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Fucking Necro indeed, but not totally. - 81%

lord_ghengis, June 11th, 2010

This, the second foray into the ultra raw, violent world of early Anaal Nathrakh is an interesting point as to where the band was prior to finally getting that full length out. With songs like The Supreme Necrotic Audnance, Lethal D.I.A.B.O.L.I.C and The Technogoat it was clear that band had reached the point of being able to compose their chaotic storms of black metal at a similar level of extremity as The Codex Necro, but not quite ready to implement them as fiercely as possible just yet. This is much more violent than the self titled EP, but it also contains a better sense of melody. Sadly, much of the experience is marred by a combination of poor equipment, damage, and amateurism.

Total Fucking Necro expands upon both the extreme side of their sound, touched upon in the past with the latter half of Iceblasting Stormwinds and the song Carnage, and also the more melodic side. Musically, it's pretty great, with the three songs which appear on later albums standing out the best songs here. The band developed a more defined sound for this demo, pushing beyond the old Mayhem influence and becoming a far faster and more extreme beast. In fact, the mayhem cover feels very much dwarfed and meagre amongst the volatile monsters it stands aside. Along with the improvements in sheer aggression, Anaal Nathrakh has enhanced the melodic side of their sound. Where earlier, the melodic side of things was only explored in the form of softer introduction pieces, and rarely factored in the metallic side of things, with this demo the band started implementing melodies and leads during the full on sections. Obviously, Satanarchist is the prime example of this, as it keeps up a healthy sense of beauty for its whole duration, but it's far from the only example. The Supreme Necrotic Audnance is the first occasion where the band threw in a passage of melody grandly breaking through the chaos of their standard misanthropy. Other than that, it's the usual buzzing guitars, blast beats, the odd slower riff for a touch of weight, and V.I.T.R.I.O.L.'s trademark screeching, it all works well and the band is pretty much relentless.

Sadly, everything other than the music is kind of botched, the production is likely even dirtier than the self titled EP, there are sections of the recording which are damaged, and the composition is less than pristine. The production isn't bad by raw BM standards, and it successfully delivers the violence that the riffs demand, but some elements don't work as well as they could. These are most noticeable in the songs which got re-recorded for the debut, such as the higher emphasised piercing riff in the Technogoat, which doesn't have the aggressive treble spike element it's later version does, and the riff suffers for it. This sort of minor drawback is fairly easy ignore, but frequent. The other problem with the technical aspects of the sound is of course the major damage to the recording during the opening number, which sadly breaks up the flow of an otherwise excellent song.

The other problem with this release is that it's put together pretty sloppily. The band has always only used Mick Kenney for all the instrumentation, and this is the only release where you can tell it. Most of the riffs and melodies don't quite sit together tightly like you would expect from a band with actual musicians, most of it just sounds that little bit off. Likewise, you can tell when he's switched between different recording tracks as the music cuts or falters briefly; it's strange since the band tends to usually have such a professional approach. It'd be ok if it was just the occasional technical mistake which was left in, which there are, but these errors seem kind of careless and amateurish, much like the tape damage which occurs in the opening song.

Total Fucking Necro is the first really Anaal Nathrakh-sounding release the band put together. It's brutal, but not without its beauty and majesty. The various flaws in its construction make it less enjoyable than its precursor, but it’s still an impressive piece of black metal carnage.