Anaal Nathrakh are one of the most extreme metal bands to ever grace the metal scene, and with support coming from London based death metal mentalists Voices, they played the tiny Black Heart in London in a show which was nothing other than total carnage.
Voices were playing on the back of their killer second album London released at the end of last year, and played a great set to match. The last two times I caught them their set was ruined by a terrible sound making it sound like a mess, but they were spot on this time around. Ripping through songs from both their albums they put on a great show to match the music on their studio releases. David Gray’s technical drumming and the insane guitars from Sam Loynes their sound is hectic as fuck throughout – a mindfuck delivered with as much brutality as great musicianship. Peter Benjamin screaming over the top and the all around chaos of their set made it a great show all around, and Voices are probably the most underrated band in the UK right now.
Anaal Nathrakh are now eight albums into their career after the release of Desideratum last year, and with their music being so intense there was no way they should have been playing a venue so small, but for those of us lucky to get tickets we were in for a treat. The crowd may have been remarkably restrained during Voices, but by the time Anaal Nathrakh took the stage, the fans surged forwards and almost the entire front of the crowd was one big moshpit, with lots of stage diving throughout the set – pure chaos. The band themselves put on their typically great show with an insane blasting performance from the band and Dave Hunt screaming his lungs out – whilst not having crazed banter with the crowd between songs. While Voices’ sound was all but perfect, despite their good performance Anaal Nathrakh’s wasn’t quite so good and came across as a more of a wall of sound, not terrible but not as discernible as the previous set. The crowd didn’t mind though, moshing like crazy to a killer setlist spanning six of their eight albums, with favourites Of Fire and Fucking Pigs, Between Piss and Shit We are Born and In the Constellation of the Black Widow going down a storm alongside new tracks Idol and Unleash. A live debut of The Joystream was one of the highlights of the set, Dave’s soaring vocals in the chorus being particularly brilliant, but leaving him reeling and saying “it sounds fucking wicked when you’re playing it, but then you feel awful afterwards” after performing “a love song about murdering children”. They closed a great set with the inevitable trampler Do Not Speak, and though it was only just over an hour it was enough, with the absolute insanity and chaos of the crowd down the front leaving the most carnage I’ve seen at a gig in a long time.
Listen to songs from both band’s most recent albums: