Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

A nice change of pace - 96%

Daemonium_CC, March 27th, 2006

Ok, first of all, I had been waiting for this album for a long time. I had known that Karl was going to do a solo record from way back. In fact, he was planning on calling it 'Iron of Sekhmet' if I remember correctly. I thought it would be incredible for the mastermind of Nile to do an instrumental/ambient record, and awaited it with open arms.

The songwriting talents of Mr. Sanders has never failed to impress me, and this album is no exception. The first track, 'Awaiting the Vultures' is a moody peice with some nice Saz work, and sets the mood of the album very well. It's soft and mellow, and is very relaxing.

The second track, 'Of the Sleep of Ishtar' is even more moody, with tribal drums, and ghost like vocals. There are some feedback/electric guitar sounds, which later paves the way for a beautiful acoustic guitar solo from Mr. Sanders. Once again, very calm and relaxing, and the song finalizes with an emotional electric guitar solo.

Track three is probably one of my favorites from the record. 'Luring the Doom Serpent' is quite perfect in every aspect. It kicks off with some funky tribal drumming, then moves it's way into an infectious acoustic guitar groove, which is quite unusual. Nothing fancy in terms of finger work, but the pace of the song and the melodies from the guitar instantly take you back in time and you can just see yourself standing alone in a desert of sand with the hot sun shining down on your face. An acoustic guitar solo is set perfectly on top of the drums and guitar, creating a very timeless sound. Excellence from start to finish.

'Contemplations of the Endless Abyss' is another unusual peice of music constructed entirely out of a human voice-in this case it's Karl's friend Mike Breazeale, who also did the spoken word part in 'Unas, Slayer of the Gods' for Nile. This track is nothing short of strange, so it will be very hard to describe, but it's definately worth a listen as the boys obviously did a lot of experimenting and had a lot of fun with this particular track.

'The Eldar God Shrine' is another moody peice which kicks in with some more Saz work. The Saz sound itself is pretty good, but could be better. I imagine Karl doesn't have a very high end Saz like the ones we do in Istanbul, but nevertheless it does the job. When it comes to Karl's skills with the instrument, lets just say that there are thousands of people who could play him inside out, but that's not the point here. The point here is the atmosphere which is created, and that is very impressive. Haunted vocals flow together with disturbing Saz melodies make this another interesting listen.

'Temple of Lunar Ascension' is pretty much like the rest of the album, nothing flashy or fancy here, just a great mood and some more Saz work.

'Dreaming Through the Eyes of Serpents' is probably my favorite song off of the entire album. Starting with a Saz which seems to be knocked out of tune, it quickly redeems itself with a truly haunting melody. Close your eyes and let your mind wander where it wishes to, and you will get there. An incredible peice of music with lots of emotion and intelligence. The song is extremely slow and there are lots of spaces in between the Saz lines played, so the echo created naturally is quite awesome. The melodies are so delicate, so fragile, that it seems that they may break or fall apart if they were played in the wrong hands. Hats off to Mr. Sanders for a truly wonderful peice of art he created with this track.

'Whence No Traveller Returns' is also another highlight from the album. For fans of acoustic guitar work (personally I love Al Di Meola and the sort) this song will please you immensely. It features Karls guitar teacher on lead guitar, and they both trade off licks. The foundation of the song is quite emotional and straightforward, but when the leads kick in, watch out. The song starts off in a calm manner, then goes berserk when the guitars start feeding off each other. Incredible. Some of the runs in this song are really quite fantastic. The two guitars can easily be seperated by ear, and Karl gives just as good a performance as his teacher. Definately one of my favorites.

'The Forbidden Path Across the Chasm of Self-Realization' starts off as a nice, haunting track with plenty of atmosphere and a very doomy mood. However, when the spoken word part of David Vincent kicks in, it all gets shot to Hell. David by no means is a bad vocalist, but he just wasn't the right man for this job. It's incredibly cheesy and not convincing in the least. It almost sounds like a joke and totally ruins whatever atmosphere the song had up to that time.

'Beckon the Sick Winds of Pestilence' is another interesting listen, with far out drumming. It sounds like the tribal music that you would hear on the Discovery Channel whilst stoned out of your face, and that's not a bad thing! Once again Karl manages to capture the mood perfectly, and the album finishes in a most triumphant manner.

Note : 4 point deducted for David Vincent sounding like he does.