Anaal Nathrakh’s newest mindfuck Passion is just about one of the most horrifying records you’re going to let infect your little brain this side of Leviathan’s Massive Conspiracy Against All Life. But while Leviathan generally use the rawness of Black Metal to invoke terror, AnaalNathrakh do so by combining said rawness with a pummeling of industrial violence. Usually I do not like bands mixing electronic elements with Black Metal, being one of those elitist purists people love to hate, but occasionally a band use this to add something, rather than just throwing it in for the sake of throwing it in (after all, how many bedroom Black Metal bands have made a good record or two utilizing an old shitty drum machine?).
On Passion, the British duo combine blazing Black and Death Metal riffery, brutal drum machine assaults, raw and clean vocals, and an overall atmosphere of hatred and violence. At first the clean vocals threw me off a little, but they seemed to make more sense after the second and subsequent listenings. Still, at times it seems unnecessary, and this would be my only real gripe about the record. There’s certainly nothing pretty about the clean vocals, and if there was, it would certainly be countered by the repugnancy of the rest of the vocals.
As no Black Metal should be for the faint of heart, I realize that by merely stating that this is a violent, brutal, nasty, ugly, repellant record I may just be preaching to the corpse-painted choir (incidentally, AnaalNathrakh’ two members do not feel it necessary to wear the stuff), but I know that when someone describes a record that way to me, it at least sparks my interest. And I hope I have sparked yours, as missing out on this record would be a great disservice to yourself.