Thursday, August 28, 2014

Anaal Nathrakh

Anaal Nathrakh - Desideratum
Metal Blade, 2014
Genre: Black Metal

1. Acheronta Movebimus
2. Unleash
3. Monstrum in Animo
4. The One Thing Needful
5. A Firm Foundation of Unyielding Despair
6. Desideratum
7. Idol
8. Sub Specie Aeterni (Of Maggots and Humanity)
9. The Joystream
10. Rage and Red
11. Ita Mori

After the mighty "Vanitas" I was pretty excited to see Anaal Nathrakh's return with a new album. I was glad to see the two working together despite being separated by an ocean now. There seem to have been a lot of changes over the years, because Anaal Nathrakh now stands signed by Metal Blade, but I figured their sound wouldn't be affected too much by this. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of great things to say about this album. I think it stands as one of the more disappointing in their career, but it actually could have been fairly decent, which is why I think this is so much more disappointing. It didn't have to be a poor album at all, but as a whole, it rather stands that way.

Long running bands like Anaal Nathrakh aren't always going to release music I like and I absolutely understand their interest in experimenting after so many years. I also understand their choices of experimentation fully, the problem here is that they didn't really work for a few reasons. I'm going to try and explain this to the best of my ability.

Anaal Nathrakh have ventured into the territory of adding far more electronics into their music. This doesn't always turn me off immediately, in fact there are moments where Anaal Nathrakh remind me of the early 2000's when a lot of Black Metal bands started experimenting with this. A lot of the bands back then had more of an industrial feel added in, but this being 2014, Anaal Nathrakh incorporated elements of the ever popular Dub Step style. Now, I absolutely do not like that genre, it just sounds stupid to me, but with an Anaal Nathrakh backdrop it just might work. I totally understand why Mick used the style. It has this chaotic distorted quality that should work within the framework of Anaal Nathrakh's inherent chaos. Maybe this would have worked perfectly on an album as frantic and chaotic as the "The Codex Necro", but that is not the album Mick composed on the guitars. This is the most tame guitar composition I've ever heard from Anaal Nathrakh. It's moody and brooding and often times very heartfelt when we hit those melodic sections. Listen to the melodic section in "The One Thing Needful". Perhaps Anaal Nathrakh would have been better served by borrowing the electronic stylings of 20.SV, to keep that sort of distorted texturing, but in a far more controlled atmosphere. Some of the darker passages of a group like Hocico would have also meshed quite nicely with this slower sound. The songs that don't have any or very little electronics seem to work fairly well. But they don't truly hold up in the writing all the time, sometimes falling into Metalcore elements that are just unnecessary.

Another problem with the recording is where it seems Mick has dropped the guitar tuning even lower. It's running into those realms where it starts to become incomprehensible on the low notes. I don't know if this is in response to all the rage of 8-string guitars from the Djent scene, but it doesn't work with this style. It works with Djent because the low notes on the guitar are usually just single hits, but with Anaal Nathrakh, and Black Metal in general, there is a lot of tremolo picking. Once you get into a certain tuning range the low notes just sound all muddled together and stop standing out at all.

In the end I feel like "Desideratum" has conflicting goals with itself. I think if the band had focused on making a brooding and dark album that sounded huge, rather than trying to insert the elements of chaos haphazardly it may have turned out to be a more successful album. I think if they had focused on that kind of riffing instead of exploring other areas, this album could have pulled itself together as a real cohesive force. Instead this seems to lack direction and some of the compositions seem to lack the stand-out riffing of the prior releases. As the band sorts out direction, if they want to take a shift in their sound, we'll see if they can filter out what works and make a better album next time. I just hope they tend more towards the Black Metal than the core/dubstep found on this release, because that stuff just sounds idiotic in this atmosphere.

