ANAAL NATHRAKH – Eschaton

The UK’s purveyors of soul-raping black metal unleash another atom bomb of violence and raging brutality with their third album, Eschaton. Eschaton sees the band incorporating more non-black metal elements in the form of a growing grindcore sound (think NAPALM DEATH), more guitar solos, and even some melody and clean vocals. Opening track, “Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes,” sees ANAAL NATHRAKH immediately declaring bloody war as the song rages with all the insane speed and tortured vocals that you’ve come to expect from them. The next two tracks features a chorus of clean vocal lines overlaid over the brutality. But the clean vocals come off as more of melodramatic, power metal version of EMPEROR’s Ihsahn rather than something more serious or dark. “The Destroying Angel” is a prototypical ANAAL NATHRAKH song with its over the top intensity and just straight out extremity. “Waiting for the Barbarians” is a nice nod to DARK FUNERAL as the song captures the trademark DARK FUNERAL tempos and blazing, dark melodies along with the band’s own personal touch. “The Yellow Ring” is demonstrative of the band’s growth over the years as the song displays an epic feel with plenty of twists and turns. ANAAL NATHRAKH continues on the tone set by this previous track with “When the Lion Devours Both Dragon and Child,” but goes for more of an epic feel in the vein of EMPEROR; complete with decadent clean vocal chorus. The final track, “Regression to the Mean,” is a great way to end Eschaton with its combo of noise and brooding darkness. Love it or hate it, ANAAL NATHRAKH are expanding the sound they started with on the excellent, The Codex Necro. Eschaton is quite a turning point for the band and undoubtedly a sign of more to come. Hail Chaos! (Season of Mist Records)

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