Death metal can be a very boring sounding genre, constantly constrainted. Blast beats, horror lyrics, and death growls are only a few of a huge amount of repeating qualities within the genre. Nile, however, have changed a lot within their sound to be very openly comparable to other death metal bands, yet have a style very similar to them.
The main interest would be the lyrics drawing upon Egyptian culture. To read Karl Sanders‘ lyrics is like reading into a history book. Drawing inspiration on songs such as ‘In The Name Of Amun’ and ‘To Walk Forth From Flames Unscathed’ give the themes of some of the most interesting Gods somewhat of a forefront. Viking history is very dominant within metal, with bands like Enslaved and Amon Amarth giving a huge forefront for it, but little to no metal focuses on Egyptian.
What is very enjoyable is the aim towards more contemporary problems facing Egyptian culture, such as the destruction of the pyramids (‘Rape Of The Black Earth’) and a poor quality of life in major Egyptian cities (‘Age Of Famine’). This gives the album a huge calling point that only comes from an appreciation of the lyrics, and what the band aim to achieve. The reading and sense of importance that comes from a 50 minute album being so extensive only shows a great quality and understanding of lyrical importance.
The instruments within this track give a forefront on surface value, keeping fans of pure death metal happy throughout the course of this track. Keeping a pulverising beat throughout all of the tracks, drummer George Kollias goes through a hugely diverse style throughout every song on this album, yet somehow keeping what he’s playing immensely heavy. On ‘Rape Of The Black Earth’, Kollias introduces this track with a slow stompy beat, giving an almost doom-y sounding opening, whereas on tracks such as ‘Call To Destruction’, a very sporadic and interesting style of playing is chosen. Keeping the beat throughout and playing to perfection throughout the entire course of this track, the vastly different yet still brutally heavy beat is somewhat of an enjoyment within this album.
Complimenting this are the riffs, played by guitarists Sanders and Dallas Toler-Wade, which play off each other perfectly, giving an amazingly layered and textured performance. Standout song ‘What Should Not Be Unearthed’ are played at a maddening screeching point within certain breakdowns in this song.
To give this album a final show for how creative it is, instrumental closer ‘Ushabti Reanimator’ gives a very creative pace. Though only lasting for 90 seconds on this album, changing to an electro/acoustic track with the drums playing extremely heavy in the background gives not just an understanding of how sounds work together, but a creative ear to make it happen. This album is heavy, but with its creative freedom and sense of historical importance, it’s easy to see why this band is seen as influential within the death metal scene.
Written by Bradley Cassidy