British band Anaal Nathrakh was created to be perfect soundtrack for the end times, and Mick Kenney and Dave Hunt did not let down that promise since the start of the band in 1999. Some people have recently accused Anaal Nathrakh of repeating themselves and sounding the same, which is something I can only laugh at. They are one of, if not the most brutal band on the entire planet – what’s to change there? Why change the original concept if it isn’t broken? I never had that kind of problem with Anaal Nathrakh, but paradoxically their 9th album entitled The Whole Of The Law brings some twists and turns in their well-known formula, in order to avoid repeating and still stay fresh for the listeners and in the same time not moving one inch from their tried and true music. The basis of the album is of course maniacal black metal, I would even say that the music in that regard is very similar to their first couple of albums which means we are dealing here with Mayhem like black metal mixed with grinding chaos. The difference is that The Whole Of The Law has fantastic production work which allows all the details in music to shine freely. On top of that they have added large doses of torturing electronics which goes very well with their metal, but there are some additions which sounds totally new in their formula. For example, track Hold Your Children Close and Pray for Oblivion possesses some heroic, even power metal like melodies while on the other hand Extravaganza features vocal delivery which is so similar to King Diamond that I find hard to believe that he is not guest vocal on the album. Despite these more melodic sections, The Whole Of The Law sounds so insanely aggressive that I even cannot believe it – Anaal Nathrakh were always famous for that segment of their sound but this time they have even surpassed themselves. The whole vibe of the release is also pitch black, not a single grain of hope emanates from these songs; I have read somewhere that Mick announced this album as their most brutal one and I thought that this is usual musician’s exaggeration but after listening to it I think that I even can agree. All in all, it is very impressive that the band at this stage of the career has the strength to deliver such a strong album. Definitely recommended to all the fans of extreme metal.
- Metal Blade Records CD
- Trifunovic Slobodan (8,5)