Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

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

Privacy Policy

NIle Thrashing Out!!! - 95%

Monstro_City, May 6th, 2010

For the longest time I would much rather have listened to Behemoth’s Satanica through to Demigod era material than to have to sit through yet another boring as shit Nile album. See, in my humble opinion, Nile has only two really spectacular albums, their first and their last-this one, “Those Whom the Gods Detest”. Once I finally snapped out of it and realized Behemoth was stupid, I decided to banish all my ancient Egyptian themed metal albums (maybe like two or three) to the land of wind and ghosts, or something. Either way I didn’t listen to them anymore, probably never will again. The only other such band worth a hoot these days seems to be Mithras; who pertain to an entirely different tangent of study of mythological history, although many of their riffs and scales are very similar. I would also like to shred light on the very similar crushing/pummeling percussion style evoked in, say, “Forever Advancing… Legions” and Nile’s new full-length.

So what makes everything else Nile’s done suck? Directionless, overwhelming, boring drumming; unnecessarily fast and boring pseudo-grind “riffs” that you can’t even understand; absurd lyrics; the constant back and forth of fast/nonsense riffs and pretty half-decent death metal riffs, all of which are way too down-tuned; the fact that you had to wait through like three whole tracks on “In Their Darkened Shrines” before one OK death metal riff popped up. C’mon people, Nile is not very good-for the most part. Other than “Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka” and this new one, I only respect Karl Sanders for his dedication to the genre, his big juicy brain, and him just being one of the absolute coolest pieces of shit walking around out there. And here he is… THRASHING THE FUCK OUT!!!!!!!

“Those Whom the Gods Detest” is a fucking miracle in a lot of different ways. For one, Erik Rutan could have literally polished the turd. What do you get when you cross a mid-career Nile album, and a drum engineer from Hate Eternal? A nap. Or that’s what I thought at first anyway, then as I sat down to drink it all in, I was astounded with how not overbearing the drums are. They’re smooth and warm and sexy, in fact much of the double-bass, even at full blast, sits just under the guitars in the mix. Is that seriously what just happened? The crappy, boring drummer from Hate Eternal made the crappy, boring drums from Nile sound very competent? I guess multiplying two negatives really does equal a positive.

Oh yeah, the whole thrashing out thing too! Well, Nile really has incorporated tons of different metal styles into one big monster over the years since “Catacombs…” whether the albums were any good or not. They used doom, death, death/grind, ambient, and even black metal. Curiously, there’s more black metal inspired stuff on many of their albums than most other styles; what with the nonstop double-kick, epic sounding scales, a dirt-nasty guitar tone, the hopeless feel of repetition and all that jazz. Whatever, second and third wave black metal is stupid. The gods detest it, that’s why this new album rips. There’s material on here that sounds like Dark Angel could have written it, it rises to the surface only occasionally as a bridge to something more Nile oriented, but it’s there. Other than the overt doom influenced songs, every track on this album features a genuinely awesome thrash sequence. I’d say the best example of this is the song “Kem Khefa Khesef”.

Another factor in this album’s success was how Sanders decided not to tune his guitar too low. It doesn’t really matter how good the material is, if your guitar is too low, and your drums are too loud, it’s going to sound like shit, or rather, you won’t be able to make out what it sounds like at all (literally half of the whole album “In Their Darkened Shrines”). Nope, not this time around, the gods detest it, this time the axes are crunchy and light, and there isn’t a moment on the disc that you don’t hear perfectly what they’re trying to do. A Nile-milestone! Usually when they try to grind, the result is an ambiguous winding noise that serves only to sound like it’s going faster and faster, with no riff structure over the drums. This time, whenever they pull that crap it works, because with a lighter guitar tone it is easier to determine how the blisteringly fast grinding riffs are situated over the rhythm.

And holy butt-cheeks is this album tight. That’s another thing you could say about Nile, they were never that tight. At least not as tight as they should have been for how fast they were trying to go. Which is superficial any way you look at it. But thrash requires speed to function properly, and I’d wager any amount of money that this album is heavier than their others for having a lighter guitar tone. Man, some of the hooks and riffs on “Those Whom the Gods Detest” are so razorfucking sharp that it begs the question “would this album be what it is if not for the precision?” I like it when technical shit is coherent. There’s a time and place for sloppy… anything, but not on here!

So what about the unorthodox lyrics? Let’s look at this objectively, shall we? There is a good several paragraphs of lyrics in the liner notes devoted to the issuance of accurate, meticulously translated and non-translated spells, wordings, incantations, and various other texts disclosing even the minutiae of ancient Egyptian life. Scholarly work, though eventually Sanders will break away into croaking “I will not speak the spell for not dying again, nay, I will not speak…” (I’m pretty sure ancient Egyptian people didn’t say “nay”) and then having that build up into “WE ARE THEY WHO THE GO-ODS DETEEEESSSST!!!!” Like any good band, they take a big fat booty-behind dose of Spinal Tap before they compile an album. None of this crap is meant to be taken too seriously. Despite how seriously menacing the thrash riffs are… for 2010.

One other note on the drums, when this style of death metal percussion is engineered and approached properly, it’s just fine. I’m a guy who listens to Fuck… I’m Dead. It doesn’t at all annoy me when it’s done right! I also own “Those Whom the Gods Detest” on the limited to 1000 pressings, sand colored vinyl. If there were any Nile album worth owning on vinyl… this is it ‘cause the sound is just excellent. Not to mention Mr. Sanders’ lengthy back-up research he provides yet again for further reference. Some of the things he passively writes are outrageously funny. This album really could be their best. Except for their first, back when they were playing strictly death/grind. “The Howling of the Jinn” still might be the best thing they’ve ever written.

In summation, what you should be taking away from this review is that exactly five out of the ten cuts on this piece are deliberately (and authentically) thrashed out.

Nile Thrashing Out!!!!!