Anaal Nathrakh (pronounced, surprisingly, exactly how it looks, translates into "serpent's breath") is a widely acclaimed Black Metal
duo from Birmingham, England. The members are multi-instrumentalist Mick Kenney (AKA Irrumator), who performs all instruments in studio, and vocalist Dave Hunt (AKA V.I.T.R.I.O.L), who performs, well
, the vocals. Anyways, the duo came together in 1999, at a time when black metal was still relatively alive in the underground. After recording two demos, one self-titled and another called Total Fucking Necro
, they released their debut album The Codex Necro
in 2001, which features a chaotic, raw black metal sound. The album received near-unanimously positive reviews, earning numerous "Album of the Month" awards, and even to this day is considered one of the best black metal releases of the 2000s. Things were looking excellent for the band, and things were only going to get better from there.
Their next two releases, Domine Non Es Dignus
, in 2004 and 2006, respectively, continued along the same path as their debut, receiving similar praise from metal publications. Then, with 2007's Hell Is Empty and All the Devils Are Here
, they began to take their already brutalizing sound and make it even more brutal
by incorporating elements of Death Metal
, and Industrial
into their sound. This album is considered to be the band's breakthrough release, receiving very high scores from critics and earning a spot on Metal Storm's "Top 100 Black Metal Albums of All Time" list. Their next three albums continued in the same extreme fusion style, and to this day the group seems to be going strong.
Despite their acclaim, however, Anaal Nathrakh is definitely
not a band for everyone. Their music is very noisy and scary even by extreme metal standards (most of their music is very, very high on the Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness
) and very complicated, making it hard even for some of the most dedicated metal fans to appreciate their songs right away. Their work is so unsettling that they are generally agreed upon even by metalheads
to be one of the heaviest bands ever. Make of that what you will.Discography
- The Codex Necro (2001)
- Domine Non Es Dignus (2004)
- Eschaton (2006)
- Hell Is Empty and All the Devils Are Here (2007)
- In the Constellation of the Black Widow (2009)
- Passion (2011)
- Vanitas (2012)
- Altum Videtur: Domine Non Es Dignus and Vanitas
- Apocalypse How: Presumably their main lyrical focus. However, this is up to debate since most of the lyrics found were by fans since AN don't put them in.
- One things for sure, they certainly have the sound.
- Careful With That Axe: It'd be easier to list when Dave doesn't do this.
- Darker and Edgier: Even for black metal, of all genres.
- Epic Rocking:
- The self-titled track off The Codex Necro, at 6:07
- Domine Non Es Dignus has "This Cannot be the End", at 6:24
- Passion has the longest AN song, "Drug-Fucking Abomination", lasting 7:27.
- Genre-Busting: They meld Black Metal with elements of Death Metal, Grindcore, and Industrial Metal on their later albums.
- Gratuitous German: Tod Huetet Uebel
- Heavy Mithril: Their name comes from Merlin's Charm of Making in the 1981 film Excalibur.
- I Am the Band: Mick and Dave. Justified as they are the only members.
- Indecipherable Lyrics: Fucking, yes, holy, fucking, shit.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Most of Anaal Nathrakh's songs are a standard 10 at the lightest. At their heaviest, they're a rock-solid 11. This is jarring considering that a couple of their songs have clean vocals in them; their music is just so brutalizing that it's hard to rank them lower on the scale because of that.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Their genre of choice could be best described as... Industrial blackened deathgrind.
- Reclusive Artist: Both Dave and Mick rarely give interviews and the group almost never plays live. In fact, it wasn't until a 2005 BBC Radio interview with them that they decided that they would play the occasional live show.
- Scary Musician, Harmless Music: Inverted. The band members look quite unassuming despite their sound.
- Soprano and Gravel: Though unlike other examples, the clean vocals are anything but melodic, however, Dave's clean vocals go into a particularly operatic soaring sound. Particularly here on "When The Lion Devours Both Dragon And Child".
- Viewers Are Geniuses: The band never publish their lyrics, except for one instance with the song "Tod Huetet Uebel". This leaves the fans to pick apart the lyrics themselves, note that the vocals consist of almost constant Indecipherable Lyrics taken Up to Eleven, however somebody transcribed "Forging Towards The Sunset" and got this, follow on with it.
- X Meets Y: Mayhem meets Ministry meets Suffocation meets Napalm Death. Yes, we're not joking.