Another trip to the Sound Control basement and more delayed bands, although this time it fortunately meant only a rescheduled interview instead of too many changes to set times.

First up were Liverpool black metallers Ninkharsag who right from the off decided to do something different by switching all the stage lights off once they started playing. Whilst this posed a bit of a challenge for getting photographs, it gave the band an interesting hook immediately, as they played their set silhouetted against the backstage lighting. Their raw sound added to the dark atmosphere and really got the night off to a great start. Their set featured heavily from their upcoming debut and they look like another fine prospect from an unbelievably prolific UK scene.

Up next were Manchester’s very own Burial, who kept up with the stripped back, primitive black metal sound, although combining with some death metal vocals meant they bridged the gap between the straight sound of the openers to the more progressive and experimental headliners. They took the opportunity of a big hometown show and made the most of it, showcasing their own debut album. Another success.

Anaal Nathrakh may have moved away from black metal and experimented with other extreme forms over recent years but their own brand of metal still owes a lot to that stark brutal sound. Arriving shortly before their set due to delays didn’t seem to set them back at all, as once their sound check was complete they proceeded to smash through an hour of uncompromising noise. From surprisingly cheery interaction with a couple of people in the crowd the mood almost immediately switched to a dark, nihilistic mood once each track started. The progression from earlier in their career to the most recent material (from 2014’s ‘Desideratum‘) shows progression without compromise, and the newer material takes nothing away from the nihilistic energy and anger spewed during the tracks from earlier in their career. From a band who started as a purely studio affair, the additional musicians who have joined the founding duo have settled into one of the best live bands we have. Another great show after their triumphant Damnation performance last year.

Anaal Nathrakh setlist:
Acheronta Movebimus, Unleash, Monstrum in Animo, Bellum Onmium Contra Omnes, Forging Towards the Sunset, In the Constellation of the Black Widow, Submission is For the Weak, The Lucifer Effect, Between Piss & Shit We Are Born, Idol, A Firm Foundation of Unyielding Despair, Drug Fucking Abomination, Of Fire, and Fucking Pigs, Do Not Speak

Anaal Nathrakh – Facebook page
Burial – Facebook page
Ninkharsag – Facebook page

Photos by Stephen Fallows.