All metal is extreme. If it wasn’t it wouldn’t really be metal, now would it? However there are definitely different layers of extremity. Take death metal for example. A band like yesterday’s offering – Mortician is more extreme than say a band like In Flames. In black metal being extreme is the name of the game. I’m pretty sure the genre spent the first decade of existence with bands just trying to ‘out extreme’ the others, sometimes even sacrificing the actual music to make a point. But by the turn of the last century there were a handful of black metal bands taking the genre to new and exciting places. One of those bands was the U.K.’s Anaal Nathrakh.
Anaal Nathrakh released their debut full length album, The Codex Necro, back in 2001 on tiny Mordgrimm Records. To say this album is extreme is an understatement. Although black metal for all intents and purposes, Anaal Nathrakh was able to do black metal with a sort of grindcore twist and wound up producing some of the most ridiculously awesome and absolutely abrasive black metal that had been seen up to that point. This album was the first domino that would see Anaal Nathrakh eventually sign with Season of Mist and then later Candlelight Records. Their influence on the world of black metal can absolutely not be understated.
The music of Anaal Nathrakh, especially what’s on this album, is almost trance inducing. It’s so fast-paced it’s almost like white noise with the screams of a dying man over top of it. But they are able to pull it all together into a cohesive picture. I suggest that if this is your first go-round with this band you start with the tittle track.