Rating:
N/A
Anaal Nathrakh - Hell Is Empty, And All The Devils Are Here
29 October 2007


01. Solifugae (Intro)
02. Der Hölle Rache Kocht In Meinem Herzen
03. Screaming Of The Unborn [feat. Shane Embury]
04. Virus Bomb
05. The Final Absolution
06. Shatter The Empyrean [feat. Shane Embury]
07. Lama Sabachthani
08. Until The World Stops Turning
09. Genetic Noose [feat. Joe Horvath]
10. Sanction Extremis (Kill Them All)
11. Castigation And Betrayal


Impressive but conformist

Besides having a name that makes me think of suppositories, Anaal Nathrakh is notable for being one of the relatively few British black metal bands to generally receive respect from the hermetic scene they cater to. After listening to Hell Is Empty And All The Devils Are Here it is easy to see why this is. High on both black metal 'necrosity' and grindcore insanity, the Brits commit to tape music that is as interesting in terms of arrangement and songwriting as it is brutal.

Mind you, the band doesn't exactly reinvent the wheel here. Grind-black metal has been done before, say by Impaled Nazarene and Rotting Christ (and doesn't most black metal have blasts anyway?); however, Nathrakh's take on this particular hybrid succeeds because their mix happens to be written well and contains ratios of elements that augment the flow. It might sound strange to cite dynamic, memorable songwriting as the main selling point of the music of a band that obviously tries their hardest to be as nasty, fast and brutal as possible, and yet this is exactly what is happening here. The first proper track on the album, "DerHölle Rache Kocht In Meinem Herzen ", prepares us for what we'll hear throughout. Crusty down-tuned riffs mix with blast-beat mayhem and a schizophrenic vocal approach, consisting of grunts, raspy shrieks and the occasional Ihsahn-esque operatic chorus. Shane Embury guests on bass here, so it is not all surprising that this album sounds closer to grindcore a lot of the time. Then again, a song like "Screaming Of The Unborn" is a clear nod towards the band's raw black metal past. The drums here are all supposedly performed by a drum machine and I need to say that if this is indeed true, this machine sounds damn human to me. I don't know what type of drum machine this is, or what normalizing effects were applied to it during mastering but the effect is quite impressive.

I suppose the only thing missing from Hell Is Empty And All The Devils Are Here is a sense of innovation. The band is very tight, they write memorable songs and sound very menacing throughout. Still, it all somehow sounds fairly pedestrian to me, never screaming "hey! look at what I'm doing here" and instead going for "listen to how well I'm playing this". Indeed, the above criticism isn't a huge deal since this album is still a very fun listen; however, it makes it merely a very good piece of music, and not groundbreaking, excellent and redefining.


Band profile: Anaal Nathrakh
Album: Hell Is Empty, And All The Devils Are Here


 



Written on 15.11.2007 by
jupitreas
With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. Privately not actually an asshole, he lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he runs his small graphic and web design business.
More reviews by jupitreas ››



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BestMetalstormer - 16.11.2007 at 16:16  
gotta check this, the 2006 stuff still stuck in my head
Marcel Hubregtse - 16.11.2007 at 16:16  
Jups, I love how you keep on writing Nakrath throughout the review when, as you well know, it is Nathrakh any specific reason for that?

Btw, Shane Embury helps them out on stage quite often.
Stigmatized - 16.11.2007 at 16:59  
I love this album, possibly my favorite for 2007.
jupitreas - 16.11.2007 at 18:42  
@Marcel
The only reason for that is that their name is ridiculous and I'm careless
Anyway, fixed it now, thanks for noticing.

BTW - notice how many people make this mistake on the net!! Those pesky bastards couldnt come up with an easier name for their band??
Marcel Hubregtse - 17.11.2007 at 09:38  
Written by jupitreas on 16.11.2007 at 18:42


BTW - notice how many people make this mistake on the net!! Those pesky bastards couldnt come up with an easier name for their band??


Yeah I've noticed that quite often...
It's almost the same as the hordes of people misspelling Jonas Renkse's surname (him of Katatonia) making it Renske (which btw for Dutch people is much more a normal name than Renkse)
Konrad - 20.09.2009 at 01:41  
Shitty Review.
jupitreas - 20.09.2009 at 12:37  
Written by Konrad on 20.09.2009 at 01:41

Shitty Review.


Why, thank you, kind sir, for this awesomely constructive criticism
Konrad - 21.09.2009 at 00:33  
Written by jupitreas on 20.09.2009 at 12:37

Written by Konrad on 20.09.2009 at 01:41

Shitty Review.


Why, thank you, kind sir, for this awesomely constructive criticism


Ok the review was good lol...I just happen to think that this is one of the most non-conformist bands out there. They play what they want to play and they're damn good at it. Besides, what they actually pull off is very unique. Of course there are a handful of bands who play a mix of chaotic-grind and black metal...but fuck man, give me a break. Is every death metal band after Possessed unoriginal because they play the same style of music?

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