Anaal Nathrakh + The Atrocity Exhibit + The Infernal Sea @ The Craufurd Arms, Wolverton – Thursday 30th October 2014

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Review by Brady Deeprose

The Infernal Sea are one of the UK’s brightest (or darkest) black metal prospects and have been decimating the country since their inception in 2010. 4 years later and they stand bathed in green light, adorning plague doctor masks as a viscous, ominous swathe of fog ascends. The truly terrifying howls of Dean Lettice set this band apart, his shrieks accompanying their unique brand of black metal perfectly. ‘The Bearer’ is a stand out spectacle, the ending being a slowly building melodic phrase that twists and swells to a vast, dark peak before resolving to feedback…a stunning set throughout.

I’m not really a grindcore fan. I love extreme metal but there’s got to be more than just blastbeats and poor production. The Atrocity Exhibit are my kind of grindcore. Frenetic and fast paced, yes, but they balance it beautifully with crushing riffs and mid-tempo sections, in a similar vein to Converge. Considering I wasn’t expecting much, the band shocked me with their pure stamina and ability to really grab the crowd with minimal movement. The three-piece have been at this a long time, and it shows, but really just seem to be getting better.

The two-piece Anaal Nathrakh have always been at the forefront of extreme metal since their debut record in 2001, and as a band that limits their live appearances to festivals and select, one-off shows, it’s a rare thing to see them at such an intimate headline show.

Anaal Nathrakh
Anaal Nathrakh

I’ve seen Nathrakh before at a hometown show and was frankly a little underwhelmed but as they seem to be getting rave reviews everywhere else, I thought it best to give them another go. This was a good decision. The kings of extreme metal lived up to their name, delivering a frankly disgusting set including the sensational ‘In The Constellation Of The Black Widow’, ‘Between Shit And Piss We Are Born’ and ‘Forging Towards The Sunset’. It’s nice to see a band that take their music seriously, but not themselves, as they joke their way between tracks. Dave Hunt has a typical Brummie sense of humour that makes the band instantly likeable. Despite a fairly low attendance, Nathrakh are seasoned professionals and didn’t relent for their entire set and after seeing their stellar performance at Damnation Fest a few days later, it’s clear that no matter where you see them, Anaal Nathrakh deliver.

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