Anaal Nathrakh – Passion (Candlelight Records)

Thursday, 21st March 2013
Rating: 8/10

Those who have yet to bear witness to Anaal Nathrakh’s “explosive” (there’s really no other word to describe it) brand of extreme metal are missing out. The pair of Mick Kenney and Dave Hunt have made a career out of being one of the more feral and listenable extreme metal bands, and while this the album in question (Passion) doesn’t touch at the earth-shaking In the Constellation of the Black Widow and crucial The Codex Necro, it still slays.

Still very much tied to the corners of death and black metal, AN race through a now expected barrage of cuts with ferocity and zero regard for human life, or the blood spilled. And when vocalist Hunt lets out a “Ho…lee…fuck!” on “Drug-Fucking Abomination,” it makes for one of the year’s more crushing moments. Dude seriously has razors embedded in his throat, and has enough time to yank them out for some clean vocals (that are perhaps the most underrated aspect of AN) on opener “Volenti Non Fit Iniuria.” On the flipside, Hunt virtually destroys his larynx on “Locust of Damnation.”

There’s little let-up throughout this ten song offering, with AN fleshing out more of its Napalm Death side (makes sense – they’re from the same country) on “Paragon Pariah.” Kenney and Hunt also get their experimental kicks in on “Ashes Screaming Silence,” a song that emerges as one of the more industrial things they’ve done.

Pontificating about how extreme and ferocious Anaal Nathrakh are has become standard operating procedure for the metal journalism community for well over a decade, but the band’s dedication to quality is ultimately what brings them regular high marks. Passion is a killer, no bones about it, and if we want to be cliché, the word “Extreme” in the dictionary should have a picture of Anaal Nathrakh next to it. Get on it, Webster.

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