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To this date, Nile has puked seven full-lengths of their own brand of Egypt themed, cryptic yet epic death metal, and throughout their career they have garnered more and more publicity and why the hell not – even I really like the band, and it is actually one of the only popular death metal bands that I follow. Worship the Animal takes us back to the band's first steps even before the major debut Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka, and shows how different but still same the band sounded almost twenty years ago.
Starting with ”La Chant du Cygre”, things seem really different compared to the Nile of today. There's more thrash metal in the riffs as well as vocals, and the vaguely uncommon time signatures (a joke if you compare to the complexities of nowadays) actually remind me of Meshuggah's early steps in the first half of the 90s. On the follow-up ”Worship the Animal” the band shifts into more familiar Nile sound with an eerie synth choir. However, it's the third track ”Nepenthe” that takes the spot of providing most Nile esque material with its meandering riffs and rhythms, a definite highlight of the compilation EP along with the title track. ”Surrounded by Fright” and ”Mecca” are a tad less impressive lengthy pieces but nonetheless enjoyable documents capturing the evolution of the band.
Considering that this is an old, before unreleased bunch of demo level songs, it comes as a surprise how good the audio sounds, and it's actually a lot more punchy, spacey and detailed than the debut album. The actual compositions might not be essential, but a diehard fan of the group should most certainly invest into Worship the Animal, and not only to complete his/her Nile collection, but also because the content is a lot better than one could have expected from such a rudimentary recording.
3 / 5
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