Anaal Nathrakh live at Manchester Sound Control25th April 2015
Having never seen Anaal Nathrakh live before other than on YouTube and the likes, I was practically bursting at the prospect. Great feedback from a mate who saw them at Damnation only added to the anticipation. Having jumped on the train to Manchester and only having to literally turn the corner from the station to find Sound Control meant there was time for a pre gig and pre interview [I was scheduled to have a chat with Dave V.I.T.R.I.O.L Hunt & beer beforehand. Sufficiently watered it was time to mingle with the crowd to get their take on the event. Stopping to ask a small group of revellers what I could expect from the gig I was told bluntly “FUCKING METAL”. Well I suppose I asked for that didn’t I?. Support came from Ninkharsag and Burial; the former making sure my ears would be reminding me of the 30 mins or so of straight up black metal for some time. The latter I missed due to speaking with Dave. For those of you who know Sound Control the gig was in the basement which kept it close and personal, and I was a little amused when the staff had to keep climbing up a ladder to switch the stage light on and off between bands. I was further amused, by myself this time, at my clearly poor decision to wear blue jeans; I was the only one not wearing black; note to self…
Anaal Nathrakh took to the stage and promptly filled the room with Desideratum opener Acheronta Movebimus segueing neatly into Unleash. The sheer attack that this band have live takes some beating and at the attention to detail is astonishing; credit to both the band and the sound guy. The fans clearly know their Nathrakh, screaming along to Forging Towards The Sunset and In The Constellation of The Black Widow and impressively playing their part in engaging with the immensely talented Mick Kenney. In between songs Dave Hunt offers some insight into the meaning and purpose of that which will follow claiming that “essentially the human race is at war with itself” and “this is a song about nuclear war”. Hunt’s mega vocals are complimented by Dunk’s [bass player] screams and during these vocal frenzies Kenney manages to communicate with the crowd using well placed eyeballing and straight arm pointing “yes I mean you muthafucker”. Back to the songs and Submission Is For The Weak flies the flag for the Codex Necro whilst there are sonic shitstorms from Vanitas [Of Fire and Fucking Pigs], Passion [Drug-Fucking Abomonation and Eschaton [Between Shit and Piss We Are Born]. The air is cleared briefly when Hunt asks “has anyone got the time? No seriously what time is it?”, but without too much concern the band force us back against the wall with Idol [a particular favourite of mine]. Before we know it we are faced with he final song and the prospect of walking out into the night with screaming ears and buggered necks; but man, I would have done it all over again straight after.
There is no doubt that Anaal Nathrakh are talented. The band [bass, 2nd guitar and drums] providing rock solid support to Kenney and Hunt are mind blowing and they all deliver perfect live renditions of the studio output, but there were spaces in the basement that should have been filled. Sadly however it was a Tuesday night [the shittiest night of the week as Hunt pointed out] and some people just might not have been able to make the gig; shame really because what a gig it was.