Anaal Nathrakh

Edison Lot, Baltimore MD, May 24

Anaal NathrakhEdison Lot, Baltimore MD, May 24
Photo: Natalie Zina Walschots
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These English extreme metal wizards are an emotional paradox. There are many other bands that are as relentlessly, unapologetically negative, to be sure, revelling in their bleakness, but very few seem to enjoy that nihilistic bleakness as much as Anaal Nathrakh, turning it into a strange, misplaced affection. Frontman Dave Hunt bestowed a mighty compliment on the MDF crowd, telling the audience "I hope none of you die on your way home, and that is unusual for me."
 
As well as being an unapologetic misanthrope, he is a rare performer, with an uncanny ability to switch instantaneously between unholy shrieks and mellifluous clean singing that is quite frankly witchcraft, made even more unfathomable by his dry, calm between-song banter. The ferocity of their set bled into the crowd's reaction, and one of the hottest, sweatiest and most sun-drenched pits of the weekend opened at the band's feet.
 
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