Anaal Nathrakh - Endarkenment
Metal Blade
Black Metal, Grindcore
10 songs (41:04)
Release year: 0
Anaal Nathrakh, Metal Blade
Reviewed by Goat

It is very apt for 2020 to deliver us, on top of all the pandemic boredom and misery, a new Anaal Nathrakh album! Smugly striding in from the shadows of closed businesses and ruined lives, Endarkenment is here to tell us off for all that complaining about the band's tired formula, constant grim outlook, and lack of memorability across their recent output. They've shrieked about the impending apocalypse for over two decades, and it's come true at last! So you might expect that the formula works a little better here than it has on prior, non-Corona-era releases, although the formula itself hasn't changed much. Perhaps a little less electronica, a little more melody in the mix? Yet Anaal Nathrakh are still very much the same band, injecting Napalm Death-esque grindcore bile into symphonic black metal pomp, and here they add insult to injury by writing songs such as Libidinous (A Pig with Cocks in Its Eyes). You can view, or happily disregard, the uncensored NSFW album art image here, by the by; that subtitle is accurate.

As ever, the band at least believe in their own message, and deliver it with passion and zeal, meaning that even the more by-numbers pieces such as the opening title track are effective in some way. Hooks are everywhere, not least in the clean-sung choruses, and although the production sounds a bit rawer than it needs to be this is still impressively heavy music, particularly when it allows the more blackened moments time to make their impact, such as in The Age of Starlight Ends or the grimier Beyond Words. Otherwise, there's still a heavy amount of sludgy groove in the mix such as said aforementioned Libidinous, yet this is starting to sound a bit dated and chuggy and doesn't really help make these tracks stand out. Touches like the older melodic death riffs on Feeding the Death Machine are more effective (even ignoring personal taste as best one can) if seeming a little rare. A revitalisation is still sorely needed.

It seems a little churlish to be repeating the same things about this latest collection of infuriority anthems from Anaal Nathrakh, even though the band have been basically repeating themselves. Create Art, Though the World May Perish is a terrific thing to believe, but we are surely stretching the definition of art in Anaal Nathrakh's case considering that even Metallica have made more changes across their last three albums. Still, with such a prolific release schedule then it's to be expected, and as easy as it is to roll your eyes at yet another Anaalian export of extremist ranting and ravings, it must be said that none of their albums are truly bad. Endarkenment is probably one of the better ones when lined up against their post-2010 output and so it can be lightly recommended if you ever liked the band's style and are sorely in need of a soundtrack to this, the most depressing and dullest apocalyptic scenario that we find ourselves in.

Killing Songs :
The Age of Starlight Ends, Feeding the Death Machine
Goat quoted 70 / 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 10 reviews click here
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