14th April 2015
On this slightly drizzly April evening, passers-by may have been perplexed at the growing queue forming outside Manchester’s Sound Control. Where one may have expected to see crop tops and Urban Outfitter junkies ready for a night out on the town, they were instead greeted by the heaviest and most dedicated metalheads of Manchester. Many even had homemade goggles fashioned from prescription glasses and string, prepared for a night of moshing to the fullest. These are obviously veterans of an Anaal Nathrakh gig; it’s already clear that if there is one thing guaranteed for the show, it’s a brilliant crowd.
From Birmingham, the home of metal, it is not surprising that after 17 years the band are still going strong. Nathrakh are unique in that they are a predominately studio-based band, members often recording separately, only later bringing the instruments together. Through fusing sounds of black and death metal with industrial undertones, they are known for creating a sound like no other. All reasons for why it is such a rarity and privilege to catch these Brummies live.
The band has only two members, Kenney and Hunt, but on this evening they were accompanied by several more musicians on stage. Lead singer Hunt put on an explosive performance, with an energy only interrupted by the yelling of abuse over the lights shining into his eyes, presenting him as the joker of the pair. Those steampunk goggles certainly came in handy for many metalheads, as the duo blast out a blinding array of crowdpleasers such as ‘Forging to the Sunset’, ‘The Lucifer Effect’ and the almighty ‘Do Not Speak’. Anaal Nathrakh succeeded in bringing all these songs to life and arguably to death for some of their darker material—as well bringing together a vibrant and diverse crowd through the love of one of the weirdest and most bizarre bands in metal.