One-man black metal projects typically have a bad reputation for being solipsistic and goddamned-boring-as-hellishly "old school fuck-modern-metal-esque raw black metal". Three-man or more however, almost always bring about a conflict of interests amongst band members after some time, or always effectively end up being the frontman’s "solo project" with the other members being there simply to provide instrumental support. What about two-man teams then?
Well, they are definitely rare to find, but here you have it: a dynamic British duo in the form of Anaal Nathrakh, a talented pair that not only sees both members contributing equally, but bringing diverse musical abilities and influences to the table as well. They are the epitome of what it means to be both extreme and experimental at the moment, combining vokillist Dave Hunt’s (aka V.I.T.R.I.O.L.) death and grind singing and writing experience together with multi-instrumentalist Mick Kenney’s production abilities and black n’ grind background to produce this malevolent fare of twisted extreme metal.
Compared to past albums, Passion sounds more mellow and much cleaner in terms of production, which kind of waters down the duo’s gratifyingly gritty rawness and makes it look less than ideal right next to 2009's excellent In The Constellation Of The Black Widow, which was their previous album and a strategically misplaced album in hindsight ('cos this album is darned good, but ITCOTBW was pure bliss!).
A unique and praise-worthy trait about Passion, though, is the widespread usage of clean, harmonic singing. This gives the whole record a very pristine sense of darkness that permeates your heart's darkest depths and brings out the most negative feelings in you. Recommended tracks to hear are "Volenti Non Fit Iniuria", "Le Diabolique Est L'ami Du Simple", "Paragon Pariah" and "Who Thinks Of The Executioner".
01. Volenti Non Fit Iniuria [4:57]
02. Drug-Fucking Abomination [7:25]
03. Post-Traumatic Stress Euphoria [1:41]
04. Le Diabolique Est L’Ami Du Simplement Mal [3:41]
05. Locus Of Damnation [1:00]
06. Tod Huetet Uebel [4:15]
07. Paragon Pariah [3:46]
08. Who Thinks Of The Executioner? [3:57]
09. Ashes Screaming Silence [3:56]
10. Portrait Of The Artist [1:18]
Run Time: 35:50
Release Date: May 17, 2011 (USA, Worldwide), May 23, 2011 (UK)