The Heart of Necro
CoC interviews V.I.T.R.I.O.L. of Anaal Nathrakh
by: Pedro Azevedo
It is not, in my experience, a very frequent occurrence that an underground band who cultivates their underground status so blatantly and corrosively as Anaal Nathrakh would so rapidly gain recognition from the bigger metal and sort-of-metal publications. Having personally witnessed their sonic development since their first demo [CoC #43] and having interviewed them after their second [CoC #48, #49], I have to say I have never yet found a trace of any kind of faux-underground and ultimately commercial attitude in this band. Just a listen to their first full-length record _The Codex Necro_ [CoC #56] should provide more than enough proof, but V.I.T.R.I.O.L. -- one half of the duo that is Anaal Nathrakh -- proves with his discourse that there is a lot more than mindless sonic aggression in Anaal Nathrakh.

CoC: _The Codex Necro_ is your latest output, and the first with which you can expect more widespread recognition. How satisfied are you with it?

V.I.T.R.I.O.L.: Very. When we started Anaal Nathrakh, it was with complete disregard for the outside world, so the fact that our music has been so well received is at the very least interesting. In terms of whether we are satisfied with the actual recording, yes we are. We set out to squeeze out the most violently horrible puss we could, and we succeeded. That is not to say that there is not more to come, though...

CoC: You have always been quite successful in the underground -- at least as far as CoC is concerned. However, you now seem to have picked up some impressive praise from bigger magazines such as Terrorizer and Kerrang! as well with your latest disc, which could thrust Anaal Nathrakh into a rather visible position in the metal world. How do you feel about that?

V: It was interesting when Kerrang! asked us for an interview, etc.. They sent a photographer to Necrodeath Studios who had recently been on tour with some shit but very popular American band. Static X or some similar pile of crap. He asked us if we were going to get dressed up for the photos etc., and we just said "Er, no". I don't think he really understood our attitude, and we didn't understand his. The journalist I spoke to seemed genuine, though. Terrorizer at least supports some decent music sometimes, so receiving attention from them is a bit different. Basically, the idea is the same as when I have always said we could easily sign to a huge label if they offered us millions of pounds. Not that they would. No one will ever get anything from us but absolutely vile shit. We do not, and will never compromise. At all. Ever. As long as people understand that they are free to do with it as they will, we don't give a fuck. Are we rockstars, or interested in becoming them? No, fuck off. We just keep on doing what we do to the detriment of everyone else. The end.

CoC: As far as I know, you still don't have a human drummer. Is this situation likely to change? Will it stop you from performing live?

V: At the moment, we have no plans to get a drummer and no plans to perform live. There is nothing to say we could never have a drummer, should an appropriately necrotic and unspeakable individual become available. If we got a drummer, we could think about live shows, but not before. That is not, however, something that we spend a lot of time bothering to consider.

CoC: Your sound currently conveys an unbelievable amount of aggression at times. How do you see that evolving? Will you strive for even greater brutality, or try to diversify your sound?

V: We have already recorded material that is far more violent than anything we have so far released. Until the world is cracked in two and sent crashing into the sun, there is always room for improvement. Basically we will do whatever the fuck we want to do. At the moment, that includes insanity and barbarism. We would never try to do something, we would just do it.

CoC: The same can be said about your vocals: some of the most desperately hysterical and harsh I've ever heard. Do you still have vocal chords as such?

V: Just about. A sound guy once asked if I had a distortion box in my throat. The whole point of the singing is to get across the sound that's in my head. It drives me fucking mad because I can't get away from it, so when it comes out it's pretty fucking harsh. "Desperately hysterical" is probably a good description.

CoC: How pleased are you for having _The Codex Necro_ released through Mordgrimm? Do you believe they might be the most appropriate label for Anaal Nathrakh, given their profile?

V: Their performance in the UK has been very good. Outside the UK I don't think there has been a proper release, so better distribution could be needed. Nihil, who runs Mordgrimm, seems to have a good understanding of the necro spirit, and that is what is necessary.

CoC: You state that "humanity is cancer". Would you like to elaborate on that?

V: To launch into a rant here would seem predictable. Suffice to say this: generally speaking, what is cancer? It is a growing collection of undifferentiated cells that by itself does little except attempt to perpetuate itself. The byproduct of its existence and its trying to further its fundamental uniformity is to suffocate and destroy everything around it and ultimately itself simply by existing. In virtually its entirety, and by virtue of the wasted possibility it represents, it deserves only to be exterminated. That is what cancer is.

CoC: May I ask what you think about the events that took place in New York on September 11th?