Anaal Nathrakh - Vanitas
Candlelight Records, 2012
Genre: Black Metal

1. The Blood-Dimmed Tide
2. Forging Towards the Sunset
3. To Spite the Face
4. Todos Somos Humanos
5. In Coelo Quies, Tout Finis ici Bas
6. You Can't Save Me So Stop Fucking Trying
7. Make Glorious the Embrace of Saturn
8. Feeding the Beast
9. Of Fire, and Fucking Pigs
10. A Metaphor for the Dead

Here we have a new Anaal Nathrakh on the heels of "Passion". The last time this happened it didn't go so well for Anaal Nathrakh and they wound up releasing one of their worst albums in their catalog. I'm happy to report that "Vanitas" is a ridiculously strong album in their catalog. I did have some glimmer of hope for it, since there were some really strong elements on "Passion" and "Vanitas" really takes everything I didn't like on "Passion" and makes it go away.

With "Vanitas" I think Irrumator finally figured out how to make the elements of "In the Constellation of the Black Widow" really work the strong parts of "Passion". This made "Vanitas" as strong as "Eschaton" without making it feel like Anaal Nathrakh were re-treading that album. I think this is the direction the band was really trying to find over the past few years as they desperately tried not to redo things from the first three full-lengths, while staying true to their original foundation in sound. They seem to have given up on trying to make the melodic thing work, and instead have gone more for a haunting Black Metal element. Perhaps this forced the vocal line in a particular direction, but there are very few clean elements on this album. I won't complain, because this really works in  Anaal Nathrakh's favor in the grand scheme of things. The end result is an album that feels huge and dark at the same time.

"Vanitas" is truly a special release. It's been a long time since I've heard an Anaal Nathrakh album that was flawless and I enjoyed every single track. I'm really glad they managed to put this together and had it in them to really write something this consistently solid. Who knows what is in store for us next... but after having analyzed their whole catalog I'm sort of prepared for some decent albums that won't blow me away until another "Eschaton" or "Vanitas" rears its ugly head. However, Anaal Nathrakh make it well worth our wait for these immense gems that are just overflowing with solid material. "Vanitas" brings me back to the days of what made this band so alluring to get into.

Anaal Nathrakh - Passion
Candlelight Records, 2011
Genre: Black Metal

1. Violenti Non Fit Iniuria
2. Drug-Fucking Abomination
3. Post Traumatic Stress Euphoria
4. Le Diabolique est l'Ami du Simplement Mal
5. Locus of Damnation
6. Tod Huetet Uebel
7. Paragon Pariah
8. Who Thinks of the Executioner?
9. Ashes Screaming Silence
10. Portrait of the Artist

Based on the last two albums, I wasn't all that excited with the release of "Passion". I didn't have the highest expectations, I wasn't expecting to be blown away, but I did expect something decent at least. I usually feel safe buying Anaal Nathrakh albums in that regard. As soon as I put this in the player, I felt like something was different. The past couple years seem to have done well for Anaal Nathrakh in the writing department.

Starting with "Violenti Non Fit Iniuria" this really had a different feel compared to the prior releases. A lot of the material feels like Black Metal has been heavily infused into the major aspects of their sound. The very opening of the song is very reminiscent of Behemoth's "Evangelion". "Drug-Fucking Abomination" actually have moments that heavily remind me of Irrumator's other project Frost,which I also thought was pretty well done. It's interesting to see that this song also is over seven minutes in length and probably one of the best on the album, because it is just overflowing with atmosphere. They seem to experiment a bit with track length on parts and have one song that is only a minute long and another that is under two minutes, giving these tracks a sort of Napalm Death styled Grind approach. However, it's really not much of real Grind, because the songs structuring is still heavily Black Metal or Death Metal in nature. There were moments that didn't really work with the writing, but this has some of the strongest material since the days of "Eschaton." When looking at this album deeper, though, I think they should have stuck with an EP. Stretching this to a full-length really weakened it. The only track I, outright, didn't like was "Tod Huetet Uebel", which features Landfemann, the legendary vocalist featured on Bethlehem's "Dictius te Necare". Unfortunately, I don't think the years have been so kind to his voice and I'm not sure his approach really works with Anaal Nathrakh all that much, to be honest. After this point I feel "Passion" weakens a bit, but I loved the strong start and really thought this added a lot to the Anaal Nathrakh discography at times.

