|Artwork by Mick Kenney|
With their seventh full-length, Vanitas, Birmingham, UK's Anaal Nathrakh remind listeners that the number seven plays an important role in the biblical apocalypse. The breaking of the seven seals calls down the four horsemen and sets off a series of cataclysmic events; seven angels blow trumpets that demolish civilization; and seven bowls pour out plagues and judgements on the world.
|Photos by Jo T.|
The duo's familiar banshee-like wails are joined by commanding passages of clean singing that, amidst the fierce yet mournful guitars, come across like apocalyptic heraldry. There is a catchiness to the song structures that occasionally brushes against an industrial influence, but it is the swollen, rotten majesty of tracks like "Feeding the Beast" that defines the album, a feral delight at the fragile and mortal, of how easy things are to ruin. If the world is indeed going to end, Vanitas is a record that not only celebrates destruction, but dances in the ashes.
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