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Disgust through diversity - 80%

autothrall, February 2nd, 2010

At its core, Anaal Nathrakh is still a blast of spiteful vitriol that could poison your lawn if applied even liberally. Two British bastards using drum machines, guitars and the evil corners of their minds to defecate on your soul. In the Constellation of the Black Widow is the band's fifth album, and though the speed, chaos and hatred are still present, something feels lacking. The sheer holocaust that was The Codex Necro has been replaced by an increased use of cleaner vocals, more accessible rhythms and melodies.

But do not write the album off just for this reason. When it comes to writing, the band is still keen and some of the tracks on this album are awesome and bewildering. "Oil Upon the Sores of Lepers" may break out into some sheer melodeath riffing you'd expect of Soilwork, with chugging grooves to boot, but it's still a kickass track I've listened to many times. "The Lucifer Effect" is carnal and bloodsoaked, with injections of Swedish-style death grind and black metal. "The Unbearable Filth of the Soul" sounds like a goateed Strapping Young Lad after having their hearts cut out in a Satanic ritual and without the dopey Townsend vocals. Quite sick and an inevitable catalyst for some violent act, somewhere down the stretch. "More of Fire and Blood" just fucking peeled my face clean off. Right down to the bone and bloody shell. You should see how hard it is to get a job these days.

Mix-wise, the record sound quite crushing. Whether snarls or clean vocals, the boys sound fantastic on the album, and with Anaal Nathrakh, diversity never seems to be a bad thing. The melodic edge given to some of the tracks actually gives them an 'epic' vibe. In the Constellation of the Black Widow may not have that 'pure filth' feel of their previous albums, in fact I can imagine this could be a first album for many new fans to get into. Some elitist snarks might cry foul, but in the end, it's another good album worth hearing from one of England's most insane bands.