Luckily on "Passion" the good moments really outweigh the bad. I would definitely like to hear more along the lines of "Violenti Non Fit Iniuria", "Drug-Fucking Abomination" and "Le Diabolique est l'Ami du Simplement Mal", which are the finest songs on the album to me. In the grand scheme of things I think this is one of their strongest efforts in a while and absolutely worth getting your hands on.

Anaal Nathrakh - In the Constellation of the Black Widow
Candlelight Records, 2009
Genre: Black/Death Metal

1. In the Constellation of the Black Widow
2. I am the Wrath of Gods and the Desolation of the Earth
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
9. Satanarchrist
10. Blood Eagles Carved on the Backs of Innocents

I remember when I first got this, I wasn't paying as close to the music scene as I normally did. In fact I had outright stopped doing any kind of review process, but when I was flipping through albums in my local music store, I came across a new Anaal Nathrakh. I thought it was quite a short time between albums.... but it was me who had lost track of time and I see that there has been a couple years between releases. This seems to be the best approach for Anaal Nathrakh, I feel that if they don't spend enough time letting ideas distill a poor quality album results.

"In the Constellation of the Black Widow" doesn't really bring us anything new from the camp of Anaal Nathrakh, but it does wrest control from the rather lackluster display found on "Hell is Empty and All the Devils are Here". This also marks a return to Candlelight for the band, which is sort of interesting to have albums released in this disjointed way from labels. Either way this is a step in the right direction from the previous album. I was a little worried at first, because the first song had those melodic moments that show up all over and I wasn't sure if we were in for more of the same. They do show up here more often on this album, but the approach is used a bit more sparingly and the sections with this have more haunting guitar lines than melodic a lot of times. Just listen to "More of Fire than Blood". They also upped their levels of chaos and at times there are reminiscent moments of "The Codex Necro", but these are few and far between. "The Unbearable Filth of the Soul" seems to be heavily influenced by Fear Factory with the way the main riff is laid out, and seems like an attempt to have this album's version of "Regression to the Mean". Fear Factory structuring shows up again with the opening riff of "Oil Upon the Sores of Lepers". I say Fear Factory over the likes of Meshuggah, because it's not as djent sounding and focuses more on the triplet feel.

Overall, this is a decent album. It's a much stronger effort than "Hell is Empty and All the Devils are Here". While there is some return to the chaotic style, this album doesn't feel as edge of your seat intense as their earlier works. I think, at times, Anaal Nathrakh struggles to really find what to do next and is defaulting with experimenting with textures for good or ill. I feel like Irrumator is trying to find the best way to execute the use of melody amidst all the chaos and he hasn't quite nailed that careful balance, so the albums come off sounding far more subdued. There are certainly still some strong moments, but in the end I'm still going to pull out "Eschaton" before putting this on when I'm in the mood for Anaal Nathrakh. "In the Constellation of the Black Widow", while not the best they've ever done, is still a very fair album from the project, which is still very strong compared to many other bands out there. There's really nothing like this band out there and I'll take a fair effort from Anaal Nathrakh way before I start listening to the likes of modern Dimmu Borgir trash.

