I had an appointment at The Asylum in Birmingham for a one-off mental treatment by Anaal Nathrakh. The “capital” of the Black County was represented by two-thirds against Ireland. The metal dominant position also favoured the two midlander bands because the only guest performer’s music wasn’t built up from stone hard riffs. The Irish From the Bogs of Aughiska was an exception of tonight’s metal rules but considering the diversity of the genres the whole line up was pretty much varied.
Burden of Noose was born from the ruins of other metal bands from Birmingham in 2012. The yet short lived group broke the silence with a stoner death metal set which is usually cool but tonight it was different. Actually Burden of Noose mixed the mentioned genre with a bit of hardcore influence where two singers screamed and answered to each other to make the performance more original. Unfortunately even the use of double vocals didn’t help to raise them higher then the average level. To be honest hardcore is ranked among the kind of musical styles where to create something unique is nearly impossible.
As I mentioned above the only guest band was From the Bogs of Aughiska from Ireland. Well, I still couldn’t figure out what is the real concept behind the band but the atmosphere they created was not from this world, frightening and amazing at the same time. It was a performance, rather than a gig and can not be considered metal at all. It is more like an eerie live act performed with an extremely distorted guitar and a Mac. All the sounds and noises come with short films projected on the wall and the whole show happened in pitch black dark. The members of From the Bogs of Aughiska figured out how to summon the harsh landscapes of the Irish country side with audio and visual tools. The fact how serious they took that tiny job what they did on the stage deserves our respect anyway. My first encounter with them was previously reviewed here.
During the first two gigs the crowd was constantly growing for the show of tonight’s headliner. While some of the snob fans turned up in a Bentley, the members of Anaal Natrakh approached the venue on foot. I caught them when they arrived well armed with booze. Anyway, since the venue opened the doors for us everyone was waiting impatiently for the chance to go apeshit for one of Birmingham’s most extreme and loudest band.
Seeing them in their hometown, Birmingham is a rare and exclusive event especially when the band plays infrequently in front of a few thousands, headlines festivals or even performs on the luxury cruise of 70000 Tons of Metal. Anaal Nathrakh are incredibly strong and it has always been. Since their very first self titled demo was released they have been straining the limits of insanity and increasing the madness they started 15 years ago. I haven’t been keeping up with the band so the current line-up, I mean the live musicians beside the original members, remained unknown for me. Of course the maniac figure of V.I.T.R.I.O.L. as he screamed in the face of the crowd can not be confused with anyone else. He made it clear they all were glad to play in Birmingham again where at least their dialect meant no problem to the crowd.
The mash-up of black metal-industrial-grindcore made its job well. The sound was as loud as it almost hurt but somehow perfectly enjoyable. Probably that’s the AN level: good when it hurts. Hard to imagine any other feeling matched to this violent and misanthropic performance. The message was unmistakeable: death to humanity.
Stage divers were in their best forms during the ominous tracks when Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes and Between Shit and Piss We Are Born sounded up. It was good to see the old pal around 56 jumping in the crowd like a there is no fucking tomorrow. No wonder, this music could even wake up the dead. More than likely they also promoted their forthcoming beast titled Desideratum (to be released in October 2014) but the setlist is abounded tracks from most of the albums.
Those who turned up tonight were more than fans but friends from within the close circle of Birmingham’s metal scene. It was conspicuous for me as an outsider when everyone hailed the band members like old friends and that’s made the whole night’s atmosphere a bit intimate. It was good to be a part all of this.
Check out more pictures in the gallery.