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Anaal Nathrakh – The Codex Necro (Reissue)

Anaal Nathrakh
The Codex Necro (Reissue)
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 25 June 2021, 6:44 AM

ANAAL NATHRAKH are a UK based extreme metal band who formed back in 1999.  They have released eleven full length albums to date and several demos and an EP.  As I mentioned in my review of the “Total Fucking Necro” reissue, the band has been combining various elements such as industrial and grindcore to their black metal sound for years now.  After the more black metal approach of “Total Fucking Necro,” the band switched gears for their full length debut “The Codex Necro.”

I enjoy this debut a lot more than their demo days—far more interesting song writing and better composition of songs in relation to what each instrument is doing.  This may not have the band firing on all cylinders like they do now but at the time of its original release in 2001, it was a definite step up from their demos. The production is the most obvious element of the band that is much better this time around.  It is loud, in your face, and dense.  Seriously, this album has such a thick wall of sound that sometimes it goes overboard and comes off as noise.  With that being said, this album is absolutely crushing!  In 2001, I think one would have been hard pressed to find anything this heavy or intense.

Although they still have black metal integrated in their sound, this album is where they started letting different ideas through here and there.  It isn’t as cohesive or confident as what comes afterwards but the sparks of greatness do show up a lot more often here than anything on “Total Fucking Necro.” “The Supreme Necrotic Audnance,” was on their demo album but on here it sounds so much more…encompassing and robust.  As such, it has more defining presence that kept my interest better this time around.  I also noticed a bit more about the song, little intricacies here and there such as the drums raging through briefly when the music stops around the 1:19 mark.  The riffs shine better too and I noticed they do have that some of that unconventional thought behind them that would mark later releases.

When Humanity Is Cancer,” is where the album really gets started in my opinion.  This song is just thick with beefy riffs and sickening vocals.  A cold but efficient industrial vibe races through the song, like a killing machine on a mission.  The speed at which the band can focus and still pull off a song is impressive, to say the least.  A little less than halfway through, the machine gun riffs and drums create a cadence with military precision and almost took my neck off.

Pandemonic Hyperblast,” is as out there as the namesake would have you expecting.  The vocals are ungodly and the song very quickly turns into this one fluid motion that just brings unending speed and pain as it hits you in the gut.  At the 2:43 mark, industrial sounds go off like a bomb and it makes the song seem even more frantic.  I guess there isn’t much here in the way of depth but it is hard to deny the power of the song.

Incipid Flock,” is a standout track because it hints towards their future sound.  The wall of sound is controlled better on this song and the bass holds down a towering foundation.  Ambient sections, such as around the 49 second mark, break up the monotony and provide set up for the return of the band in full force.  Sounds that rival rabid zombies ripping flesh lay on top of the bass, which in turns peaks out from under the riffs.

The final, and title track, has some of the album’s best riffs. I also feel like this one has more going for it from a song writing perspective.  From the variety of vocal sounds/voices, to the way the music blends into each different movement, I felt this is song is closer to more modern ANAAL NATHRAKH. All in all, “The Codex Necro”  is/was a step up from their demo days and laid a solid path for the band to trend upon, that lead them to the masters they are today.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7

3 Star Rating

1. The Supreme Necrotic Audnance
2. When Humanity Is Cancer
3. Submission Is for the Weak
4. Pandemonic Hyperblast
5. Paradigm Shift - Annihilation
6. The Technogoat
7. Incipid Flock
8. Human, All Too Fucking Human
9. The Codex Necro
V.I.T.R.I.O.L. - Vocals
Irrumator – Guitars, Bass, Programming
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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