Anaal Nathrakh - Hell is Empty and All the Devils are Here
Feto Records, 2007
Genre: Black/Death Metal

1. Solifugae
2. Der Hölle Rache Kocht in Meinem Herzen
3. Screaming for the Unborn
4. Virus Bomb
5. The Final Absolution
6. Shatter the Empyrean
7. Lama Sabachthani
8. Until the World Stops Turning
9. Genetic Noose
10. Sanction Extremis (Kill them All)
11. Castigation and Betrayal

Usually when a band releases an album every couple of years with everything being well written they get into a good routine of writing and releasing material. Well, Anaal Nathrakh are sort of breaking that buy releasing an album in the following year after "Eschaton". This tends to send up some red flags as to how rushed the album may have been. In a lot of ways, I really think this album comes off as a bit rushed and on the result for Anaal Nathrakh is actually a less intense and less chaotic album. This album has its moments and certain new aspects work well, but it's not really the same. It's really not a tempering of the material found on the earlier works.

While there are some wonderful riffs on this album, I feel they are few and far between. Instead the music tends to aim for a crunchier and heavier riffing style to create the foundation of the song. The songs will then deviate into a far more melodic sequence where Vitriol tends to sing clean over it. It seems the album is quite formulaic in this respect and I remember feeling a little disappointed in it when I first heard it. Later, I put it on and thought it sounded better, but I was listening to it more in the background and not paying much attention. Apparently that's when I find this album good... when I don't pay attention to it. In analyzing it this time round, I am disappointed in it. It's actually not a great follow-up to "Eschaton". It doesn't have the same level of intoxicating riffing as the prior albums. Songs like "Genetic Noose" show up and give us great atmosphere, but these are few and far between on this album.

Ultimately, Anaal Nathrakh's devotion to melody and formulaic songwriting really marred this album for me. It just doesn't stand out in the discography. I get the impression they opted for heaviness over writing good riffs in many sections of this album. There are great riffs once in a while, but this is very different from the vast collection of great riffs on each of their prior releases. With so much clean singing taking place on this album and the extra melodic guitar lines, we walk away with a release that just doesn't measure up to Anaal Nathrakh's usual levels of intensity and viciousness. The song that works best with the new melodic approach is "Virus Bomb" in my opinion. The only song that comes close to the insanity of prior efforts is the closing track "Castigation and Betrayal" and perhaps this is why people look more favorable on this release. I figure people stop paying attention to a large portion of this album, but it ends on such an intense note, they figure nothing has really changed that much. I bet that's what I thought when I re-listened the second time. In any event, don't expect the same Anaal Nathrakh this time around...

Anaal Nathrakh - Eschaton
Season of Mist, 2006
Genre: Black Metal

1. Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes
2. Between Shit and Piss We are Born
3. Time Wave Zero
4. The Destroying Angel
5. Waiting for the Barbarians
6. The Yellow King
7. When the Lion Devours both Dragon and Child
8. The Necrogeddon
9. Regression to the Mean

After "Domine Non es Dignus" won me back to looking forward to Anaal Nathrakh, I was excited to a see new release imminent on the horizon. Little did I know, at the time, that it would swiftly launch itself into being of my favorite Anaal Nathrakh albums of all time. "Eschaton" really is that good and it truly stands the test of time for me. Further embracing the media's reaction as being one of the most chaotic acts out there "Eschaton" sports album art right out of Chaos Math with Fractal patterns being used all over.

While "Domine Non es Dignus" brought us more experimentation and Death Metal into the Anaal Nathrakh sound "Eschaton" brings us back to a heavier focus of Black Metal. They also really figured out how to manage the level of chaos in their sound so that the songs are both memorable and ridiculously intense at the same time. They do this by really taking care on structuring the fast and slow riffs together. The strange part with Anaal Nathrakh is that the viciousness and intensity is what really sticks out to people and that's what everyone seems to remember hearing. But if you sit down and really analyze "Eschaton" it's really not that fast or intense of an album from a musical stand point. Somehow, Anaal Nathrakh has figured out how to give the impression of utter intensity without actually playing all that intense. It's quite striking, because after "Eschaton" is over its really how you feel about what you just heard. However, there are a lot of atmospheric and haunting parts and the Death Metal riff in "The Destroying Angel" is downright catchy! The clean verse section of "When the Lion Devours both Dragon and Child" is outright melodic, it doesn't even come off as ugly or disgusting. What do we remember though? The intensity, the viciousness, and the vile nature of the album's overall aesthetic. I can't figure out why... and it really isn't all in Vitriol's voice. Certainly his frantic and varied vocal performance helps, but that's not even remotely close to where it all is. Perhaps this is a major reason I love this album... it manages to make something seem intense in a very contradictory fashion to me, it really makes me appreciate what they've developed here. Also, the album closes with "Regression to the Mean", which is an incredibly atmospheric song and a concept from statistics... even though I never found statistically analysis very interesting, the song is amazing though.

