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Nile Enter The Local Pinball Tournament - 60%

dystopia4, November 4th, 2016

Look, Nile is a pretty awesome band. As good a band as any for a clone band to ape, really. They've had a few duds, sure, but you'd have to be off your rocker not to count Annihilation of the Wicked as one of the damn finest death metal albums of all time. English death metal group Imperium sure dig the fuck out of Nile and have no qualms about wearing this on their sleeves. I feel like clone bands based on the classics are one of the biggest problems in death metal right now, but they surely have their place. These guys are all excellent musicians and this surely could have came out a lot worse, but it's something that's hard to really get excited about.

If you're familiar with Nile - and why wouldn't you be - you know what type of death metal Imperium play. While primarily a tech death band, they do have quite a brutal side to them. They're really good musicians and they really want to make sure you know this. Riffs are rarely straightforward, rather than bludgeon you with big meaty riffs, they assault the listener with seemingly endless spirals of techy guitar runs. They also throw in brutal slower riffs every now and again. While sometimes falling back on a more midpace lurch, these guys love playing fast, with the guitarist's fingers flying up and down the fretboard like an acrobatic spider. The drumming and bass in Imperium is strong, but pretty much exactly what you'd expect. The production is pretty professional, but not completely sterile.

The one biggest problem I have with Titanomachy is how the guitar sounds. Holy shit, how did they think this would be a good idea? Anything below the two thickest strings sounds like a fucking pinball machine. This actually isn't too bad for their solos, which tend to be evocative and cathartic and with each note tending to ring out for longer the problem isn't as apparent. But goddamnit, with the tech parts (their riffs often go well below the thickest two strings) the frantic parade of notes end up sounding like the ceaseless bleeping and blooping of a pinball arcade. These riffs take up the majority of the album, and while they are there occasionally there, more straightforward riffs really would have been welcome.

So yeah, Titanomachy is pretty decent Nile worship marred by an awful guitar sound. Sometimes they add epic keyboard sections and whatnot to spice things up, but window dressing won't fixed a compromised foundation. I do have to admit that I really liked how the album starts and finishes with that awesome Old World female chanting, though. Reminds me a lot of that "Incantation Against You" bonus track on Monotheist. In all, I'd say skip this one unless you're the biggest of Nile fanboys and don't mind a kind of fucked guitar tone.

UK tech death just got ready serious! - 90%

Chris Jennings, June 11th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2016, CD, Ultimate Massacre Productions

Bored of Nile and their death metal history lessons?

Hopefully not, as the UK's very own answer to the Egyptian obsessed blast-beaters are here to deliver their own death metal education, focusing on both Greek mythology and the time honoured tradition of pummelling you into submission with each and every round of bruising, brutal technical death metal.

Imperium are no bandwagon jumping clone however, the sheer level of dazzling technicality bubbling away on Titanomachy enough to waylay any misapprehension. They are simply yet another outstanding band plying their trade in the UK underground and ample proof that the UK currently has a death metal scene to rival the best in the world.

It's of note that while Titanomachy is undoubtedly a tech death release, Imperium are not drinking from the same gene pool as the majority of modern tech-heads. An old-school vibe pervades throughout and this results in an insanely catchy set of dazzling tunes. "The Unseen One" particularly evokes the spirit of Deicide, Morbid Angel and Hate Eternal, channeling that indefinable rage and fearless endeavour for a modern audience.

An eruption of ideas awaits the brave, Titanomachy revelling in its turbulent rhythms and palpable drama with Mike Alexander's riffs running the gamut of death metal influences and the accomplished growls of Doug Anderson (Unfathomable Ruination's sticks-man, is there no end to this dude's death metal talents?) culminating in a coherent, seamless work of genius that the God's themselves would bow down to!

Technical death metal just got deadly serious again.

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