Anaal Nathrakh - Eschaton
Season Of Mist
Black Metal / Grindcore
9 songs (35:25)
Release year: 2006
Anaal Nathrakh, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Dylan
Much like Behemoth’s rise to excellence in the extreme metal world from the past few years, Anaal Nathrakh have reached a point in their discography where their black metal roots have become even more overshadowed by branches from other extreme metal genres, and have produced something quite brutal, while still having it retain some monster grooves and odd little quirks.

As I’m sure many fans of this band were when they learned that Anaal Nathrakh’s blazingly violent instrumentation comes from the hands of one musician (Irrumator), I was quite taken aback. On one hand, it is mind numbing to think of all the time and dedication it must have taken to master all the core instruments of a band at such an equally proficient level, that such ass-shredding extreme metal could be so single-handedly produced. However, it almost makes perfect sense that all the lightning fast blast beating, blackened tremolo riffs, and are able to fit so cohesively, since they literally are coming from one mastermind. Vocalist V.I.T.R.I.O.L. is multi-talented in his own right, with his contributions lying within his venomous vocal attacks and nihilistic lyrics. Keeping things interesting by never staying in the same vocal box for too long, V.I.T.R.I.O.L.’s lungs spew forth everything from frantic screaming (which is very reminiscent of Pig Destroyer’s singer, J.R. Hayes), to even a few melodically anthemic choruses.

To get an idea of what these climatic choruses sound like when reached in both Between Shit And Piss We Are Born and When Light Devours Both Dragon And Child, imagine System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian belting his lungs out with raging blastbeats and melodic, yet very fast riffs to back his power up even more. That comparisons may make a few fans raise some eyebrows, but trust me, it works very well here. These melodic sections on the album are few and far between, serving as small uplifting sections on an album that chooses to focus much more on venomous and malicious emotions to give the music that powerful heaviness all metalheads should be able to recognize.

Stylistically, this band is hard to pigeonhole. There are too many grooves to be considered black metal, too much melody to fall strictly under the grindcore label, and way too much intensity to be labeled as industrial. Instead, the band shifts back and forth between these genres in all the songs, creating a dynamic style of extreme music. Take standout track When Light Devours Both Dragon And Child for instance. The opening riff switches between a Fear Factory-ish groove and a speedy lick, which would not seem out of place on a Dark Funeral release. While the verse section of this song is quite simplistic, it causes the groove to be huge. V.I.T.R.I.O.L. chooses to use an interestingly deep and raspy voice, not to scream his head off in blind fury, but to use as an eerie representation of what methodically focused anger sounds like when expressed aloud. Very cool indeed. As for straight ball bashers, listeners need look no farther than opener Bellum Omnium Contra or The Destroying Angel. Aside from a few samples here and there, there is only one song where Anaal Nathrakh’s industrial leanings are fully explored, and that is in the album’s closer (Regressions To The Mean).

Only die-hard black metal fans could disapprove of the excellent production job this album has received. The guitars have a very huge, overdriven tone that is quite nasty, sounding like a war between chainsaws. Surprisingly, the drums overpower neither the stringed instruments nor the vocals. Having said that, they work together with the moderately thick bass sound to give the album quite a rhythmic punch.

Fans looking for the early raw sound of the band found on their debut, The Codex Necro, will be a bit off-put by the headbanging grooves, surprisingly well-placed melodies, and slick production, but make no mistake; Anaal Nathrakh are still quite pissed off with pretty much everything having to do with humans, and show no hesitation in expressing this through some seriously fast, interesting, and brutal metal. Play this album as loud as you can stand it.
Killing Songs :
Between Shit And Piss We Are Born, Waiting For The Barbarians, When Light Devours Both Dragon And Child, Regression To The Mean
Dylan quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Anaal Nathrakh that we have reviewed:
Anaal Nathrakh - Total Fucking Necro reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Anaal Nathrakh - Desideratum reviewed by Goat and quoted 60 / 100
Anaal Nathrakh - Vanitas reviewed by Jaime and quoted 68 / 100
Anaal Nathrakh - Passion reviewed by Jaime and quoted 83 / 100
Anaal Nathrakh - In The Constellation Of The Black Widow reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
To see all 8 reviews click here
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