This truly is an "Eschaton" for the band. I feel this is where they harnessed their craft in such a measured and well thought out way that it is one of their strongest releases. This really gives off a very catastrophic feel and it truly feels like you just experienced a whirlwind of chaos, this is even the case despite the song closing on the moody and slow "Regression to the Mean". It's a very interesting album and extremely well thought out if you spend time really looking at everything within their system of creation.

Anaal Nathrakh - Domine Non es Dignus
Season of Mist, 2004
Genre: Black/Death Metal

1. I Wish I could Vomit Blood on You... ...People
2. The Oblivion Gene
3. Do Not Speak
4. Procreation of the Wretched
5. To Err is Human, to Dream Futile
6. Revaluation of All Values (Tractatus Alogico Misanthropicus)
7. The Final Destruction of Dignity (Die Letzten Tage der Menschheit)
8. Swallow the World
9. This Cannot be the End
10. Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light

After an EP that I found lack luster, I was beginning to worry that Anaal Nathrakh only had one really great release in them. Sometimes that happens, a band puts out such a devastating debut, they just can't ever seem to overcome that first album. Luckily, Anaal Nathrakh have a lot more to offer than just the one album. Enter "Domine Non es Dignus", which is a very proper follow-up to "The Codex Necro" and actually does make some effort to advance their sound.

Aside from the intro, which I always skip, this is a great album. The intro is just someone throwing up with all kinds of effects put on the recording. It's actually vastly annoying. However, once we get into "The Oblivion Gene" we realize why we've all picked up this album. They've really made some advances from the EP. "Domine Non es Dignus" returns to the intensity of "The Codex Necro", but they managed to create a far more thought out sounding album. It doesn't sound as chaotic or frantic compared to the debut. Here they also begin to back off from the harsh Black Metal assault and infuse a bit more Death Metal into their riffing style and sound. With this they've also infused a level of atmosphere into some of their compositions, which makes for a much more dynamic listen. Due to this "Domine Non es Dignus" doesn't come off as insane and chaotic, instead it feels a bit more tempered and focused. This isn't, necessarily, a bad thing, since Anaal Nathrakh keep a good level of interest in their writing, so it works pretty well in the end. Still, I'm not sure something as uncompromising as "The Codex Necro" would be easy to pull off again. Vitriol's vocals are as menacing as ever and he certainly rounds out his skill levels with many tracks, even including clean vocals in some sections, which we were first introduced to on the EP. There's even one part of "Do Not Speak" where he absolutely nails the vocal style of John Tardy from Obituary, and I've never heard someone hit that tone as perfectly... other than Tardy himself! That was certainly a pleasant surprise.

In the end, while this is not a return to "The Codex Necro" insanity, they do aim to up the powerful nature of their music with this and it hits hard in that regard. They definitely are trying to play around with the balance of the insanity and the more thought out writing approaches and "Domine Non es Dignus" yields quite the experience in this regard. I really have no complains about this album and I think it is one of their finest. I quite enjoy their new approach far more than what they were doing on the EP, so perhaps that's why this stands out a lot for me.

