Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Serpent's Breath V: In The Constellation Of The Black Widow

Goddamn I know these guys have bad or cheap album art but did they really have to use a work of art that's been on tons of albums (and that awesome Timeghoul demo) for In The Constellation Of The Black Widow?

In The Constellation Of The Black Widow had some big shoes to fill. I was pretty hyped for it, even going out of my way to buy the "More Of Fire Than Blood" single. In the end I wasn't disappointed, but it became clear to me that innovations in Anaal Nathrakh's sound were wishful thinking. They found what worked on Eschaton and the more death metal-oriented Hell Is Empty, and now they decided to stick with that sound.

Thus for me In The Constellation became about the tracks that didn't fall into the pop-structured rut. I really enjoyed the breaks of the rhythm dominated grinder "The Unbearable Filth Of The Soul" and the pummeling anger of "Oil Upon The Sores Of Lepers." Some of the middle tracks became forgettable as I focused on the standouts. "So Be It" and "Terror In The Mind Of God" are both tracks that are at their best merely present. "Satanarchist" is interesting solely because of it essentially sounding like Anaal Nathrakh's take on traditional black metal, while "Blood Eagles Carved On The Backs Of Innocents" fits the bill of aggressive, memorable closer.

Anaal Nathrakh's formula withstanding the test of a few albums, the only huge differences on In The Constellation was the production which is far more...budgeted for lack of a better word. The drum machine dominates the mix, bass is sometimes audible ("Unbearable Filth Of The Soul"), and the guitar has a harsher edge. There's a prevalence of blastbeats on this album too, and you rarely hear the d-beat verses of In The Constellation's predecessor.

Still a successful album thanks to the talent of the duo and a formula that works.

7.5 out of 10

1. In The Constellation Of The Black Widow
2. I Am The Wrath Of Gods And The Desolation Of The Earth Music
3. More Of Fire Than Blood
4. The Unbearable Filth Of The Soul
5. Terror In The Mind Of God
6. So Be It
7. The Lucifer Effect
8. Oil Upon The Sores Of Lepers
9. Satanarchist
10. Blood Eagles Carved On The Backs Of Innocents

Listen // Buy

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