Anaal Nathrakh

When Fire Rains Down from the Sky, Mankind Will Reap as It Has Sown

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Two years on from their landmark debut, Birmingham, England's Anaal Nathrakh (that's simply Merlin's magic charm for "serpent's breath," for you perverts out there) reappeared with 2003's expansively named EP When Fire Rains Down from the Sky, Mankind Will Reap as It Has Sown, boasting six new expressions of industrialized black metal captured with distinctively cleaner fidelity than its predecessor. Some purists actually looked down upon such refinements, but the vast majority of the paying public was only too happy to get its ass kicked by new music from Britain's most daring and promising new extreme metal export in years. And along with the greater attention to production standards, new offerings like "Cataclysmic Nihilism" (which pretty much defined the group's mission statement), "How the Angels Fly In" (a study in controlled dissonance with Aborym's Sethlans Teitan guesting on guitar), and "Atavism" (a relative rocker, featuring vocals by Attila Csihar) sprinkled in greater dynamic variety and slower tempos into the previously unilaterally blastbeaten songs of yesteryear. Have no fear, though, since the relentless title track, the eyebrow-raising "Never Fucking Again," and the absolutely murderous "Genesis of the Antichrist" (a remake of an earlier song originally bearing the band's name) all consisted of totally unhinged brutality, primed to hunt down, kill, and skewer any remote notion of commercial accessibility. Just what the doctor ordered for fans of Anaal Nathrakh, in other words. [This EP's 2006 reissue by Earache Records added three tracks recorded during a BBC Rock Show performance in 2005.]

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