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Nile's Debut Album - 85%

Eunuch666, February 11th, 2017
Written based on this version: 1998, CD, Relapse Records

Nile's debut full-length album Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka is an instant classic and cemented my love for Nile upon my first listen. In my opinion the production on the album sounds good. There are of course some Egyptian instrumentals included in order to create Nile's signature sound. I didn't find the added instrumentals on this album to be distracting or to take anything away from the rest of the music either. Amongst the Catacombs is the shortest album in Nile's discography, yet it still stands on its own. That being said when you listen to the album you truly become enveloped in its atmosphere. Present time ceases to exist as you are transported backwards into the past to experience one of the world's most ancient civilizations, which is arguably what one might say is one of Nile's main goals as a band.

The album starts off blasting you with heavy guitar work and deep vocal growls which immediately begin to pummel you into submission. Vocals were done by each member in the band, each having their own style, which makes one feel like mummified pharaoh's are each telling their own part of history. The lyrics are interesting and very well written, borrowing from the use of the Lovecraft mythos as well as Egyptian history and mythology... the album is filled with unique Nile stylized guitar work and songwriting that entwines with the Egyptian instrumentals in a perfect balance.

Amongst the Catacombs has some great tracks on it and you can immediately hear Nile's sound surfacing from beneath the cursed sand. Serpent Headed Mask is really the first powerful track on the record, there are some great Egyptian inspired riffs in that track! With anthem-like tracks like Ramses Bringer of War and Die Rache Krieg Lied der Assyriche in between slaughtering songs like Stones of Sorrow and the Howling of the Jinn, one begins to understand how Nile manages to keep listeners on the edge of their seat and captivate and rally live audiences so well. Opening of the Mouth is a track I believe to be extremely underrated on the album. I don't usually use a lot of cliches but... it is brutal. Brutal.

Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka is a solid debut from Nile and the album itself does a good job introducing Nile to the unfamiliar listener. Really my only issue with the album and the reason I'm giving it a rating of 85% is it's length, which can be easily remedied with multiple listens. (Which you shouldn't have a problem with!) All in all Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka is an excellent starting point for anyone who hasn't already listened to Nile.