Anaal Nathrakh

Domine Non Es Dignus

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Like Poland's Behemoth or Australia's the Amenta, Anaal Nathrakh bring a near-industrial, highly mechanized precision to their fast and violent black metal (mostly resultant from a hybrid human and drum machine match-up), and like Norway's Emperor in their latter days, they also add clean vocals into a churning maelstrom of non-stop, orchestrated madness. Oh, and they do it really well! Of course before we get to any of that good stuff, there's a nails-scratching-on-blackboard intro brilliantly called "I Wish I Could Vomit Blood on You...People" to get out of the way, and serve as notice that perhaps this whole "soundtrack to Armageddon" mission the band claims to be on shouldn't be taken quite so seriously. Whatever the case, ensuing bloody mayhem like "The Oblivion Gene," "Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light," and the devastatingly good "To Err Is Human, To Dream -- Futile" lacks nothing in terms of vicious and convincing execution...emphasis on "execution". Rather, they generally prove as entertaining as their titles, and, in the case of album highlights "Do Not Speak" (featuring surprisingly musical guitar patters), the Celtic Frost-quoting "Procreation of the Wretched" (replete with terrifying shrieks), and "The Final Destruction of Dignity (Die Letzten Tage Der Menschheit)" (with a very memorable chorus section emerging from out of the chaos) often astound with their creativity. Really, it isn't every day one can describe a black metal album as immediate, but Domine Non Es Dignus comes as close to accomplishing that feat as anything so extreme-sounding could feasibly be expected to. Which is to say, it's very, very good.

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