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Black Seeds of Nonsense - 30%

doomknocker, November 11th, 2009

This was my first venture into the analogous world of NILE, a bold endeavor as death metal's not really my cup of tea. Loaned to me by a now former associate of once mutual musical tastes with a promise of it being top-notch and unforgettable. I figured that, for it what it was worth, I had everything to gain and nothing to lose, as praises upon praises were heaped up to mountainous proportions from various other sources that I just had to see what the fuss was all about.

Well, the guy was right...it is unforgettable. But in a good way? Not quite.

What good qualities this album presents are few and far between, but worth noting. NILE are potently able to create a violent atmosphere with their method of bludgeoning the listener over the head with blurry, blinding riffery, hailstorms of percussion abuse and three different shades of hellish death growls; the way the guitar leads, blast beats, and gurgling meld together into a constantly interchangable morass of insanity showcases chaos incarnate as music, leaving the listener both fascinated and uncomfortable. Plus the usage of the uberly-deathtastic lyrical themes of old-time Egypt, with all the wars, sexual perversions and torturous torture, are keen enough on the eyes and ears, broadening the death metal horizons beyond its original, less-than-humble roots. However, for all this positivity, the actual output is less than ideal in terms of both performance and production quality. The riffs flitter by with an anarchistic sense, completely buried under mounds of relentless drumwork and untranslatable growling, with such a lack of cohesion you'd swear they just made it up as they went along. There aren't any places within this album that really stick out beyond the endless violence each song presents, showing this listener the absolute limitations of brutal death metal in absolute clarity. While the madness for the sake of madness approach works for songs like the title track, "Masterbating the War God" and "The Black Flame", after a while it becomes exhausting to try and sit through an entire duration of musical messiness. I'm sure some good, tasty riffs are there, but there's too much smoke in the way.

So in the end this was a bit of a failed experiment, wrought with confusion and a few cringes. I can't whether or not the group has evolved with subsequent albums, but if this is any indication of an evolutionary step, the wind is totally at their backs.