It’s a rare thing these days for me to hear a band and say, out loud, “well fuck, that is heavy…”. I suppose I’m somewhat desensitised to it after spending a few years plumbing the reps of the most nasty, brutal, shit I could uncover – chasing an increasing unobtainable thrill of something truly shocking in its severity.
Annihilus, with a combination of black metal riffs, punk rawness, and outright fucking noise, might be some of the heaviest shit I’ve ever heard. It’s abrasive, sinister, and overwhelmingly unsettling.
‘Heaviness’ is really a subjective term, but what really builds the crushing noise of Annihilus is the raw, noisy, rough sound on top of the Darkthrone-ish black metal riffing. It’s not the standard black metal sound, and it’s all the more confronting for it.
The vocals at times are some of the most inhuman, demonic, …. You know, I’m not even sure how to describe it. This is a first. It’s not screams, snarls, growls, roars… it’s just not even human. It is easily some of the most brutal vocals I’ve ever heard. But then, unexpectedly but entirely in keeping with the punk/noise elements throughout, the vocals switch to barked cleans. In these moments this brutal black metal band suddenly sounds like Daughters’ evil twin and a really evil noise rock vibe takes over.
But, before too long, the wall of crushing noise is back and somehow feeling even more overwhelming. This bold merging of sounds to create something more than the sum of its parts is not only successful, it’s fucking incredible.
But the most noteworthy point about Annihilus, with this cacophonous, complex, sound, is it is all the work of one single person – Chicago drummer and bassist Luca Cimarusti.
What Cimarusti has created with Annihilus in just two short years is mind boggling. Last Friday saw the release of ‘Follow A Song From The Sky’ the second Annihilus album (coming less than a year after the first). It shows the trajectory and growth of this terrifying and original sound, and I will be watching very closely for what Annihilus do in the future.