Anaal Nathrakh – A New Kind of Horror (Metal Blade)

Sunday, 23rd September 2018
Rating: 9/10

There’s only one expectation that has to be met with a new album from Anaal Nathrakh, and that’s its measure of pure violence. The simultaneously epic and caustic approach of the band is one that has stayed with them since the beginning, and it seems to be only through exploring some tweaks to the formula does it continue to stay fresh. A New Kind of Horror does what Anaal Nathrakh has always aspired to, and stays just as gripping as previous efforts.

There’s no mistaking Anaal Nathrakh for any band besides themselves. The explosive opening to “Obscene as Cancer” is as ground-shaking as ever, complete with the usual crazed screams, frantic blasts, grandiose cleans, and nightmarish yet oddly catchy riffing hitting high water marks. The follow-up in “The Reek of Fear” takes an equally bloodthirsty approach, but also heads in an eerier direction thanks to some King Diamond-esque falsettos and some bludgeoning industrial and electronic effects. The band goes even further with the industrial/electronic side of things on “Forward!,” which has an almost dubstep vibe that the band manages to fully integrate into their gritty atmosphere. A more blackened sound permeates parts of “New Bethlehem/Mass Death Futures,” and feels like a nice throwback to some of their early efforts while keeping their more modern epic side intact. If one thing can be said for A New Kind of Horror in general is that it might actually be more aggressive than some recent efforts. The effects add wonders to this, which feel like some the strongest meshing that they’ve gotten into the mix. There’s a coldness to tracks like “The Horrid Strife” and the afore-mentioned “Forward!” that really captures the band at their darkest. Lastly, there’s always room for a few devastating rippers, and “The Apocalypse is About You!” and “Vi Coactus” fit the billing well, with the latter featuring vocals from Brandon Schieppati (Bleeding Through).

There’s a reason why most tracks got a specific mention, and Anaal Nathrakh continue to work in diversity into a toolbox that’s all their own. A New Kind of Horror sounds like Anaal Nathrakh at their finest: primed and ready to explode on impact. No one does extreme music quite like them.

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