With recent single, ‘Endarkenment,’ Anaal Nathrakh pose the scary inverse to the age of Enlightenment.
Anaal Nathrakh’s brand of extreme blackened, grinding death metal is as consistent as it thought-provoking and heavy. That was true of ‘A New Kind Of Horror‘ (2018) and the very same is looking to be accurate for their next album, ‘Endarkenment.’ With it’s recently released first single and eponymous cut being the kind of explosive, riff-heavy style the band are highly regarded for. With all of multi-instrumentalist Mick Kenney’s noisy guitars and sick blast beats, and vocalist Dave Hunt’s huge power-metal refrains sitting in their usual places.
Like other Anaal Nathrakh albums, there’s many liner notes to accompany the themes and messages of their songs. ‘Endarkenment‘ is no different. With Dave sharing about this forthcoming album and it’s subsequent titular song’s theme of “post-truths,” personal selfishness and political dogma, that:
“There has been, and continues to be, increasingly widespread rejection of Enlightenment-style values such as rationalism, skepticism, the rejection of faith in favour of judgements dependent on empirically verifiable phenomena and so on. There are local versions in many places, but in our native UK, this was summed up by politician/sinister gnome Michael Gove’s famous claim that we’ve ‘had enough of experts‘. Thus we enter the age of endarkenment.“
In the track’s fiendish second verse, Dave sums up that flawed thought process as he savagely, ironically, screams: “Fuck you if you think I am wrong. The answers I have are all the answers I need.” Which is the most astute comment I’ve heard from a band in 2020 about the rut of political discourse and academic debate we find ourselves in. Where people make up their mind based on their own personal biases or political lines first; distort, reject or cherry pick evidence to the contrary second; and then refuse new information and perspectives third. (Which is represented by the band portraying such people as blind swine, sadly mislead by bad actors in the music video.)
That objectivity isn’t for mere commentary about movies, books, video games or albums. No, it’s regarding legitimate issues – policy, economics, immigration, race, colour, faith, politics – that carry tangible effects and real world implications. That’s why an age of “endarkenment” can be so dangerous. People substituting the opinion of experts and scientists in lieu of their own beliefs (or the talking heads that they follow) in a misguided defence of personal liberties, everyone else be damned. Something we’ve seen no shortage of from those who stutter and stammer as they rehash their rehearsed mental script about freedoms whenever a shopping-centre staff member kindly asks them to wear a mask or leave.
The Birmingham duo’s 11th album, ‘Endarkenment,’ is out October 2nd, 2020.