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Anaal Nathrakh - "Passion" (CD)

Anaal Nathrakh - "Passion" CD cover image

"Passion" track listing:

1. Volenti Non Fit Iniuria (4:58)
2. Drug-Fucking Abomination (7:27)
3. Post Traumatic Stress Euphoria (1:41)
4. Le Diabolique Est L'ami Du Simplement Mal (3:42)
5. Locus of Damnation (1:01)
6. Tod Huetet Uebel (4:14)
7. Paragon Pariah (3:46)
8. Who Thinks of the Executioner? (3:58)
9. Ashes Screaming Silence (3:58)
10. Portrait of the Artist (1:20)

Reviewed by on April 26, 2011

"...the new Anaal Nathrakh album 'Passion' sees the band producing a far more varied experience that I simply couldn't bring myself to stop listening to."

Anaal Nathrakh is one of those bands that has never released a bad album. Even though the band’s previous effort wasn't as inspired as earlier releases, it was still far better than most metal albums released in 2009. Thankfully, the new Anaal Nathrakh album "Passion" sees the band producing a far more varied experience that I simply couldn't bring myself to stop listening to.

"Passion" sees Dave and Mick return to their black metal roots, while still retaining the clean vocals and experimentation of subsequent albums. "Passion" is less a continuation of the duo's past three albums and more of a reboot of the band's discography, picking up after "Domine Non Es Dignus." Previous albums were focused more on riffs and grooves, but "Passion" relies on raw speed and vocal harmonies.

This creates an album that, while in many places more melodic, is also far more violent and ferocious than the band has been in years. That's not to say that there's no guitar chugging on "Passion;" it's simply used tastefully where appropriate. This throwback to speedy tremolo-picked black metal may have been unexpected, but it's certainly welcomed and gives "Passion" a unique identity among the rest of the band's discography.

The best part about "Passion" is that it's far more varied than any Anaal Nathrakh album before it. Each track stands out on its own and relies on the group's different influences rather than mashing them together into a cohesive whole. For instance, "Locus of Damnation" is an homage to the short bursts of sonic terrorism that characterized early grindcore, while "Who Thinks of the Executioner?" plays up the band's love of noise and industrial.

As far as standout tracks go, "Post Traumatic Stress Euphoria" is the one song that manages to stay in my mind the most. It's clearly the band's heaviest piece since "Pandemonic Hyperblast" - perhaps even surpassing the song that made the band famous - and is sure to be a live staple on subsequent tours.

"Passion" is yet another hit for metal's heaviest band in a long string of successes, and a worthy album to be released upon the tenth anniversary of "The Codex Necro." Ten years after their debut album, Anaal Nathrakh is stronger than ever.

Highs: Stronger black metal infuences, more diversity between tracks, catchy chrouses, and the band is still as heavy as ever.

Lows: The final track is filler that contributes nothing to the album.

Bottom line: Yet another victory for the British duo.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)