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  • Words by Faye Coulman, Jonesy and Scott Emery


As we lurch ever onward into yet another new month of fresh horrors, which this week included the nationwide reopening of schools, news of proposed border closures and spiking infection rates elsewhere across the globe, it’s fast become apparent just how frighteningly precarious our present circumstances truly are. Certainly, watching the teeming masses of London commuters piling onto packed Tube trains, masks pulled down around their chins as they guzzle overpriced iced coffee, pick at their teeth and stare blankly ahead into the middle distance, it’s clear every last one of us is clambering aboard a train bound for destinations unknown, blundering, quite blindly, ever deeper into the darkness that is the autumn of 2020. But where there is fear and foreboding, where anger ignites and suffering abides, we can rest assured that the present state of extreme metal has never been more thoroughly awash with inspiration, thanks, in no small part, to the seemingly endless supply of nightmare fuel 2020 has serviced us with of late. And what a deliciously macabre feast of blackly absorbing choice cuts we have in store for you this week as Team Dark Matter present their top picks for ‘Anthems From the Abyss #2'.




'Endarkenment' ('Endarkenment', 2020)

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a full two years since grimly apocalyptic masterpiece ‘A New Kind of Horror’ first left jaws agape with its electrifying blend of shrapnel-stricken brute force and ghoulishly absorbing atmospherics sourced from all corners of the extreme metal spectrum. Yet, far from losing its scaldingly incandescent lustre with the passing of time, it seems these darkly brutalising energies have only gathered greater, politically-charged weight and momentum as we accelerate ever closer to a global catastrophe of irreversibly ruinous proportions. Drinking deep from the same nightmarish thematic territories as its 2018 predecessor, freshly unleashed single ‘Endarkenment’ sees crippling layer upon layer of churning contortions pulverise the senses into submission within literal seconds of its insanely paced opening. Peeling back the many putrefying, grave-scented layers of this fearsome juggernaut of an extreme metal anthem, it’s mere moments before icily visceral lines of tremolo infiltrate the mix alongside generous lashings of corrosive gargling and demented goblin shrieks.This is, rest assured, the Anaal Nathrakh we know, admire and frequently tremble with abject terror in the presence of, but with an audibly keener and freshly energised edge that amplifies each and every one of their already razor-sharp defining features. The pace of delivery yet more frantic and violently propulsive; the raggedly abrasive intensity of the riffs ramped up to synapse-scorching extremes of hostility. Spliced with colossal chorus sections that see airy crescendos of searing fretwork and sweepingly operatic vocals soar and entwine to dizzyingly euphoric effect, rarely does a band capture so vividly this vile, corrupt and rapidly disintegrating thing we call humanity.


'Celestial Tear' ('The Weight of Oceans, 2012)

It's no secret that our Editor-in-chief is an incurable sucker for all things doom-laden and Scandinavian, and with its intricate layerings of lush, elegantly unravelling fretwork, smouldering extreme trappings and exquisitely delicate melodies that audibly glimmer with otherworldly beauty, it's safe to say Swedish progressive metallers In Mourning