The ninth soundtrack to the end of the world has come to fuck up your ears and shred the meat off your face with blasts of extreme sound. “Anaal Nathrakh’s” new work has landed and it aims to lay down “The Whole of The Law”, the law being that this band is extremely fucking amazing and every time they throw out a new release, we get boners.
An ominous horn announces the beginning with the “Nameless Dread” as a man mumbles fearfully in the background while slowly going insane. The guitars kick in slowly, teasing you with their dominant but dragged out and slow pace. It doesn’t take long for depravity to set in with a demented chorus and a twisted voice giving you seconds to prepare before “Depravity Favours the Bold” is unleashed and the extreme madness of unstoppable, relentless, insane riffs begin.
A storm of violence, a great start that traumatizes the little ones so deeply that you just want to “Hold your Children Close and Pray for Oblivion”. As Oblivion comes, a maelstrom of electronic power mixed with terrible riffs, psychotic self-loathing voices fill the air and you can hear the song’s title screamed with spit and malice right in your face before the clean vocals take it away, the clean voice filled with both sadness that oblivion is here but at the same time joyous and epic since the world is such a shithole anyway and people in general are wankers.
As oblivion passes, there is still a tremendous urge to murder lingering in the air, you can feel the hate filled psycho crazy killers stalking you in the shadows as the electric intro to the next song begins, you can feel them stab you repeatedly with a hideous smile and terrifying eyes as the guitar begins to shred your ears off slowly. He chills for a while on your lifeless corpse licking the blade of the knife when he sees a cute little couple and their baby pass by the park, this is when shit gets fast and crazy again as you feel him leap from your dead corpse and chase the couple, a knife in one hand, a puppet made of your skin in the other while both scream “We Will Fucking Kill you”!
Just before he catches them, as they look behind and see him running, a sudden narrator shows up to drop a hint as to what you should be feeling right now, he simply says “Agony”. The slow solo illustrates how he caught them and played with their intestines for a while before the police found him smiling over the scene and licking the knife. There is a slow motion moment of contemplation as the shocked police officers surround the scene before he leaps at them laughing and still shrieking, “We will Fucking Kill You”!
But some might wonder how men can go on such wild, depraved murder sprees while smiling the whole time. Internet studies show (and these are always a hundred percent legit of course) that stab rampages are just ways of people to cope with life and we do it “…So We Can Die Happy”. Nothing puts a smile on your corpse faster than a pile of other people’s corpses, but perhaps this next song can achieve the same result, the beginning feels like a slow beating from a bunch of mindless thugs and it gets faster and more aggressive.
In spite of that and all the horrendous pain they are inflicting on your body, you can’t help but laugh hysterically in their face with a nihilistic glee. As you feel their fists bring your end ever closer, you feel fulfilled, sad that life is over, but not THAT sad, death is a great reason to smile. The solo begins as the thugs start to get scared of how maniacally demented your laugh is becoming and because you keep trying to bit their fists as they punch you, they bolt out the door clumsily since each one wants to be the first to get as far from you as possible, as you bleed and die you notice some pigtailed little girl doing jump rope on your puddles of blood while singing the wheels of the bus, you laugh even harder and finally die happy.
The following song is a VHS tape your uncle left you in his will, you thought it would be something heart-warming and funny since your uncle was such a comedian, turns out it’s just a video of him ploughing your mom, getting caught by your dad (“In Flagrante Delicto” get it?) and then proceeding to violently murder him then fucking your mom again over the corpse, delightful. After watching the tape, you begin to pull off hair like it was the strings of your sanity, and in a way it’s true, you don’t know if you should smile, cry or rage so you do all of them and decide to revolt against the world, you go out and start setting shit on fire with your flamethrower while listening this song.
A lot of bands wander to themselves, “why is it, that no matter how brutal we are, we can never be as insanely extreme as Anaal Nathrakh”? The next song is so fucking intense from the start that you get confused and can’t really realize what’s going on, then the guitar starts to screech in your hears and you feel a vague structure, this one just doesn’t stop, it races frantically until the middle, when the instruments slow down a little bit just to look at the state of your shambling mind at this point, but just for a while, then it’s back to the extreme musical cacophony that is Anaal Nathrakh, and when your hear them play, you will beg for their secrets.
Afterwards is a slow song “Extravaganza!” Don’t feel relief yet, or despair if you have been reading with an erection so far. Slow it might be at the beginning, slower in comparison to the rest, but this song is just as maniacally demented and disturbing in vocal and guitar tone as the others, perhaps more so, it might be slow but it still feels like an ass whopping with barbed wire around the wrists. When these fellas want some clean vocals, clean vocals is not enough, they have to be deranged, trauma inducing, spine shivering clean vocals and this is what the “Extravaganza!” does beautifully.
Around the two minute mark, the song orgasms into a delicious black metal speed for moments before returning to the original vibe. The solo is discreet but appeasing and then the return to the insanity ridden clean vocals wraps it up nicely.
From the first second, you know, this next song is going to be fucking amazing, you just know it. I knew it the first time I heard it, even before I heard the rest, the start of this song just sends chills through your body. The guitar begins slowly, mocking you, preparing your ears gently but firmly for what is about to happen to them, the voice is already raving, impatiently.
Then a scream and the madness begins, a turmoil of everything that makes us love Anaal Nathrakh, you feel as if you are the new slave being thrown down the pit with the other old slaves, as you land on your back and feel every nerve in your body scream in crippling agony, the others rip you apart, stealing everything from your body until you have nothing but the haunting realisation that you are a worthless vermin, a disposable pawn belonging to a faceless master without emotion.
Your master returns later as the song is slowing down to humiliate you and torture you in front of those who have taken what little you had left, as the solo culminates with your absolute mental destruction, the possibility of revolt is extinguished and your master grins victoriously.
A terrifying blizzard of incredibly fast guitars, drums and voices, all straight out of the asylum and into your head, all at the same time, each one more demented than the last. A tremendous song that will echo through the age, at least in my life, I am a slave to it, just as I have been a slave of my passion for these guys. You have just been instructed with everything you need to know “On Being a Slave”.
“The Great Spectator” has a great epic start as you hear the voices screaming his name from across the ages. The violence begins with a schizophrenic groove that makes you twitch like a mad man. Electronic power flows through the song as they inform you that there is no fucking meaning or truth. A surge of power erupts from here, making your head twitch to the psychotic rhythm.
You can feel the eyes of the great spectator watching mankind from its beginning, laughing and crying at the same time at our futile attempts to apply meaning to ourselves and every little thing our eyes can perceive and even some it can’t. Truly amusing, it’s basic human nature.
A beautifully haunting chorus announces the end of the Law, it takes seconds before another merciless torrent of chaotic music is vomited upon us, the chorus composed of all the Black Shawl wearing widows whose spouses died during the making and listening of this work always lingering in the background. In mourning for the rapidly descending sanity of their loved ones, they accompany the ceaseless violence throughout the song.
Things start to slow down progressively near the three minute mark, a melancholic solo lingers upon the voices of the deranged and the damned as they wail, longing for their widows and their black shawls, eventually everything dies down as the guitar continues its sombre melody until it fades quietly and completely. “Of Horror and the Black Shawls”.
It’s incredible how every Anaal Nathrakh release is so much itself and unique, this is no exception, “The Whole of The Law” will vibrate all your body parts through your ears until they fall off and take a part of your sanity with it. An unforgettable experience from one of the most extreme and powerful bands I’ve ever heard. Get this for fucks sake, get this now.
Text By J.P. Alves