Released: November 6, 2012
Anaal Nathrakh has been around since 1998 and "Vanitas' is their latest album. The name Anaal Nathrakh is taken from an ancient incantation and can be heard in the film EXCALIBUR, spoken by Merlin. "Anaal Nathrakh" means "serpent's breath". The band took the name as they saw the link with the summoning of the Great Dragon, which as they describe, "surrounds all of us, as in perfect complement with what we aim to achieve with this music".
Anaal Nathrakh is essentially Mick Kenney (guitars, bass, drums, drum programming, production - also responsible for the amazing cover art) and Dave Hunt (vocals) in the studio. The Birmingham UK duo adds guests in the studio and brings out a full band when playing gigs.
Napalm Death Shane gigging with Anaal Nathrakh
The ten songs on "Vanitas" are severely lodged in black metal. Obscene tempos, orchestral sounding breaks, pummeling grindcore & death bridges, and hysterical howls, screams and other vocal expulsions, provide the aural soundtrack of the nightmare that is "Vanitas" (appropriately named album as the Latin word means "vanity" and loosely translated, corresponds to the meaninglessness of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits).
Being lodged in black metal, doesn't stop the duo from reaching out (yeah, insert image of the living dead arms extended from the grave) to incorporate other extreme metal influences. It all combines for a framework that is actually listenable from an overall metal perspective and comes across as wonderfully grandiose and enjoyable, even though this is irrefutably black metal - undaunted.