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Satanarchy. - 95%

COBHC_Oranos, July 5th, 2009

Generally, new albums by older bands who have already released good albums tend to fall short, leaving much to be desired. "The Unspoken King" and "Suffocation (2006)" come to mind immediately. However, Anaal Nathrakh does not follow this scheme. They've in fact made their most devastating, brutal, and violent album yet.

"In the Constellation of the Black Widow" (a very, very cool album title, might I add) starts off with the title track, leading in with some incoherent noise, and then getting right into a slow, doom-sounding riff, which changes into some sick, grindcore-tinged black/death metal brilliance. Dave Hunt, a.k.a. V.I.T.R.I.O.L. has truly outdone himself on this album. His screams are still terrifying, and he has multiple variations of them now, rather than just the grating screams found on "The Codex Necro." His low, rumbling growls are well done, and his clean singing is almost operatic.

"I Am The Wrath Of Gods And The Desolation Of The Earth Music" is another fantastic track, despite the fact that it clocks in at only just under two and a half minutes. More frenzied programmed blast beats, sick vocals and cool riffage. ALong with the gut-busting brutality, there is a very good amount of melody here, which Anaal Nathrakh does very well. Aside from that, chugging style riffs have never sounded better on tracks such as "The Unbearable Filth of the Soul" and "Oil Upon the Sores of Lepers." "Satanarchist" might be the most melodic track, and possibly the standout of the album. You actually hear a breakdown (wait, Anaal Nathrakh,? Breakdowns? No.) at around 1:45 into "The Lucifer Effect," but don't panic; it's the only one on the album, and it's not boring or repetitive or slow, and it shows Anaal Nathrakh's versatility.

Mick Kenney is a fantastic guitarist. Maybe not the most skilled, Muhammed Suicmez-type guy, but he definitely knows his stuff. He assembles a collection of awesome, tremolo picked riffing and melodic solos and throws them together into a rich collage that makes every song highly enjoyable.

The downside of this album is that it's too damn short. It's only 32:40. Sure, it's a half hour plus of almost flawless music, but it's only a half hour nonetheless. Also at times, the vocals are a little far back in the mix, which is a bummer. Attribute that to the otherwise fantastic production. Aside from the select few tracks I've mentioned so far, every track matters; there's virtually no filler. Musically, the album nears perfection. I can't find anything bad to say about the music. I mean, it might not be for everyone: Anaal Nathrakh isn't exactly an easy band to "get." But there's plenty of melodic black metal, punishing death metal, and pure speed to be found here to satisfy die hard Thrakh fans and fans of brutal music. Check out this album as soon as possible.

Album standouts:
"Terror in the Mind of God"
"The Lucifer Effect"