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In a genre were innovation is for the most part shunned, Nile have managed to both appeal to all the old-school purists all while looking forward and pushing Death Metal into interesting, exciting places. While this album only hints at the brilliance that Nile would achieve in their later full lengths, it's still a solid, and unique sounding piece of death metal.
The album starts off with Smashing the Antu, a slab of super fast, old school death metal. Fast riffing, super low vocals, and crazy drums. Well, it's good, with a few unexpected tempo changes, but it's nothing amazingly unique. Still, it doesn't take very long before we head into the territory that NIle are so well known for. Barra Edinazzu kicks along for the first minute and a half, before turning into a moody, atmospheric bit, complete with a ghoulish choir. Then 15 seconds later, it's back into the Metal. Still, a very unique song.
There's not really a lot of point going through each and every song. THis is Nile, you should know what to expect. Most of the Egyptian parts in this record are a little bit cheesier then in the later records, and the metal parts, while still brilliantly executed, can't really compare to the faster, heavier moments in Darkened Shrines or Annihilation.
So it's good.. but not as good as the later stuff. Why buy it then? Well, there's still a few fairly amazing songs here. Ramses Bringer of War has a corny but still super cool intro, really epic and military n stuff. The heavy bit comes in and it's just as good. THis song is as good as any Nile have done before or after this record. Just huge, epic and real heavy. Basically every song here is great, just not quite that great. Stones of Sorrow is slow and doomy, Die Rache.. is an awesome, moody instrumental, while Pestilence and Iniquity is super fast DM, packed into a compact 2 minutes.
So all in all, this is a solid album, full of great riffs and lots of interesting instrumentals. Not as good as their later stuff, but well worth checking out.