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Almost perfect - 97%

Vim_Fuego, August 6th, 2004

This album near approaches the perfect mix of brutality, technicality, and musicianship for death metal. It is difficult to describe the experience of listening to this album. The brutal death metal sections mesh perfectly with the Egyptian stylings.

The ancient Egyptian theme well suits death metal, as the culture may well have been mystical and highly advanced, but it was also violent, harsh, and brutal. The standard of music and appeal of some of the musicianship is such that I have been able to play it to non–metal fans, and they have been able to appreciate it, if not actually like it.

Musically, Nile are tight. Yes, this is ultra brutal stuff, but there are sudden stops and starts, and time changes, all done at high velocity. The album kicks off with the full on bludgeoning double of Smashing the Antiu and Barra Edinazzu. As the song titles suggest, much of the lyrical content on the album is in the language of ancient Egypt. It's not until the third track, Kudurru Maqlu, that the Egyptian musical influences kick in, creating a soundscape of a windblown, dust swept market place, complete with wailing chants. Ramses Bringer of War starts with a stirring military march, utilising horns, before blasting into more deathly frenzy.

Perhaps the standout track of the whole album is Die Rache Krieg Lied Der Assyriche. It's far from death metal, yet is powerful. It has a driving rhythm beneath it, with wailing and chanting choruses layered one on top of the other, gongs chiming, and then vocalist Karl Sanders intoning an incantation over top of it all. It is stunningly simple, yet effective and awe inspiring.

Many death metal fans do Nile a great disservice by comparing them to bands like Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, and Suffocation. Nile is so much more than any of those bands. Nile are in a class of their own.