01. I Wish I Could Vomit Blood on You... ...People
02. The Oblivion Gene
03. Do Not Speak
04. Procreation of the Wretched
05. To Err is Human, To Dream Futile
06. Revaluation of All Values (Tractatus Alogico Misanthropicus)
07. The Final Destruction of Dignity (Die Letzen Tage Der Menschheit)
08. Swallow the World
09. This Cannot be the End
10. Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light
2004 Season Of Mist
There are plenty of records that start off with ambiguous introductions. Most of them are pointless. Some ambient noise, rehashed banal movie sound bytes, and a building sense of mediocrity are all one needs for a successful album beginning. The same might be thought upon first listen of the opening track of Domine Non Es Dignus. Something is being repeated, though it's difficult to tell what exactly because of heavy electronic manipulation. Then, as the track goes on, the electronics fade and the listener realizes that it is a repeated clip of a man vomiting.
Anyone familiar with the English duo of Anaal Nathrakh will not be surprised by this first track or anything following it (though they pretty much stick to music after this point), nor that the duo, instead of using stock audio, actually recorded a man vomiting after he force-fed himself. With one prior full length (The Codex Necro), an EP (When Fire Rains Down From the Sky, Mankind Will Reap as it has Sewn), and a collection of demos, Anaal Nathrakh have laid the groundwork and reputation for being punishing and unforgiving in their musical offerings. Now, with the release of their second full length, the group has managed to create the absolute blackest thing I have ever heard.
Domine Non Es Dignus, translated as "Lord, you are not worthy", is a testament to any more or less studio-bound bands that strive to color outside the lines (e.g. Darkthrone, Agoraphobic Nosebleed). It might not even be fair to compare them to the previously mentioned bands; I'm just trying to create a ballpark. That said, Anaal Nathrakh do it faster, heavier, darker, and just plain better.
When the music finally kicks in, it arrives in full force. The sound can be described as simply intense. Blast beats and powerful guitar work immediately make you glad you listened. The musicianship exhibited by the duo is extremely tight. The guitar lines are crisply recorded (much better than on previous releases) and fit perfectly on top of layered drums (live and machine). Many influences can be heard from very grim black metal, to straight forward hardcore. Domine Non Es Dignus at its core is the epitome of relentless and is haunting even at its most beautiful moments.
The vocals only add to the musical intensity of Anaal Nathrakh, and generally fall into three categories. There is predominantly straight up screaming that is more characteristic of metal influenced hardcore bands, there is occasionally the ultra low guttural growling, and finally there is the clean operatic singing very similar to Emperor. Often the vocals are heavily layered upon one another so that the listening experience is that of schizophrenic voices screaming all around you. The chaotic nature of this is a little difficult to get used to at first, though it all becomes part of the bigger picture upon subsequent listenings.
Bottom Line: Anaal Nathrakh is not background music and demands attention. Listening to Domine Non Es Dignus is not a passive thing, and is very much an experience in and of itself. This is for anyone who loves extreme music and doesn't care which genre it fits into. This is for anyone who likes that excited, nervous feeling like after you've ridden a roller coaster after eating too much: nauseous, exhausted, but ready to go again.