Anaal Nathrakh - When Fire Rains Down from the Sky, Mankind will Reap as it has Sown
Mordgrimm, 2003
Genre: Black/Death Metal

1. Cataclysmic Nihilism
2. How the Angels Fly in (We can Never be Forgiven)
3. Never Fucking Again
4. Genesis of the Antichrist
5. Atavism
6. When Fire Rains Down from the Sky, Mankind will Reap as it has Sown
BBC Rock Show Live 23, March 2005:
7. Human, All too Fucking Human
8. Swallow the World
9. Do Not Speak

I remember when this came out a friend of mine had an original copy of it, so I was able to give it a listen before I purchased it. Initially I thought it was a pretty weak release and it wasn't until years later when I wanted to fill in my Anaal Nathrakh collection that I eventually purchased a copy of this. The version I have is the 2005 edition published by Earache, which includes the BBC show recorded in 2005.

I after "The Codex Necro" Anaal Nathrakh were left wondering what they could possibly do next. They had already marked their footprint on the metal scene, but what could possibly be next. On this release they clearly wanted to keep their core sound there and in many ways this doesn't really deviate much from the original path. I feel like a little more Death Metal has started creeping into their sound a little bit, but in the grand scheme of Anaal Nathrakh, I'm not really convinced this is a great effort on their part. For some reason, things don't sound as insane and frantic. The shift in this quality to their music feels like they've left something truly missing from their sound. My favorite song on here is probably "Never Fucking Again", because it has this wonderful riff that is vaguely reminiscent of "Submission is for the Weak", but it doesn't have the same edge to it... so in that regard it's also a little disappointing. I think in some tracks they were trying to go for a more haunting and dark edge, but it just doesn't fit amidst all the ferocity they try to include from the first album. I think this is certainly the case with the inclusion of clean vocals on the title track. While Vitriol's vocals are, as expected, good even in this regard, it just didn't help this release any.

The bonus section is mostly taken off of "Domine Non es Dignus", but they open with a track from "The Codex Necro". Apparently, Nick Barker and Shane Embury helped out to fill out the performance. These are extremely interesting versions to listen to, because you can really hear how much is done in studio. They do a good job capturing the original sound, but it feels a lot more raw and minimal compared to the original recording. Vitriol's vocals sound just as devastating here, proving he can really pull this kind of material off in a live setting.

I really hope Anaal Nathrakh can find a solid direction for their sound after their immense debut. Some fans may enjoy this, but I think its only good for the die-hards that really need a complete discography. This just doesn't have the same fire as before. I really hope they can get back some of the intensity for the next full-length.

Anaal Nathrakh - The Codex Necro
Mordgrimm, 2001
Genre: Black Metal

1. The Supreme Necrotic Audnance
2. When Humanity is Cancer
3. Submission is for the Weak
4. Pandemonic Hyperblast
5. Paradigm Shift - Annihilation
6. The Technogoat
7. Incipid Flock
8. Human, All too Fucking Human
9. The Codex Necro

Here is the first exposure I've ever had to Anaal Nathrakh, and at first glance I remember thinking it was pretty good. I mostly remember it being outrageously intense. Anaal Nathrakh have managed to bring the foundation set out in the demos into a far more cohesive light. Instead of really choosing a particular direction, they ended up blending a lot of the earlier material together in a sort of immense melting pot. It makes for quite an incredible debut in the grand scheme of things.

Now, I do agree with a lot of reviewers out there who say Anaal Nathrakh isn't really doing anything new. And that is true, they don't have a new take on the riffing in Black Metal or the way instruments are performed, everything is pretty old hat in that regard. However, when this came out I still felt this was incredibly different from anything else I had heard at the time. It really stood out in my mind as being the most chaotically intense album I had ever heard. Track after track of this album is just an unrelenting punishment, and its interesting to note that not all of the tracks are played at top speed. Despite having sections of songs that are quite slow, they always manage to keep up that devastating essence throughout this recording. I feel like this is one of the major missteps in Marduk's "Panzer Division Marduk", for Anaal Nathrakh have released an album that is far beyond the normal levels of extreme. Even though the general performance isn't hugely different, its really the combination of elements that does this album justice. Vitriol's vocal performance is off the charts in terms of frantic insanity. Some songs have me wondering if he's falling on the "Slowly We Rot" approach from early Obituary where he's just screaming and not actually saying anything. That being said, another aspect of the heaviness is generated by the down tuned and crushing guitar tone, which bears resemblance to Death Metal almost. The riffing is almost entirely Black Metal though. Appropriately to add to this insane atmosphere you will a bit sampling from the movie Event Horizon, which is quite apt as being one of the more terrifying movies of its time.

