The gates of nocturne swing open and the terror strikes from all directions with “Endarkenment”, the title track off Anaal Nathrakh’s soundtrack to the abyss. The interplay of hungry growls and guitar interplay sound as if evil is using echolocation to hunt the listener down. The next 41 minutes of the album are a terrifying horizon to behold.
Anaal Nithrakh means “serpent’s breath” and is taken from the movie Excalibur. The serpent from the stone. The high-pitched screams and the majestic belting from Dave Hunt are versatile in their 11th studio album. Glancing at the track list alone, anyone can surmise Endarkenment may be one of the darkest offerings yet. “Thus, Always, To Tyrants” shows vulgar strength and has a flawless outro to intro with “The Age of Starlight Ends”, also putting an end to the hope of all those astrologists who think planets can give them reasons to be jerks. The song even mentions Mephistopheles, which is a staple in the opaque sphere of black metal. No band is truly metal without mentioning an officer of Hell.
Perhaps a high point of Endarkenment is a starkly profane song entitled “Libidinous (A Pig With Cocks in Its Eyes)” Who or what is libidinous, are the cocks roosters or real phalluses? Anatomy seems to be tested to a contorted level. Either way, the song itself is sneering, porcine, and oozing with tantric juices. It is a lucid tune and keeps the might of the dark going.
While the middle of the album plateaus and settles into the milieu of the album, it heats back with “Create Art, Though The World May Perish”. It is a strangely motivational song title. Create even though death is imminent. Do not bow to status quo. The listener can feel the sacrifice strewn within the sinews of the track, reflecting a humanities teacher going postal. “Requiem” is the most unique selection as it incorporates a slower, nihilistic passage and is almost in the shell of a ballad. The album is bookended nicely.
Superb dynamics, incredible momentum, and wise instrumentation carry Anaal Nithrakh through this album. Along with the Sikth-style riots, it is well worth streaming and bowing before Mephistopheles.
Out now on Metal Blade Records, fulfill your most evil listening fantasies and give into the endarkenment.