Maybe it's something to do with collecting or a pointlessly completist attitude, but I always enjoy compilations like this that collect otherwise rare material in one neat, easily available package. It's a little odd and perhaps even disappointing that Anaal Nathrak's second album should be a demo compilation, but for offering a slightly different take on the band than their debut album, and most of all for containing mostly original material, it's every bit as good as 'The Codex Necro.'
The major difference in style comes in the production values which, as expected, are inferior for demo recordings. Fortunately this is black metal we're dealing with, and intentional or not (my money's on "not"), this allows for a different perspective free from the often overwhelming ferocity of the studio album. Irrumator's melodic guitar touches and solos are more easily discerned within this less oppressive wall of sound, and although the programmed drums sound even more obviously fake than they did on 'Codex,' the atmosphere is less electric. In a good way.
'Necrogeddon' is the only new song, though still not recorded principally for this, but rather the unreleased 2001 demo entitled 'We Will F**king Kill You,' and the rest of the tracks present the two demos 'Anaal Nathrakh' (tracks one to four) and 'Total F**king Necro' (five to nine) in their complete forms. While the second demo is the more impressive and aggressive, containing the early classic 'Satanarchist' as well as two songs that would find their way onto the first album in the form of 'The Supreme Necrotic Audnance' and 'The Technogoat,' both demos present an excellent view of a band starting out, with the clear intention to be the future of British black metal and to repair some of the damage done by Cradle of Filth. As any serious black metal fan will know, 'De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas' is a cover of that definitive second wave track from Mayhem, as is 'Carnage,' and both are tackled well, and respectfully cite Anaal Nathrakh's influence.
While this isn't quite up to the standards of a regular studio release, thanks to volume problems and an overall lacking production sound, it's these very factors that may make it even more appealing to traditional black metal fans who normally find Anaal Nathrakh far too mechanised and volume-obsessed. It's a nice respite from that, and a great companion to 'The Codex Necro' with only minimal overlap. Of course, almost everyone else in the world should avoid it like the plague.
1. Anaal Nathrakh
3. Ice Blasting Storm Winds
5. The Supreme Necrotic Audnance
7. L.E.T.H.A.L.: Diabolic
8. De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas
9. The Technogoat