Those yearning for a dial back to the harsh climes of this British duo's debut The Codex Necro might once again find themselves alienated with the latest Anaal Nathrakh full-length. This is not a band which prides itself upon retreading trampled ground, and oh what grounds these two have trampled. In the Constellation of the Black Widow was the band's most viably obvious and accessible to a wider audience of extreme rock and metal connoisseurs, and Passion is an extension of their newfound polish and appeal. But fear not: Hunt and Kenney are incapable of restraining their vicious sides for long, so you can bet your britches there are numerous moments among the melodic intonations that are manifest to nail your weary limbs to the nearest wooden edifice.
It takes only about two tracks here to curry the wide range of the sect: "Volenti Non Fit Inuria" opens with trembling feedback and a dire, clean guitar line before arching into its terrifying, descending/ascending guitar arches, soaring ICS-Vortex styled vocals and pendulous brutality; while "Drug-Fucking Abomination" (what a title) builds a dire choir substrate behind a hellish, simmering swell of grooves and monstrous melodic plucking that will beat the ever living slush out of your digestive tract. Let me put it bluntly: if Constellation got your nethers dripping with blooded anticipation, Passion is the promised, violent orgasm. In Anaal Nathrakh tradition, you've got some scathing, intermittent onslaughts via "Post Traumatic Stress Euphoria" and "Locus of Damnation" that bastardize the band's punk, grind and black metal influences into a cohesive uniqueness with more than expected depth.
Deeper in lie further surprises, like the melodic architecture hidden beneath the thrusting vitriol of "Tod Huetet Uebel" and its shrieking oration. The rambling black bottom rocking bombast of "Paragon Pariah" or "Who Thinks of the Executioner" (again, what a title), both with more balled fistfucking potency than any handful of d-beat or hardcore kid grinders. The industrial agonies manifest through the punctual, punishing "Ashes Screaming Silence". As with nearly any record in this band's career, there are layers upon layers of provocation awaiting your attention span, and if you don't mind that the production standards have improved since their earlier efforts, you'll find yourself nearly as thrilled as you ever were. Punishing and pathetic, like a mouth full of the finest cocaine while razors skirt the wrists and second chances disappear. A circus act replete with sinister serial killers. Sign the fucking waiver and know amusement!
Verdict: Win [8.25/10]