural, blasphemous vocals ever put down on tape. I often find myself wondering if he must brand himself with a hot iron to reach the levels of hatred he conveys in his vocal Armageddon.
Overall, Eschaton is one of Anaal Nathrakh’s best albums, if not the best. If you loved the raw, necro metal feel of “The Codex Necro”, then “Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes”, “The Destroying Angel” and “The Yellow King” will make you rip off your face from extreme terror. If you liked the epic vocals and the technicality from “Domine Non Es Dignus”, then tracks like “When The Lion Devours Both Dragon And Child”, “Between Shit And Piss We Are Born” and “Timewave Zero” are for you, although they are definitely more necro. There’s also a remake of “Necrogeddon” from the “Total Fucking Necro” EP for the fans. Definitely pick this up as fast as you can, and witness the most extreme music to hit Earth since who knows when.
The first thing to be said is that V.I.T.R.I.O.L and Irrumator offer no apologies with this record. This is the musical equivalent of getting your head blown off with a shotgun.
The first thing to be noticed is that the first song alone of Eschaton has more lyrics than most of Anaal Nathrakh's previous albums, however Eschaton is cold and unforgiving and contains some of Anaal Nathrakh's most brilliant work since their breakthrough with The Codex Necro.
Irrumator has done it again with crushing guitar-riffs that at times sound like a million buzzsaws and a million chainsaws screaming and screetching out of control. The music creates the perfect setting for V.I.T.R.I.O.L's inhuman vocals which are as horrendous [meant in a good way] as ever. Just hearing him makes you feel like you're about to cough up your vocal chords.
Eschaton also has some incredible synth work, with all sorts of computer generated sounds that add to the unrelenting assault that has become the new and improved Anaal Nathrakh.
Another new element that Irrumator has introduced to the music is guitar solos, which were somewhere between scarce and nonexistant on all the previous albums. Despite the doubts of many they have blended very well into Anaal Nathrakh's blistering speed. The solos are kept short and this is the key to their total submersion into the over-all sound of the music; Any longer and they just would not have worked.
It is extremely hard to pick a favourite track from the album, because the whole album is absolutely brilliant. There is however one track which stands out because of it's strange uniqueness: "Regression to the Mean". Something about the way the synth is incorporated into the song really stands out to me... It sounds like V.I.T.R.I.O.L and Irrumator are escaping an asylum while on fire with the sirens and alarms sounding in the background.
This album is one that is best enjoyed with the volume cranked up all the way, and with some anger inside to be released. Anaal Nathrakh literally sound like a factory of pain, with all sorts of machines grinding and crushing the listener with every note and every word.