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Romping up the technicality and progressiveness - 95%

Writhingchaos, January 16th, 2016

By now the concept of ethnic death metal has been done pretty much to death by countless bands, but then again when Nile kick-started their career with the blistering debut Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-Ka in 1998, they were undoubtedly a class apart as no other band really sounded like them. Sure even prior to that period a few metal bands did incorporate ethnic eastern influences in their music [Iron Maiden’s Powerslave anyone??] but not the way Nile did, especially with traditional instrumentation and Arabic chants combined with their scorching technical approach to extreme metal.

The opener ‘Kafir’ wastes no time in laying your poor unsuspecting ears to waste and even the epic Arabic chants in the middle of a blistering midsection of the song don’t sound out of place at all. If anything, they reinforce the epic quotient of the music. Yes my metal brethren, if anything at all Nile has gone way off the epic scale on this album. The presence of two 8 minute long epics should be enough of an indication. ‘Utterances Of The Crawling Dead’ is also another scorcher with one hell of a mosh-inducing opening riff. Almost makes me want to bury someone alive in the crypts of the pyramids and watch gleefully as their body gets slowly swallowed by the writhing sand dunes. Yeah I do happen to have a sadistic side, deal with it now.

‘4th Arra Of Dagon’ and the title track could just as well be the soundtrack to 300: Rise Of An Empire, with the epic chants and shouts giving the overwhelming feel of a militaristic march towards the last battle of your life. Yeah alright I know, contrary to most people’s expectations I actually liked that movie. Especially the last scene. You’ll be raising and pumping your fists during the epic mid-section as well trust me, plus the acoustic break in the middle of the title track is one heck of a turnaround.

After a mix of the mid paced and fast, we once again return to the frantic frenzied fretboard workout of ‘The Eye Of Ra’ where your head will return to whirlwind motion and ‘Iskander Dhul Kharnon’ ends the album on a brooding epic note, slowly fading away like the memories of the ancient pharaohs.

And yeah, on a separate note I do find the band’s fetish for absurdly long song titles quite funny to be honest, but what the heck. As long as they deliver the goods, it’s all good.

If you’re already a fan, then you know what to expect. In the unlikely scenario that you haven’t heard their music yet, I would suggest that you start with Annihilation Of The Wicked. However make sure you eventually come back to this one, cuz it’s a goddamn masterpiece! Where most bands just try to be mindlessly brutal or technical, completely forgetting that they’re supposed to write a goddamn song at the end of the day, the masters once again show the kiddos how it’s actually done. Half the death metal bands out there wish they sounded this menacing and brutal. \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/