Anaal Nathrakh + The Atrocity Exhibit

The Black Heart, Camden. 11 August 2018.

London was quite a hubbub of metalheads this evening, what with IRON MAIDEN and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE playing the O2 Arena and the Progmetalmadness all-dayer at New Cross Inn. Two hundred metalheads had chosen to embark instead to the sweatbox that is the Black Heart, Camden for an extra special night – the preview show of ANAAL NATHRAKH’s forthcoming album A New Kind of Horror. Of course a band of this calibre in a venue this small was going to sell out the night so it was a very hot and cramped evening…the perfect environment for some extreme metal carnage. The band always claim to be the soundtrack to Armageddon so we were lucky to survive the set.

Warming up the crowd tonight were the utterly mad THE ATROCITY EXHIBIT. Their sludgy grindcore in the clammy mist made sure everyone felt a bit of crust (see what I did there), but it was in between the band sets which was possibly the most exciting part of the evening. Fans were treated to an entire and uninterrupted playthrough of A New Kind Of Horror over the PA. Lead single Forward! sounded as brutal as ever and the majority of the crowd already knew the words. As the concept is the First World War, the sound effects of the shells expertly added amongst the riffs is just so disgustingly clever and judging by the look on punters’ faces it’s been well received by fans. As I listened to the album I thought the big riffs, bold motifs and general feel were not too dissimilar to Vanitas and I’m absolutely thrilled about that as that album is perfection. It was reassuring to see the rest of the crowd’s approval too. This album is going to absolutely slay.

It was time for a second helping of ANAAL NATHRAKH, this time with the actual band themselves gracing us with their presence. Tonight was being live streamed so things were bound to get rowdy, but tonight was one of those gigs when you end up being covered in someone else’s beer 0.0002 seconds into the set. No one was safe tonight, the whole room was one big pit, complete with a wall of death and numerous stage divers (despite the stage being only one step-up). The band brought out all the fan favourites including Forging Towards The Sunset and More Of Fire Than Blood and treated the crowd to a live rendition of Forward! Considering we’d already heard it tonight it was still like hearing it for the first time.

Flawless is one word to sum up the evening. In a live setting vocalist V.I.T.R.I.O.L sounds as ferocious as ever, confirming my thought that he is one of the most severely underrated extreme metal vocalists out there. You cannot fault him. You cannot fault the music either, Mick Kenney is a musical genius and hearing ANAAL NATHRAH live is like a full on aural assault. Don’t be surprised if A New Kind Of Horror ends up being contender for album of the year.

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