(This is DGR’s typically detailed review of the new tenth album by Anaal Nathrakh, which will be released by Metal Blade on September 28th.)
It’s pretty safe to say at this point in the career of Anaal Nathrakh that the group have developed a steady formula and groove that is instantly recognizable as their music whenever you hear it, making them one of the easiest groups in the world to pick out of a playlist. You could even say that they really established that sound about four albums ago and since then have been slowly iterating upon it, offering up interesting new twists and deviations, but preserving the overall hallmark of “everything at once, at 110% volume, and as fast as we can make it go”.
As far as the group’s newest album, A New Kind of Horror, is concerned, absolutely nothing on that front has changed. In fact, it may be the most recognizably Anaal Nathrakh disc to date, and that comes after the paint-peeling, screeching madness that was The Whole Of The Law and the bruiser that was Desideratum as the most immediate examples. On the other hand, at this point, with the band having explored so many different avenues for extremity and having cranked up every single element of their sound to the maximum (including electronics, as evidenced on Desideratum), we find A New Kind of Horror in an interesting place — because it is an album that very much pushes against the boundaries of what defines an Anaal Nathrakh disc, more so than its predecessors.
And so half the interest in the tale of A New Kind of Horror lies in just how the group have chosen to differentiate it from its predecessors, and how they’ve done that while keeping up the absolutely relentless clip that they’ve had before.