"The Codex Necro" is quite the whirlwind of an experience. To say their debut is a success is an understatement, especially by 2014 as I write this given their well known appeal in the scene. I feel that "The Codex Necro" holds a special place in my mind as a benchmark of intensity. In some ways Anaal Nathrakh would push the envelope further in the future... but they would never really recreate the intoxicating feel of "Submission is for the Weak".

Anaal Nathrakh - Total Fucking Necro
Leviaphonic Records, 1999
Genre: Black Metal

Anaal Nathrakh: 1999
1. Anaal Nathrakh
2. Necrodeath
3. Ice Blasting Storm Winds
4. Carnage (Mayhem Cover)
Total Fucking Necro: 1999
5. The Supreme Necrotic Audnance
6. Satanarchrist
7. L.E.T.H.A.L.: Diabolic
8. De Mysteriis dom Sathanas (Mayhem Cover)
9. The Technogoat
10. Necrogeddon

I don't own Anaal Nathrakh's demos individually, instead I picked up this compilation shortly after hearing their album "The Codex Necro". I missed out on the original pressing of this release as well, but I managed to obtain the Rage of Achilles version, which is much better than the original. The track listing above reflects the Rage of Achilles version. The version I own has the complete two demos with all the cover songs and bonus track "Necrogeddon", which is the pre-cursor of a track later used on "Domine Non es Dignus". After hearing "The Codex Necro" their material quickly became in high demand. To give you an idea of how old this is, the official Anaal Nathrakh website is housed in a geocities location as stated by the booklet!

I'm actually surprised it took two demos before Anaal Nathrakh got a contract, because after hearing the self-titled demo you can tell this band was really onto something interesting. The band is a duo starring Irrumator on all instruments and programming and V.I.T.R.I.O.L. on vocals... whom I will just call Vitriol at this point. Screw all those periods. One of the shocking things on this release is that this has some of the more realistic sounding drum programming for its time. Even though all this technology was being used Irrumator still managed to keep the music extremely raw, hence the title of the compilation "Total Fucking Necro". The self-titled demo actually has a lot of very catchy and groove styled elements to its style, which is not the norm for late 90's Black Metal. The second demo is truly a shining moment for he project... opening with "The Supreme Necrotic Audnance" we hear this band has already evolved in such a short amount of time. They've seriously upped the intensity level and Vitriol's vocal performance is even more menacing than before. Strangely I feel that "Satanarchrist" mellows out the eel of the albums a little bit. It's a far more melodic song and just doesn't follow the punishing atmosphere of the opening track. From here they proceed to perform one of the better covers of "De Mysteriis dom Sathanas" out there. Part of me sort of wishes they would redo this with their more modern sound, but there's just no replacing the raw viciousness of this I think. Vitriol does a great Atilla for a little while, but then falls into doing his own vocal interpretation, which is really what makes this shine. Its one thing to copy, but can you add your own twist? And he certainly does and the result is something far more frantic than the original. It certainly makes for a great atmosphere.

Between the two demos we have a lot of variation for the project. Catchy sections, some more somber piece, and other absolutely punishing and menacing tracks. Everything has great riffing, but I wonder if they can harness all this power they can apparently wield in their sound. It's obviously time for a full-length to be unleashed next, but we'll see what shape that will take. If I had heard these demos first, I would be wondering what the answer to this question would be.

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