This is it. The end. The culmination of fifty plus years of constant evolution; or, in other words, Anaal Nathrakh‘s Endarkenment could well spell the end for heavy metal as we know it.
Quite simply, I can’t see anybody entering the game now – and certainly nobody already playing – with the sheer chutzpah to pull off something like Endarkenment. Tracks like Beyond Words and Singularity – the two high water marks on an album that in toto looks set to give London’s Thames Flood Barrier a serious run for it’s money – put the opposition to the sword not with the bludgeoning randomness that you might expect, but with a rapier-precise ear and wit that few possess and even fewer can deploy with this sort of relentless, remorseless killing power.
Mick Kenney and Dave Hunt have long been the kings of kitchen sink metal – and they effortlessly retain that crown here with cacophonous noisefests like the grinding Punish Them – but on Endarkenment they refine the modus operandi, adding even more to the mix than has been there before in the shape of some of the most memorable chorus refrains you’ll hear all year in any sort of metal.
That’s not a chorus in the manner of Livin’ On a Prayer, of course; but, in it’s own way, the excellently-monickered Lascivious (A Pig With Cocks In It’s Eyes) has, in it’s superbly memorable own way, the capacity to become something of a catchcry for this generation. If, as the band states, that ‘the world is fucked, and is continually re-fucked by people who have no idea what they are doing’, then Lascivious… could well be the anthem for our own doomed youth. Hi-Ho, hi-ho, it’s off to the deathcamps we go…
Or maybe that honour will fall to album closer Requiem, with it’s closing lead guitar eulogy from Kenney carrying all the pomp and circumstance required of such a thing. Whatever, I repeat again that I just can’t see anyone else on the planet coming up with something as nigh on perfect in terms up extreme metal for a long time to come… the game’s up!
Endarkenment is out now.