V: And give blinkered, ignorant maggots yet another excuse to hurl abuse at us? People who are so stupid that they can't even understand to whom I'm referring when I use the term "blinkered, ignorant maggots"? No. We'll keep our silence and they can keep their pathetic worlds.

CoC: What would you like to see happening in the world during 2002?

V: We would like to become independently wealthy. The rest of the world can go fuck itself. It would be good to be drunk long enough to get away from all the shit that seems to coat everything.

CoC: How do you imagine the world will be like ten years from now? And when you are in your old age, assuming you live that long?

V: "Assuming you live that long". Thanks for the vote of confidence. It's not an assumption I share either. I don't think about the future. I have an irrational sense that something horrible is always about to happen -- a lot of people do, so I'm told -- and when I try to picture the future, all I see is black. The only certainty is oblivion.

CoC: Titles such as "Insipid Flock" and "Human All Too Fucking Human" seem to speak for themselves, but what exactly is the "paradigm shift" that you also mention?

V: Any given operative paradigm is the framework within which everything operates. For example, in the philosophy of science, it has been said that science can exist within the current paradigm -- e.g. working with and manipulating data within accepted and generally understood ways of thinking -- but can also step outside that paradigm and force a paradigm shift. An example of this could be the shift beyond Euclidean geometry whereby it was realized that despite theoretically being equidistant along their entire length, "parallel" lines would eventually cross if extended far enough through space due to the fact that space itself was fundamentally curved. Geometry operating under the Euclidean paradigm could not account for theories such as this -- a paradigm shift occurred to a way of thinking that could accommodate the "new reality". This form of realization forces people to reassess the suppositions upon which they base their actions, and to reorient existence in some way. The "Paradigm Shift" we describe is one of everything toward annihilation.

CoC: "Submission Is for the Weak" is one of the album's most punishing tracks. I have to say the opening line and the attack that follows is quite remarkable. Any comments on that track?

V: Yes, it's probably my favourite song from the album too. So savage you kind of go "Fuck!" when it comes in, but it has depth beyond simple savagery. Plus the vocals are especially unpleasant. I don't think there is anything else that sounds much like it.

CoC: Re-recording "Supreme Necrotic Audnance" and "The Technogoat" from your demo CD was a very wise decision, in my opinion. Are you pleased with the results, do you think those two songs benefited from this?

V: Yeah, we know how to get better sounds now, plus the original version of the first track had a fuck up on the tape. "The Technogoat" is a lot faster and more violent too, which is always a good thing. Plus it has the section somewhere in the middle of probably the most inhuman vocals I've done so far. We also did an intermediate demo of that song and one or two others that hasn't been released, with a different guitar sound.

CoC: The last couple of tracks seems to be recorded at a lower level than the rest, which is quite unfortunate. What happened there?

V: If there is any difference, it's just because it was difficult to mix them. Real necro can be hard to control. You're lucky we could force any of it on to the CD at all.

CoC: The word "necro" is quite ubiquitous in Anaal Nathrakh's discography. In what ways would you say it describes your sound and attitude?

V: Necro needs no explanation. There are those who possess and understand it, and there are those who do not.

CoC: Why the name V.I.T.R.I.O.L., by the way?

V: It means sulphuric acid, which is perfectly appropriate for me and what I do in Anaal Nathrakh. Corrosive, and based on elements which stink of rot. Plus it is an obscure reference to the Philosopher's Stone which has a perverse relevance to me. That I won't go into.

CoC: Whilst visiting the current Anaal Nathrakh website, I found a prominent advert for a website that lets you search for old highschool classmates throughout the US. Care to comment on the irony?

V: Erm, what? Ah, yeah, the Geocities adverts that pop up. Schoolfriends, film adverts, pictures of Britney Spears, all sorts of shit comes up. I think she would have to be the most ironic thing that could possibly be on our site, as she is the absolute opposite of what if anything we are about. Worse still, she appears to "stand for" what she represents (apple pie, sex only after marriage, lack of drug abuse, etc., etc.) whereas we both despise what she represents and reject the idea of standing for anything at all. Then again, the quantity of pictures of her that are around must lead to individuals somewhere out there who would love to jack her up, beat the shit out of her and fuck her till she was dead. So maybe there is some balance in the world to an extent. At least the adverts disappear after a few seconds...

CoC: The final words are yours...

V: The world may think it has seen the heart of necro, but it has not. There are further depths to be plumbed, and we will scrape them clean of vile shit and serve it up, that the maggots might feast. Unspeakable, violent nihilism, rampant. That is what we will create. Be ready, for the next lump of necro vomit is soon to come...

(article submitted 12/4/2002)

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