Anaal Nathrakh - In The Constellation Of The Black Widow
Black Metal, Grindcore
10 songs (34:35)
Release year: 2009
Anaal Nathrakh, Candlelight
Reviewed by Goat

I’m going to make myself unpopular immediately from the start of this review and say that I prefer Anaal Nathrakh’s earlier, gnarlier releases to the slightly more melodic turn they seem to have taken since Eschaton. Would someone please explain why a band that musically expresses complete and total fuckin’ necrogeddon, the death of everyone on the planet and the grinding of all gods’ bones to dust, has to have catchy sing-along choruses that come from some nightmarish alternate universe where Emperor continued to release albums after Prometheus? Songs such as Shatter The Empyrean from 2007’s Hell Is Empty And All The Devils Are Here are a far way indeed from the perfection set on Anaal Nathrakh’s debut album, the likes of The Technogoat being perfectly brutal and epic enough, as well as surprisingly catchy and enjoyable if you’re the sort of person that listens to bands heavier than 3 Inches Of Blood.

Not to piss on Anaal Nathrakh’s funeral parade of eternal boot-face interaction, but where Do Not Speak’s chorus reacted perfectly with the miserably grandiose madness surrounding it, more recent songs seem to be catchy for the sake of it. Now, frequent readers will know of my penchant for catchiness in music as well as my desire for my favourite bands to progress musically, but Anaal Nathrakh have really not progressed at all since Domine Non Es Dignus, my favourite album of theirs, and whilst I enjoyed Eschaton and Hell Is Empty... for what they were, they weren’t the planet-eating monsters that the band’s first two albums were.

So, Anaal Nathrakh are about to release their fifth album, and first impressions of In The Constellation Of The Black Widow seem to be that they’ve taken exactly what people like about them – Black/Grind brutality, batshit insane screaming and big catchy epic choruses – and done it all over again, but further listens reveal that the brutal bits are that bit heavier and the screams more manic, as well as there being fewer clean-choruses. Maybe it’s just that I have the volume turned up and am completely and unashamedly rocking out to it, but the likes of The Unbearable Filth Of The Soul seem exactly what Napalm Death would do were they to make a Black Metal album, whilst Terror In The Mind Of God could be from The Codex Necro, it’s so rabidly furious. Even the expected melody is buried back beneath the riffs and beats, silenced by the unspeakable anger expressed.

There are no real surprises. Although Oil Upon The Sores Of Lepers opens with a chuggy riff that many will wince at and claim the band have sold out and gone Metalcore, it’s really not that bad and soon develops into the sort of disgust-ridden blast that we’ve come to expect from the pair. Interestingly, the Black Metal elements seem to be at the forefront for this outing – listening to Satanarchrist, it’s hard not to feel that elusive spine-shiver as the torrent of sounds washes over you. It’s a fair bet that if you liked Anaal Nathrakh’s distinctive sound up until now more will be welcome. Even if you find it to be getting rather old, there’s still much here to enjoy. Although the opening (title) track’s clean-vocalled chorus sounds oddly strained at first, it’s a great song, and the album never falters from then on, although you may need a few listens to distinguish, say, More Of Fire Than Blood’s bilious ranting from the other tracks’. Sometimes, lack of change can be a good thing, and although you’re increasingly less likely to sit down and listen to the band’s discography all in a row, Anaal Nathrakh are as enjoyably apocalyptic as ever, short, sharp, and as refreshing as a cold shower on a hot day.

Killing Songs :
In The Constellation Of The Black Widow, More Of Fire Than Blood, The Unbearable Filth Of The Soul, The Lucifer Effect
Goat quoted 83 / 100
Other albums by Anaal Nathrakh that we have reviewed:
Anaal Nathrakh - A New Kind of Horror reviewed by Goat and quoted 65 / 100
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
To see all 9 reviews click here
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