Anaal Nathrakh – A New Kind of Horror

With song titles like ‘Mother of Satan’ and ‘Obscene as Cancer’ its easy to understand that an Anaal Nathrakh album is something that needs to be in your heavy metal rotation and A New Kind of Horror (Metal Blade) is worthy of that distinction.

Maybe because I’m old enough to remember browsing the shelves of record stores and more importantly video rental shops (preferably of the mom and pop variety), I understand the importance of cover art/presentation. If I’m aimlessly wandering through the aisles and I see the cover art for Lucio Fulci’s Zombie and let’s say Nightmare Beach, I’m renting Zombie. Same applies for Anaal as ‘Mother of Satan’ sounds metal as fuck. And once A New Kind of Horror wraps up it doesn’t disappoint.

‘The Apocalypse is About You’ and ‘Obscene as Cancer’ quickly establish that the Anaal Nathrakh you know and trust is not going anywhere. Dave Hunt’s pained shrieks still paint the same violent landscapes on top of Mick Kenney’s coked-up Black Metal riffs and fire-bombing blasts. And Anaal still hasn’t ended its affair with industrial elements as those are prevalent in the souped-up Cradle of Filth stylings of ‘Vi Coactus’ and haunting choir samples of ‘Are We Fit for Glory Yet? (The War to End Nothing).’

But perhaps the most interesting musical wrinkle of A New Kind of Horror is its embrace of heavy grooves and staccato rhythms. Both ‘The Horrid Strife’ and ‘Forward!’ (going deep into the industrial) trade-in beats per minute in exchange for headbangingly heavy riffs and groove. ‘New Bethlehem/Mass Death Futures’ brilliantly mixes black metal blitz with Obsolete era Fear Factory drum/guitar lockstep all while sprinkling in Dimmu Borgir’s flair for keys and atmosphere. On paper it may read like musical turducken, but somehow in Kenney’s diabolical hands it all makes perfect sense.

Since I started this review reminiscing on video stores and horror flicks I’ll let you in on a secret. On my first listen of A New Kind of Horror the totally fucked Nicolas Cage film Mandy quietly played in the background. Let’s just say that it may work as the best visual aid to go along with Anaal Nathrakh.