Review: Anaal Nathrakh – Domine Non Es Dignus

Posted: December 1, 2013 in Reviews
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Anaal Nathrakh are the epitome of the twisted nihilistic flame that produces the best in black metal. They define uncompromising, each album producing walls of triggered blastbeats, positively insane vocals and rasping black metal riffs. They embody their concept of mankind’s extinction in the face of machine dominance fully, truly sounding like the coming of the Apocalypse.

Their second album, ‘Domine Non es Dignus’, released in 2004, shows the full power of their abilities. I mean, the opening intro track is called ‘I Wish I Could Vomit Blood on All You People’. What do you expect after that, I mean really? It is a more ambient, industrial piece before the full on assault begins with second track ‘The Oblivion Gene’, a raging torrent of a track that encompasses all that makes this such an excellent album; razor sharp riffing, impenetrable blasting and tortured, shrieking howls from vocalist Dave Cunt.

The third track however, ‘Do Not Speak’, is where the band throws us a curveball and prove that they aren’t a one trick pony. Opening with the quote ‘If you want to see the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever’, it tears off with some great blasting and riffs, coupled with screeching and growling before opening up into a monstrous melodic section, complete with grand clean vocals reigning over a blasting hellscape beneath. Imagine if you will, the song as a movie about a battle between the last of human kind and their mechanised enemy. The blasting, fierce sections are the close in shots, right up where the blood and metal fly. The open sections are the moment where the camera shoots up and gauges the massive scale of the event, complete with operatic angel choirs etc. It sounds very cliche I know, but it was the first image in my brain when I heard it.

For me, ‘Do Not Speak’is the benchmark for quality in this album. ‘Procreation of the Wretched’ is a more typical black metal attack coupled with more grindcore esque vocals, and ‘To Err is Human, to Dream: Futile’ is a more subdued beast, reminiscent of Satyricon’s more regal moments. It is however Emperor that Anaal really seem to emulate, with the huge vocal arrangements on some tracks, especially some of the falsetto work in ‘Revaluation of All Values’ which is very Ihsahn-like. Its not a bad thing, and it is good to see them taking a more mature black metal approach than just the riff/blast/shriek combination that has afflicted a lot of the black metal scene. In fact ‘Revalution…’ actually possesses a very groovy riff section at the 3 minute mark before exploding into craziness yet again.

The album continues in such a destructive manner, destroying everything in the wake of ‘The Final Destruction of Dignity’, pounding the remains mercilessly into the ground with ‘Swallow the World’ and then producing yet another melodic break with ‘This Cannot Be the End’. Closing with the Dylan Thomas-inspired ‘Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light’, Anaal Nathrakh continue to rally the listeners to fight the coming dehumanisation of the world and to fight mankind’s extinction. You could almost imagine the band being asked to write the music for the new Terminator movie, as it would sit in perfectly with the theme.

If you are a fan of such nihilistic, destructive music, Anaal Nathrakh are the band for you. I prefer their later work personally, especially ‘Eschaton’ and ‘Hell is Empty and All the Devils are Here’, but ‘Domine Non es Dignus’ is as devastating as this band can be. A work of uncompromising brutality, rage and quality from a band who are probably going to be the voice of the Apocalypse.

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