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Utterly Brilliant!!!! - 100%

corviderrant, April 7th, 2004

Nile are one of the few USDM bands I really dig due to their completely distinctive sound and brilliant lyrics. They actually write EVENTS, not songs, and every song is a major production in and of itself. And they have had some of the best drummers in death metal on their albums (Derek Roddy on this one due to original drummer Pete Hammoura's incapacitating shoulder injury he suffered on tour, Tony Laureano on this album's tour and up until now as a full time member), it bears mentioning. When I first bought this CD, it was my wife's first exposure to extreme death metal, and after a minute's worth of the title track, she turned to me with her jaw hanging in shock and said (I quote verbatim) : "Honey...this drummer is an athlete!!!" Yepper, Ironman level, Derek's drumming is on this CD, and one of the greatest death metal drum performances ever, for my money. All first takes, too, according to Karl, which makes him all the more a GOD.(And he got a good laugh out of me telling him that when I met him after seeing Hate Eternal the first time a couple years ago) Oh yeah, the album...

Every song on this album, as I said, is a major event unfolding before you with a dizzying array of brooooootal riffs, melodies derived from ancient Egyptian harmonies and modes, and whirlwind drumming that will make your head spin with evey listen! My personal faves, out of the whole album, are the title track (that chant of the title at the end gets me throwing the horns and roaring along every time!), "Defiling The Gates of Ishtar" with its killer sweep arpeggios heralding the solo section and its brilliant half time blast beat/full time blast beat segment right before that part (not to mention the evil chanting in ancient Sumerian/Babylonian/whatever at the end), "Masturbating the War God" with its epic feel, "To Dream of Ur" with its tympani and eerie vocals that sound like a demon and a crazed Islamic holy man trading speeches about ancient, evil civilizations, and the hair-raising demon snake chant, "Khetti Satha Shemsu", nothing but repetitive drumming and chanting phrases in ancient Egyptian to achieve a hypnotic mantra effect that will give you chills every time.

The best part is, that guitarist/vocalist/mainman/songwriter/genius Karl Sanders (one of the coolest and most down to earth guys in death metal) devotes a healthy chunk of the CD booklet to not only lyrics, but fully detailed, articulate explanations of the ideas and texts that inspired them. How many bands do you know of who do that for their fans? Not many other than Nile. The explanation of "Khetti Satha Shemsu", for example, tells you that the chant is actually a composite of two different chants about two similar yet different snake demons of the Du'at (Egyptian Underworld)--how cool is that? Very!!!

If you support only one USDM band, let it be Nile--these guys are some of the hardest-working guys in death metal and are eminently worthy of your support! And this is one of the most classic, original, and essential USDM albums ever recorded. Nuff sed.