ALBUM REVIEW: Nile – Vile Nilotic Rites

Release Date: November 1st 2019
Label: Nuclear Blast Records


Inspired by Ancient Egypt, and the works of H.P. Lovecraft, Nile have been in existence since 1993 and came from the remnants of guitarist/vocalist Karl Sanders‘ original band, Morriah.

Since then, there has been a multitude of line-up changes, except Sanders himself, who has crafted eight albums so far and hopes to continue his destructive onslaught in number nine, ‘Vile Nilotic Rites’.

Careering down the highway in a chaotic thrash of wailing guitars and death knells, ‘Long Shadows Of Dread’ is a confrontational statement of intentions not meant for the weak hearted. Sanders rips and roars between utterances of diabolical sermons and guttural screams that maintain a central focus, while the instrumentation flits and darts between different intersections of thrash and death metal.

Following in similar candour, the next seven tracks repeat the same rambling dissonant structure with forays into grindcore, hardcore, and black metal territory, with moments of operatic synths to enhance the ensuing drama. The problem, however, is that the erratic nature becomes long in the tooth and tiresome to the point that you start looking at how far you have made it into the album to find that you’re not even halfway there yet.

Changing the atmosphere and adding some breathing space, ‘Thus Sayeth The Parasites Of The Mind’ is an ethnic instrumental using traditional sitars, hand beaten drums, and distant wails that create a haunting atmosphere.

Spiralling to new heights, ‘Where Is The Wrathful Sky’ tempers the onslaughts of thrash in the beginning of the album with brief instrumental breaks that, combined with a more solid and purposeful structure, elevates it to being a masterful death metal experience.

Tearing down the genre walls, ‘The Imperishable Stars Are Sickened’ expands to encapsulate everything from from black, death, classic, doom, operatic, and whatever is left in between metal in an eight minute riling and rolling assault on the senses.

‘Vile Nilotic Rites’ is definitely an album of two halves, with the latter displaying the truly masterful and inventive style that Nile can achieve.