ANAAL NATHRAKH DO AS THEY WILL ON 'THE WHOLE OF THE LAW'
'The Whole Of The Law' is undoubtedly one of my most eagerly anticipated extreme releases of the year. It's full length number nine for the Industrial Black Metal/Grindcore duo Anaal Nathrakh, a pretty good output in the sixteen years since the band's inception, originally forming as a raw Black Metal band but evolving to a more towards a Grindcore/Black Metal sound with the release of their second album, 'Domine Non Es Dignus', and finally arriving at the extreme blend that makes up their current sound, which, to my constant amazement continues to maintain the face pummelling intensity whilst becoming more and more listenable and crafted with each subsequent release.
'The Whole Of The Law' is masterminded by Mick 'Irrumator' Kenny and fronted by Dave 'V.I.T.R.I.O.L.' Hunt and the secret to the album, which is such an addictively catchy listen, is that it literally sucks you into it's very midst, drawing you in with regular huge dramatic swathes of extreme melody. There are no half measures on any Anaal album, here more so than previous offerings.
Then add this to the usual, at first glance, disparate elements, that are always present and that are so skilfully and unbelievably pulled together; Dave 'V.I.T.R.I.O.L.' Hunt's stunning and unbelievable vocal range, screams, growls, roars, high and low cleans that verge on operatic at times, a myriad of programming and samples including symphonics on 'We Will Fucking Kill You' that spill out to influence the lead work and opera on 'Depravity Favours The Bold' which contrasts superbly against the very vitriolic vocal delivery on this track and that ever present wave of blackened riffing.
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Then there's the most unnerving sample ever of the nursery rhyme 'The wheels on the bus...' at the end of '...So We Can Die Happy'. These elements are brutally forced together, layering the intensity but the real skill is how this merging still leaves a fully listenable sound, something that so many, particularly Grind influenced bands, fail on.
I do love the whole album; it's their best to date but there's always a track which captures my imagination that little bit more and this time it's 'In Flagrante Delicto', the intense and rapid blackened riffing, looped with industrial samples, the catchy cleans against the growls, gutturals and vitriolics and the closing growl turned scream where I really have to close my mind to the intent behind it. It's just superb!
There are also two bonus tracks; one of 2011s singles, the harrowingly superb 'Man At C&A' and the equally excellent 'Powerslave' where rage and mayhem make way for a burst of clean midpoint lead work, but Anaal Nathrakh are never short on surprises.
The cover art for 'The Whole Of The Law' comes from William-Adolphe Bouguereau's, 1850s painting of 'Dante And Virgil In Hell', adding a touch of sophistication to the brutality. The album is available from Metal Blade Records as CD, 12" vinyl or coloured vinyl and in digital format from Bandcamp. Buy it, you won’t be disappointed! It's available from Amazon for just £9.99 right here.