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Anaal Nathrakh - Hell Is Empty And All The Devils - 70%

Avestriel, November 1st, 2007

Being a big fan of this band I expected them to come with another great success. And they did. In some ways.

Well, this record is definitely different from the previous three full lenghts (maybe not so different from the previous one, but different still). As we know, AN has evolved in the past few years from just a raw and extreme black metal band to a more technical, quasi-death influenced and very unique band. Well, they seem to have taken another step (jump?) forward with this album.

From time to time I could describe the music as "Behemoth meets Wintersun", and the vocals as "manly version of Dragonforce meets Chris Barnes", but maybe I'm being a little extremist here.

They are becomin less and less minimalistic. Just like Eschaton was significantly more technical and death influenced than the previous albums, this album takes this characteristic to a further level. The drumming gives it's regular dosis of blast beats (this is black metal after all) but takes a significant ammount of time in a mid-paced tempo (which makes for the power-ish/Wintersun-ish aura described). The guitars mantain a rather low range of notes most of the time (except on the typical and chaotic solos we're used to), but manage to make up pretty good and sort of catchy melodies.

All in all this is another Anaal Nathrakh album. With this I mean that it holds its very characteristic essence, its dark but melodic riff work and the numerous vocal styles used, all of them recognisable trademarks of V.I.T.R.I.O.L..

In short, it's less noisy, more death influenced and maybe even heavier that Eschaton. It's probably AN's work I like the less, but that doesn't mean I don't love it or that it's not a great album nonetheless.