Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Progression Without Conformity, Brilliance Unbound - 100%

XuL_Excelsi, June 29th, 2010

I always have a fair bit of apprehension towards new albums by bands I'm fond of, as I always fear they will have moved away from everything they're known for, and the new album would be tame in comparison to former glories. This phobia was originally brought on by Cradle of Filth, who seem to get worse with every album released, to the extent that I haven't bought an album of theirs since "Damnation and a Day". However, there are exceptions to this traitorous trend, and today, exactly one year after its release, "In The Constellation of the Black Widow" proves to be one such an exception, showing Anaal Nathrakh to be anything but the norm.

On this album, Anaal Nathrakh have realised the importance of progression, but applied it in such an innovative way that they surpassed all the pitfalls of their generation. This album is nothing short of astounding! Previous AN albums were never tame to begin with, but "In The Constellation..." goes beyond anything they've done before in terms of utter brutality. This is certainly their most technical album yet, the pinnacle of prowess by one Mick "Irrumator" Kenney, proving to be a brilliant songwriter and executor of all instruments.

The songs on this album are much more structured than previous Anaal Nathrakh compositions, making this album their most mature effort to date. One would almost call this album their most accessible offering, boasting uncharacteristic moodswings leaning toward the dramatic, along with some of Dave's best clean vocals yet, lending further depth to the enormity of it all. Before Anaal Nathrakh fans stop reading and vow never to buy "In The Constellation..", however, I should elaborate and reassure on the alien phrases and Nathrakhian blasphemy i just uttered.

While this may be their most accessible album to date, it is by no means less brutal. VITRIOL's vocals can still strip paint off walls, the drums are still viciously blasting and aggressive, and the guitar and bass still conveys crushing rage in every riff. This is still undoubtedly Anaal Nathrakh, except every element of their sound is better than before. They've taken every aspect of their uniquely destructive music further, creating a new benchmark in extreme metal. Yet, amidst all this brutality, there is an epic and even melodic undercurrent, surfacing to fence off the chaos and occasionally calm the beast. Even though there are many new elements to the AN sound, none of it is forced, it all fits naturally. Organic insanity? Harmonious misanthropy? You bet your ass.

From the frenzied start of the title track, unrelenting through "I am the Wrath of Gods...", to the overtures and melody in "More of Fire Than Blood". From the manic vocals and pummeling heaviness of "The Unbearable Filth..." to the bipolar emotional shift on "The Lucifer Effect" and the irresistable groove of "Oil Upon The Sores of Lepers", finally finishing all too soon with the epic, incredible "Blood Eagles Carved...", this album is unmissable from start to finish. But besides the songs I highlighted here every song is addictive, every track will inevitably become a favourite, and each one for a different reason. Anaal Nathrakh has never sounded so diverse, and they're all the better for it. This album will surely become a classic, it's already been a year since it was released and its effect is still profound.

The annihilating instruments, guitars ripping and drums pounding, the apocalyptic vocals harshly terrorizing and simultaneously engaging the listener, the dark nuance and melancholy undertones. This album is epic, the cry for armageddon is felt in every element on every track. Just when the world was finally getting used to AN's ferocity, "In The Constellation of the Black Widow" came along blacker and even more twisted than anything before it, and yet with it Anaal Nathrakh have cast their net wider still. The world will never be the same again, and every extreme metal act will undoubtedly have to rethink their approach and take notes after hearing this enormous album. Today, a full year later, "In The Constellation..." still amazes and enthralls me, and familiarity has done nothing to soften its blow.

In short, if you don't pick up "In The Constellation of the Black Widow", you will be left behind, because its epic crescendo's and pre-apocalyptic, post-everything assault on your ears will change the face of metal forever. Sheer demented brilliance.