Black / death/ extreme metal outfit Anaal Nathrakh are once again back to wreak some more havoc with their fifth full length album In The Constellation Of The Black Widow. Formed in Birmingham England by Dave Hunt (a.k.a. V.I.T.R.I.O.L.) and Mick Kenney (a.k.a. Irrumator) the duo have been flourishing in the underground extreme scene now for over ten years. While their first two albums were pretty much straight ahead, raw black metal their last few releases, including this one have found them branching out from their black metal roots into more of a black/ grindcore, and at times industrial, sounding band.
Although this disc only clocks in at a shade over thirty minutes it is packed to the hilt with some of the most ferocious and melodic sounding metal of its kind. Hunt is the one responsible for the vocal duties in Anaal Nathrakh and he comes at you in an all out layered barrage on the title track and "I Am The Wrath of Gods..." as he veers back and forth between blood curdling screams, guttural growls and tortured howls. He even throws in some clean vox from time to time as well. While all this mayhem is swirling around you, overtop the vicious blast beats Kenney is dishing out an array of scorching riffs and chugging , palm muted rhythms on "Oil Upon the Sores of Lepers" and a surplus of blazing, intricate passages throughout "More of Fire than Blood", "So Be It" and a re-working of one of their earlier tracks "Satanarchrist".
Most of the songs on this album tend run in the three minute range so this one does fly by in a flash, but I have to say that the music is just so savagely brutal and perfectly executed from start to finish that it's not even worth quibbling about the short running time.
In The Constellation Of The Black Widow is definitely one of those albums that makes an instant impact on the listener and I can say for certain that if I had come across this one a little earlier it absolutely would have made it on to my 'best of 2009' list. If this extreme release also managed to elude you in the second half of last year then I'd strongly suggest you seek this one out.
1) In The Constellation Of The Black Widow
2) I Am the Wrath of Gods and the Desolation of the Earth Music
3) More of Fire than Blood
4) The Unbearable Filth of the Soul
5) Terror in the Mind of God
6) So Be It
7) The Lucifer Effect
8) Oil Upon the Sores of Lepers
10) Blood Eagles Carved on the Backs of Innocents