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god damnit nile i hate you - 61%

Noktorn, February 26th, 2010

Dear Nile: Please stop writing songs longer than five minutes tops. You will never, EVER have enough ideas to sustain a song of that length because frankly you are just not that smart. Stick with short, blasty little numbers; I mean, your track record isn't perfect there, but there's at least some chance you won't fuck it up egregiously. As a related note, just stop with the slow songs. Just stop. All the good ideas you had for things like that were used up on your first album. There's no blood coming from the doom stone.

I say this because, really, '4th Arra Of Dagon'? I mean, who listens to that and thinks that it's in any way a good idea? Possibly the most horribly bloated and droning track on 'Those Whom The Gods Detest', the song drags itself around like a dog with worms for almost NINE FUCKING MINUTES before collapsing under the weight of its obese running time. This is indicative of the nature of 'Those Whom The Gods Detest' as a whole: it drags itself out about twenty minutes longer than it could possibly need to be, making for the Nile album suffering the greatest number of attempted murders at the hands of its creators' egos.

This is probably a little worse than 'Ithyphallic', which is actually amazing because the best parts on this release are much better than the best on the earlier one. The problem is that whenever something interesting pops up, Colonel Sanders and crew are right there to kneecap it before it can reach any sort of success. Flickers of brilliance in riffing and song structures dot this album like so many islands of sanity amidst the usual tech-retardation that Nile specializes in. This time, though, Nile has an even bigger budget than before, meaning that the retardation present is of an unprecedented scope and texture.

'Those Whom The Gods Detest' has, I'm convinced, the cheesiest, most stereotypically 'Egyptian' riffs Nile has ever written. You can tell when they're occurring because you will literally cringe when you hear them; they're like something you would hear in a Bugs Bunny cartoon where the eponymous rabbit dresses up like a pharaoh. Between those are generally bland tech death riffing, and, of course, giant held chords with the usual awfully-employed keyboard backing. Unsurprisingly, the best tracks on this album are the last three (being the only ones I can unequivocally call 'good songs') because they are devoid of all the excessive adornment that newer Nile defines itself by. They're traditional tech death tracks with an Egyptian flair, and while some of the awful lead guitar tries to murder these songs in their cribs, it's thankfully unsuccessful.

By the way, an open letter to George Kollias: You're not impressing anybody, and if somehow you are, the people you're impressing AREN'T IMPORTANT. Kollias takes the 'constant fills' style of Sandoval or Mounier to its retarded endpoint, where he literally cannot stop spazzing out on the kit and try to be tasteful for even a moment. Variation in drumming is all well and good, but Kollias is varied to a fault, literally unwilling to hold down any particular rhythm for more than three seconds before switching cymbals, doing a fill, or otherwise smacking the drums like a retarded flipper baby on meth. It's tasteless and detracts massively from the overall worth of the music.

For god's sake Nile, don't you see WHY 'Annihilation Of The Wicked' is your most revered album? It's tasteful and I can listen to the whole thing without wanting to throw up! You would think that Nile would understand how this sort of thing works: everyone loves that album, so try and replicate that album's success. But no! They decided that the reason everyone loved 'Annihilation Of The Wicked' is due to the minor technical flourishes which popped up occasionally, so in Nile's classic ability to miss the point, they made an album of nothing but technical flourishes. Also the demented Arabic warbling is just as horrible as the solos; again, cringe-inducing.

Oddly enough, as much as I've had to say regarding this album's faults, I really don't hate it. Oddly enough, even though it's a worse album, I like it more than 'Ithyphallic', which feels distinctly pretentious and cripplingly boring to boot. 'Those Whom The Gods Detest' is mediocre in a more honest way; the band is clearly desperately trying (if failing) to write something compelling. It just doesn't work. There's honestly much worse Nile albums than this but now that this review is complete it will be relegated to a once a year listen and mostly forgotten.