LIVE REVIEW! Anaal Nathrakh - The Asylum, Birmingham

Home coming shows are always sights to behold for any band, it’s usually party central with all those ‘mates’ the bands never even knew they had coming out to drink and be merry with the hometown hero’s. But this is an Anaal Nathrakh home coming show and this will guaranteed to be very different. The party will be brutal, noisey and downright dirty.


Brummie duo Khost kick off proceedings, a strange ensemble presenting experimental industrial metal. As a long bass note rings a low, a sombre trumpet introduces the set. Low, heavy bass and guitars play at slow pace across the top of a sample track. The samples give the music it’s depth whilst the guitar and bass


destroy our ears with their earthy industrial sound intermixed with occasional, heavily distorted, vocals. An interesting way for the party to start.


Akercocke are a different kettle of fish, the cockney progressive death metallers deliver exactly what you would expect and what they have done for years. Mendonca’s haunting screams echo around the Asylum as the band lay waste to Birmingham with ‘Of Menstrual Blood and Semen’. Fast paced for the majority of the set, the throbbing bass drums drive the sound as snarling guitars dual for supremacy.


Akercocke, with equal billing on the tour, get a full hour and deliver on their no frills death metal sound. Keyboards and samples spice up the set but do not take away from the direction Mendonca steers them. Rounding out the set with ‘Enraptured By Evil’ and ‘Shelter From The Sand’ they have set the bar high for the home town hero’s to follow.


A brief change over later and the stage is set, the lights are low and the atmosphere builds. As dry ice fills

the stage, the five warriors of Anaal Nathrakh come forth. From the off this set is brutal; the music, the fans, the pit and the band. This isn’t death metal, black metal or any other sub-genre, this is just out and out brutality.


With anger borne out from the opening notes of ‘Obsecene as Cancer’  resonates throughout the hour long set. New song ‘Forward!’ destroys all before it just as epic live as on record the war themed song has meaningful lyrics amongst the dirty riffs and gritty bass. Between songs Dave Hunt jokes in his Brummie twang a complete juxtaposition from the music that is being delivered.


Throughout an encore of ‘Do Not Speak’ and ‘Idol’ the band, Hunt and Kenny in particular, demonstrate why they are considered the best of the extreme when it comes to heavy music. The barrage that we have borne has been the ultimate show and every single person in this room will leave broken, battered and bruised. This was the ultimate Anaal Nathrakh show.

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