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Trance like an Egyptian. - 85%

caspian, March 13th, 2006

I've always liked the egyptian interludes in Nile records. They've slowly improved over the cd's they've released, and they set the mood of the album very, very well. Still, a 2 minute interlude is one thing, but doing an hour's worth is another. Can Karl Sanders really pull it off? The answer is luckily, yes. This is a great ambient album that is equal to anything in Nile.

This album is really, really good, but it's kind of hard to review it without a ton of pretensious metaphors. But.. It has a huge, massive atmosphere too it. After the first track, which isn't that good, there is the "Of the Sleep of Ishtar", a massive, almost 10 minute epic, full of slow burning synths, gentle acoustic guitars and some haunting, brilliant clean vocals/chant things. It's the most egyptian thing you've ever heard. "Contemplations of the Endless Abyss" is another absolute masterpiece. There's a bit more chanting, but otherwise it's a 4 minute slab of cymbal washes and ambient noise. It's probably the best song on the album. Some songs have a bit of electric guitar leads flying around the place, and while they do sound a bit strange in some parts of the songs, they generally fit quite well. into the mix. There's also a lot of interesting percussion in basically every song here. There's the usual gong/cymbal thing going on, but the percussion in "Luring the Doom Serpent" is quite strange and fairly awesome. While much of this album is played at fairly slow tempos, there's a bit of variation in tempo. "Dreaming through the eyes of Serpents" has some fairly fast guitar playing and is at a decent tempo, as is "The Elder God Shrine." Great song titles too. THat's probably Karl Sanders' greatest skill. Someone should really make a Nile song title generator. It would be awesome.

Anyway.. This is really, really good. It is fairly ambient, but it has got balls. The guitar playing is interesting, the strange instruments all sound great, and in the end, you've got the most egyptian record you've ever heard. Highly recommend for fans of Nile and for people who don't mind their music atmospheric and spookay. Still, you might want to download it first.