01. Acheronta Movebimus 02. Unleash 03. Monstrum In Animo 04. The One Thing Needful 05. A Firm Foundation Of Unyielding Despair 06. Desideratum 07. Idol 08. Sub Specie Aeterni (Of Maggots And Humanity) 09. The Joystream 10. Rage And Red [feat. Niklas Kvarforth] 11. Ita Mori
Being more of a prog kinda guy, I never expected two extreme metal albums to be my favorites this year (this and Septicflesh's Titan). Forty mintues of brutal awesomeness .
Being more of a doomster myself (especially for the last couple of years), I totally echo that sentiment - so far my album of the year is also between this and Titan! Maybe we're just more demanding and slightly critical of our "niche" genres due to overexposure and familiarity; these days it's getting harder for a doom, gothic, or symphonic metal album to leave a spectacular impact or impression on me since I've heard so much of that style - expertise raises expectations, you know? On the other hand, Anaal Nathrakh have become one of my go-to bands in the uncompromisingly brutal/venomous, extreme/black metal persuasion and I thoroughly enjoy (or rather, suffer and indulge masochistically in) their industrial/noise/horror elements.
Practically my entire music library manifests an orchestration of melancholic neurosis, so a dose of psychotic necro-vomit breaks up the mood quite nicely!
LOL at all the Kvarforth bashing here - It really does seem like you can only love the guy or hate him; either way it'd probably just encourage him further as Niklas thrives on controversy. He has never pretended otherwise though... Personally I'm a huge fan of Shining and his stage antics bother me much less than some of the other black metal bands'; however even in metal some of us haven't learned to separate the artist and his art. The guy is a bipolar schizophrenic - somehow it results in his music being more interesting - you're really going to despise or worship him for that?
P.S. I really like that Kistvaen song (never heard of the band before). Anyways,
For me this is Anaal Nathrakh staying firmly in their comfort zone, and the album itself comes across very simplistic and straightforward. Not that there's anything wrong with that, or indeed that previous albums don't have a similar effect, but I think from listening to this that the band have sort of taken a step back, and for that reason I'm not quite as impressed as I was with "Vanitas". That said, there's still a lot of songs to like here if you're a fan of the band. For me the best ones are "Unleash", the title track and "The Joystream". Also, the industrial effects mostly give a slightly unnerving listen, especially when cutting straight through the metal parts.