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A wondrous delight to the senses - 100%

Writhingchaos, May 28th, 2016

Ever since I discovered Nile, I’ve really gone out of my way to discover more ethnic-influenced death metal bands. What I had no clue about was the fact that good old Karl had some other plans up his sleeve and had already released two solo albums. Two! Yeah, believe it or not for some obscure reason or the other, both his releases had bypassed my radar for years until about two years back. And this is in spite of me being a Nile fan. Damn. Oh well, better late than never.

In case you haven’t figured out already by the rating, this album is fucking dope. And this is coming from someone who doesn’t really enjoy a great deal of ambient stuff with the exception of a few artists here and there and a couple of Original Soundtracks. Then again not on an everyday basis and totally depending on my mood. The first day I could be in musical heaven and the second day I could be bored to death listening to pretty much the same album. Thankfully that’s not the case here. Even the mellow repetition of the 9 minute long epic “Of the Sleep Of Ishtar” never gets old in the slightest. I mean seriously this album is pretty much the PERFECT soundtrack to reading about Egyptian history and the pharaohs while being stoned out of your mind. Or just the second option. Then again, depending on where your priorities lie. Parts of the album really bring to mind the blistering unforgiving deserts of the Middle East and people making their way on camels. Sorry for the lame description but it really paints a fascinating yet inexplicable picture in my mind. The rise and fall of the dynamics in this album and the subtle transformations from soft to loud is almost akin to the best of classical music at times. Yep I said it.

On this album Karl showcases his absolute mastery at intelligent and manipulative songwriting since each of the songs pull you in and refuse to let go. Here he uses repetition and unconventional soundscapes to his full advantage creating the perfect atmosphere for you to completely immerse yourself in. Though I don’t do it much, I can imagine that it would be one of the perfect albums to meditate to. Plus the use of traditional Middle Eastern instruments (traditional percussion and a baglama among various others) adds one heck of a magic touch. It is clear that Karl has thoroughly explored the acoustic guitar to great length than most other metal musicians out there and if there are still some deluded souls who think that Nile is soulless boring death metal with a bunch of useless Eastern influences, point them to this album! If this ace of an album doesn’t change their mind, then they probably need to just stick to listening to pop. Heck even the most avid haters of metal could probably end up liking this.

Lastly there are no highlights. If you listen to this album, you need to go all out and treat yourself from start to finish. Period. Not one or two songs here and there. Highly recommended for every single music fan out there and particularly for the ones who have a fetish for middle-eastern music in general.