A new ANAAL NATHRAKH album is always a joyous occasion – if joyous means the same as the sensation of having your face battered off by a shovel. With each release, the band get ever closer to reaching sheer black metal perfection and The Whole of the Law is no different. Opener The Nameless Dead, unsettlingly eases you into what promises to be a brutal circus of horror and corruption. With V.I.T.R.I.O.L’s signature screeches and Mick Kenney’s distinct instrumentation, we’re soon in familiar territory, but as soon as Depravity Favours the Bold screams in, all sense of safety is blown out of the water. So this is what being winded by music feels like.
The brutality never lets off but ramps up tenfold in the gloriously lethal Hold Your Children Close and Pray for Oblivion, which sees the inclusion of a brief electronic element which throws your mind back to the days of TED MAUL (remember them?). We Will Fucking Kill You threatens to do exactly what it says on the tin, never has a song made you think about taking out life insurance.
This album can only be described as the aural equivalent of having your face pummelled into the dust at 100mph. V.I.T.R.I.O.L’s high screech on Extravaganza makes you crave for their days in MISTRESS. But forget other bands, heck, no one compares or comes close to the sensory assault ANAAL NATHRAKH unleash on their listeners.
Of Horror and the Black Shawls has a delicious gothic twang to it with a ghostly choir lurking at the back of the mix. It brings the album to a dramatic and chilling close. If your ears and music device are still in one piece after listening to The Whole of the Law, then you’ll be sure to crawl through the detritus all over again.