Anaal Nathrakh - _Eschaton_
(Season of Mist, 2006)
by: Jackie Smit (8.5 out of 10)
There were more than a few frowns when Mick "Irrumator" Kenney unveiled the full-length sequel to 2001's _The Codex Necro_. Melody, clean singing and a notable influence from black metal's one-time antithesis, death metal, all formed a part of the evolved Anaal Nathrakh. _Domine Non Es Dignus_ was by no means the underground equivalent of whalesong, but presented a tighter and more practiced proposition in comparison to the hellish sonic tornado that spawned one of the most anti-social pieces of music in recent memory.

So, after having turned a page creatively speaking, it should come as no surprise that _Eschaton_ does not seek to regurgitate past blueprints verbatim. With Napalm Death's Danny Herrera and Shane Embury drafted into the fold to man drums and bass duties respectively, as well as Mayhem's Attila Csihar making one of many guest turns, songs like "Between Shit & Piss We Are Born" and "Timewave Zero" have an instantly more organic and lively feel. Banished also is the demo-grade production, replaced by a distinctly more textured and accentuated sound.

For the majority, the overall effect of these changes is nothing short of blistering. The melodic sequences and sung chorus-lines remain, but _Eschaton_ also scales peaks of chaotic extremity that leave wanting even the most misanthropic moments on _The Codex Necro_. From the heavy grind of "The Yellow King" to the masterfully hook-laden "When the Lion Devours Both Dragon & Child", this third opus never once stops to let the listener catch his breath. Purists will balk at its increased use of traditional death metal and grindcore pantomime, but truly if ever a soundtrack were commissioned to accompany an impending apocalypse, Anaal Nathrakh would have it nailed down.


(article published 14/10/2006)

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