Label: Candlelight Records
Release Type: Full length, CD
Yes, yes! finally! With Anaal Nathrakh's Hell is Empty... listeners(at least myself) saw a pretty large shift to a more death metal approach, one that lacked the vigor, filth, and brazen frenzy that their earlier work contained. With In The Constellation... listeners are lucky to hear Anaal Nathrakh combine the unrelenting fury of their demos and first LP as well as Domine Non Es Dignus and Eschaton's cleaner production, stronger use of melody as well as clean vocals.
I always found Anaal Nathrakh's filthy sound to be their strongest and most individualistic attribute. The barrage of vocals, layered in all types of screams, gurgles and what not put against relentless blast beats and machine like guitar riffs gave Anaal Nathrakh a very angry and violent vibe. This comes out plenty within this album, but in addition to the fury there's plenty of catchy and melodic guitar work, not to mention great leads and solos and catchy, powerful sounding choruses. The seamless combination of all these factors makes In The Constellation... the most fluid, well rounded, and mature album they've released to date.
One of Anall Nathrakh's strongest points are their vocals. From distorted and industrialized howls, to low chants, to more typical death metal vocals, more typical black metal vocals, and even great clean vocals, Dave Hunt carries out an amazing performance, one that defiantly allows the album and the band to retain their own sound. I can't stress enough how diverse, powerful and important the vocals are and how much I enjoy them.
While this is easily my favorite Anaal Nathrakh album, and one of the best albums of 2009, there remains two issues. The first: when listened to on sub par speakers or headphones, a lot of the music gets lost because of so many layers and different sounds. Many times the higher screams, along with the cymbals and higher guitar sounds can blend together and become hard to distinguish, and for many at times might sound like there's too much going on. The second issue is that songs like In The Constellation Of The Black Widow and More Of Fire Than Blood are very similar with their anthematic clean chorus, much like older tunes (When Fire Rains Down... and Do Not Speak come to mind), which isn't really an issue, but more of a concern that they might become too comfortable with that said format and rarely stray from it. One can make the judgement that they might have 4 types of styles and simply mix and match them to effortlessly create each song.
At times Anaal Nathrakh are their harshest with tortured, industrialized screams and a vicious riff amidst blast beats, but at other times Anaal Nathrakh are their most civil and digestible. An example is at 2:09 in Terror In The Mind Of God the guitars go into a very Gothernburg type of riff. Another example, which I find funny, is a friend of mine who is mostly into stuff like Killswitch Engage found this to be an enjoyable listen because he loved the chorus of More of Fire Than Blood. In this case, being more accessible has only helped and improved Anaal Nathrakh. Parts like 2:44-3:09 in The Lucifer Effect truly have an epic grandeur and are highlights of the album.
The icing on the cake for this album is their revisit to my favorite Anaal Nathrakh song, Satanarchist. They do an excellent job with this song, changing it enough for it to sound new and exciting, but at the same time staying faithful to the demo track.
A really stellar album. Full of scathing blast beats and tremolo sections, heavy palm muted stomps, catchy and anthematic choruses and everything else in between. Powerful, ravenous, melodic and catchy, this is their peak.
Download (320, and is the only rip that isn't fucked up, every other one I found sucked)