Music / Anaal Nathrakh

"It's not an attempt to make the most extreme music possible. It just so happens that the music we want to make is really quite abrasive."

Anaal Nathrakh (pronounced, surprisingly, almost exactly how it looks [An-Al Nat-Rakh], which translates to "serpent's breath") are 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. 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, in 2001 they released their debut album The Codex Necro, which featured a chaotic, raw black metal sound. The album received near-unanimous positive reviews, earning numerous "Album of the Month" awards, and is to this day considered one of the best black metal releases of the 2000s.

Their next two releases, Domine Non Es Dignus and Eschaton, 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 took their already brutalizing sound and make it even more brutal by incorporating elements of Death Metal, Grindcore, and Industrial into their sound. This album is considered to be the band's breakthrough release, receiving acclaim from critics and a spot on Metal Storm's "Top 100 Black Metal Albums of All Time" list. Their next four albums have since followed in the same extreme fusion style, and to this day the group is going strong.

Despite their acclaim, Anaal Nathrakh are definitely not a band for everyone. Their music is noisy and intense even by extreme metal standards, to the level many metalheads consider them to be one of the heaviest bands ever. Make of that what you will.

  • 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)
  • Desideratum (2014)
  • The Whole of the Law (2016)

Associated tropes: