Music: Anaal Nathrakh

Anaal Nathrakh (pronounced, surprisingly, almost exactly how it looksnote , 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 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 began to take 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 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.

  • 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)

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