Anaal Nathrakh – A New Kind Of Horror (album)

Release date: 28th September 2018 || Genre: Extreme metal || Label: Metal Blade Records

Scales Of Justice: Guest reviewer Andrew Mill

World War II has up tempo jazz. Vietnam had Dylan and Hendrix. If you were wondering what will be playing in documentaries 100 years in the future, when Hell sends up it half-robot demons to wipe out humanity, then you needn’t look further. Birmingham’s primary exporters of blackened cyber-grind are back, and they are ready for the kind of fight that destroys a planet.

Whilst providing the “soundtrack to the apocalypse” is a pretty lofty mission statement, they (Anaal Nathrakh) may have actually done it with A New Kind Of Horror. After a longer-than-usual scene setter, Obscene as Cancer bursts through, like the first wave of an unholy invasion through the middle of a busy city. Dave Hunt’s triumphant clean chorus acts as a morale boost for anyone not true to the cause, and gives them no choice but to rally. This runs onto the warhorn thundering across the opening of “The Reek of Fear”, conjuring up a group of possessed Knights Templar, with Rob Halford’s cybernetically reanimated corpse leading them into the fray.

The rest of the album illustrates the horror of distant future conflict effortlessly well. It’s impossible not to imagine a landscape littered with severed limbs and burnt out circuitry. The production on this album is is uncompromisingly loud, but fantastically executed. No track shows this better than Forward!, the entire song a brutal death march, with Mick Kenny wielding both guitar and machine gun at the same time. This is an album from a well oiled machine at the height of their manufacture, as it’s output is near flawless. Its pace and structure are similar to their more recent offerings, but it’s leaner and more efficient. It’s upgraded. This is a career defining output from a band at the top of their game, with very few contemporaries that come close. It’s difficult to imagine how they are going to top this. For now, we can all be grateful that when we’re all being slaughtered by demonic cyborgs at humanity’s end – the soundtrack will be on point.

Grade: A+

Andrew Mill is a geeky dad, hairy mosher, and unintentional grindcore snob. 

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