Ever since their early days Anaal Nathrakh have carved out a unique identity for themselves in the extreme metal landscape. Albums like Desideratum and The Whole of the Law both showcased well the modern incarnation of the band’s horrific assault, melding apocalyptic melody and intense brutality like it was the most (un)natural thing in the world.
So, if you’re familiar with the band, you’ll likely know what to expect from A New Kind of Horror. The question then becomes, is it any good? Hell yeah it is!
Lasting a blistering 33 minutes this is one of the shorter releases from this notable band, which in my experience generally means one of their better ones too. Why? Well, the shorter the song, the nastier it usually is, and A New Kind of Horror is nasty through and through.
This is scathing, terrifying extreme metal, based on the ugliest side of black metal, thoroughly corrupted by the worst kind of filth, and peppered with industrial harshness, horrific melodies, and strikingly epic clean singing. The latter have always stood out in Anaal Nathrakh’s work. By description alone – almost power metal-style clean singing layered on top of hyper-aggressive destructive music – it seems like it should sound jarring or like it shouldn’t work, but it always does, and is one of many things that this very individual and charismatic band do very well.
A New Kind of Horror is a multifaceted beast, full of grim layers and taking in many different aspects of extreme metal – death metal, grindcore, etc. There’s even a very tasty guest slot from the singer of Bleeding Through on Vi Coactus, which is great to hear.
This is a very dark album, theme-wise, as you would probably expect. It’s thoughtful and brooding behind its violent exterior, meditating on the horrors of the world and reflecting them back at the listener, while providing no answers, only an intensity of vision.
The songs are well-written and bore into your brain like an unwelcome yet strangely enjoyable drill. Catchiliy intense, or intensely catchy – or both – A New Kind of Horror is one of the strongest additions to the band’s considerable discography.
Very highly recommended.