Extreme metal at its best

British extreme metal duo Anaal Nathrakh present their eight full-length studio album ‘Desideratum’. The Brits have released their albums with dependable precision over the last 13 years. In this time the bands has evolved from a raw black metal sound to a more elaborate extreme metal style with influences ranging from black metal to grindcore and death metal to industrial metal. With ‘Desideratum’ composer Mick Kenney and vocalist Dave Hunt continue on this path.
The album starts with the unholy screams of ‘Acheronta Movebimus’ and a black metal riff that disseminates a dark and sinister atmosphere right from the start. The underlying industrial groove builds the kind of contrast that is so typical for Anaal Nathrakh’s music these days. The second song ‘Unleash’ is a more straight forward high-speed blackened death track. Dave Hunt shows the variety of his vocals here for the first time on this album. He ranges from guttural screams to croaky growling to clean vocals that again come at a point in the songs where you wouldn’t necessarily expect it. This is one of the trademarks of Anaal Nathrakh’s sound on this album again. The turns and twists keep the record fresh and interesting.
All eleven songs on ‘Desideratum’ are on the same high level of quality and roam through the different styles of extreme metal. The album is fast and aggressive which is a perfect foundation for the angry lyrics that pretty much address everything that goes wrong in this world from the existence of the human race itself to child abuse and everything in between. The drums are again at lightning speed but sound a bit too mechanical over the duration of the eleven tracks.
Highlights among the tracks are hard to find as all tracks have their different strength. Some of the songs that stand out are ‘The One Thing Needful’, with some of the fastest part of the album and a catchy chorus and the title track ‘Desideratum’ with its killer riff and some of the most inhumanly screams Dave Hunt has ever created. ‘The Joyride’ is one of the angriest songs on the record that surprises with some unexpected sweeping melodies.
All in all Anaal Nathrakh has released a strong album with ‘Desideratum’ that will cement their place in the champions league of extreme metal. If you liked their previous records ‘Vanitas’ and ‘Passion’ then you will find lots to enjoy on ‘Desideratum’
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