Anaal Nathrakh Eschaton

Having slightly lightened up on the raw, deafening approach of their debut, The Codex Necro, and progressing more so in the vein of their second album, Domine Non Es Dignus, the third addition to the Anaal Nathrakh discography is further evidence that these guys don’t fuck around when it comes to creating vitriolic, ear-splitting black metal. Purists may be somewhat disappointed with the improved sound quality and more prominent melodies, in addition to the nu-metal-sounding riff comprising the verse of "When the Lion Devours both Dragon and Child” or the almost industrial-sounding "Regression to the mean.” To the rest of us, these elements are a refreshing break from a seemingly relentless tornado of evil menace. They’re noticeably more focused while playing with an increasing amount of experimentation and are willing to slow it down, though not much, giving the songs a bit more character, tearing themselves away from their super-extreme roots. There are a few terrorising solos, plenty of fancy guitar work building the songs and a hearty dose of attention grabbing moments amidst the grinding tremolo. Yet again they’ve experimented with short, bittersweet singing breaks that recall the legacy of Ihsahn, and while they don’t last too long they add a clever dynamic to the intimidating demon wails that cover a wide variety of styles. Taken as a whole, Eschaton is another trail blazing accomplishment for this British blitzkrieg. (Season of Mist)