ANAAL NATHRAKH - Passion CD
Genre: Black Metal/Grindcore
To be totally honest with you, and I'm as honest as the day is long, I thought ANAAL NATHRAKH's last release 2009's In the Constellation of the Black Widow was an uninspired frisbee. It was background industrial noise for the sake of the office cubicle dwelling metal fans whose lives literally suck and look just like the two guys (Dave and Mick) in this band. It was a continuation of the mindless noise this duo had been putting out for quite a while. Yes I know I'm in the minority as far as general opinions about those releases go but it shows that most reviewers are mindless sheep who go along with the herd (aka: the music media) as long as they can still get a good sodomizing. To me their music appreciation abilities and critical thinking is like clicking the "like" button on Facebook. Now don't get me wrong since I have a few ANAAL NATHRAKH releases that I've actually given praise to albeit they are earlier releases. So to my surprise this English duo somehow found their way back to their blackened days of yore and kept their experimenting streak at bay on Passion. Well it makes sense since their early releases were passionate embraces of two genres Black Metal and Grindcore.
Of course opener "Volenti Non Fit Iniuria" had me looking at my wall for a nice spot to fling this dink into. That had more to do with V.I.T.R.O.L. aka: Dave Hunt's clean vocal annoyances then the sounds played by the act's musical mastermind Mark "Irrumator" Kenny. Yes Hunt's clean vocal delivery grates on the senses unless he's sounding hoarse like the screams of a drowning man. Most of the time his harsh vocals are brutally blood curdling as long as he's singing a damm song and not providing a vocal back drop to a proverbial noise fest for the numb skulls with short attention spans. It wasn't until the second cut "Drug-Fucking Abomination", which is like seven and a half minutes of AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED in corpse paint, that I stopped thinking about tossing this dink and enjoying the destructive beauty of it. Passion is a slight step up from their 2004 full length Domine Non Es Dignus which relied on pure speed and blackened harmonies. With the exception of "Drug-Fucking Abomination" most of the cuts on here are short blasts with even shorter grinding interludes. "Le Diabolique Est L'ami Du Simplement Mal" is definitely a standout with it's twisting of blackened atmospheric melody and sheer terror grind with Hunt screaming as if he was being boiled in oil.
Probably their most blackest moments are far behind em and now it's overwhelming brutality all the way. "Paragon Pariah" is a perfect example as if two bands were in one practice space competing for notice. Obviously the Grind elements overwhelm everything dark plus with slash and burn cuts like "Locus of Damnation" along with "Post Traumatic Stress Euphoria" there's no choice but to give in to it. I will say "Who Thinks of the Executioner?", which comes towards the end of the release, is where their past efforts were perfectly recaptured. From that point on everything else was lost in a blur. Overall Passion is much better than anything I've heard from ANAAL NATHRAKH in years. There are times when they fall back on their present characteristic industrial noise approach but that simply keeps the album varied. Since I survived the keyboard like clicking insanity of the trigger drums and Hunt losing his mind like an over worked office cubicle drone on "Tod Huetet Uebel" then maybe all is not lost with my appreciation of this band.