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This is often hailed as Nile's peak. I've only heard three of their albums and I would have to choose which one pisses me off the least. The name of the frontman, Karl Sanders, reminds me of Colonel Sanders. And this music reminds me of Colonel Sanders entering an all beef cookoff with a bucket of fried chicken. Colonel Karl approaches the judge's table with his savory bucket of delicious goodness. What a surprise! The other judges look pleased. I mean, they've been eating steaks all day, right? I, however, am scowling.
"WHERE IS THE MOTHERFUCKING BEEF, KARL??"
Where are the awesome riffs? You get tons of boring ones in a thin guitar tone with monotonous and mechanical drumming that doesn't fit at all. Sure, these guys are highly skilled but since when does that count for anything in music? Never (in my book that is). If I found out that this asshole changed his first name to begin with the letter K, I'd dock this album's score just because I'm an irrational prick. Yes, I'm sure it's just a stage name or whatever but we may have to do something about South Carolina if we indeed have chucklefucks there naming kids Karl.
The theme of Annihilation of the Wicked centers around ancient Egypt. That would be cool if it boiled down to more than a few small synth parts and the prolific use of the snake charmer scale (Phrygian dominant if that means anything to you). The vocals are acceptable and decently varied but verge on that awful "inhaled sound" a lot. Pretty indecipherable most of the time, which is unfortunate because lyrics about ancient Egypt are interesting.
Are there supposed to be a bunch of exotic instruments here? Perhaps I missed them entirely because of the stupor induced by listening to this. There's a short intro track and one small interlude track that fails to do anything other than puzzle me. The folk instrument on the intro manages to give off a strong Egyptian vibe so that's a small plus. The other one is pointless (Spawn of Uamenti, track eight). It's like they were racking their brains trying to figure out some way to break up this monotone slab of Valium and couldn't figure out anything better than filling up 74 seconds with random noises and slow tribal drums.
The biggest problem with this album (and Nile's music in general) is that the songs rarely go anywhere. I keep waiting for some awesome part to come hit me and it never happens. Three songs stretch past the eight minute mark as well, which is a recipe for disaster. There are some occasional good bits, but they only frustrate me because I keep expecting THE REALLY GOOD BITS and they never come. What I wanted was a juicy burger and what I got was a two day old chicken sandwich. Oh...okay. What's this? Waiter! I ordered exciting death metal and you brought me sleepy randomness with extra gimmick. I'm hungry now.