As expected from the legendary trio from South Carolina, their seventh studio album ’At the Gates of Sethu’ opens with dark orchestral tones, followed by the blistering sound that Nile create so well. ‘Enduring The Eternal Molestation Of Flame‘ is much of the same band as they have been for the last 6 Albums, killer chromatic riffs and epic vocal undertones, they have definitely raised the bar yet again.
As track two ‘The Fiends Who Come To Steal The Magick Of The Deceased’ started, I was expecting ‘Annihilation of the Wicked’ part two, but was greeted with even more disjointed timing signatures and a chorus hook not unlike Strapping Young Lad, and honestly some of the best drum parts I have heard from the mighty George Kollias. Karl Sanders was even quoted ‘George knocked it out, finishing a full week ahead of schedule’ the new bass player Todd Ellis fits in with this perfectly, and although the bass isn’t as present in the mix as some of the other albums, the technicality of the rhythm section is mind-blowing.
As avant-garde as Black Seeds Of Vengeance was in 2000, Nile follow with pure death metal groove. The intensity is spaced by two, haunting, ethereal songs, ‘Slaves of Xul’ and the almost ironically titled ‘Ethno-Musicological Cannibalisms’. These are perfectly intertwined with the introductions of the heavier tracks, and don’t distract from the sheer power of the sound. This being said, I’m a huge fan of Nile, and I’m sure there are some purists in the world that wouldn’t appreciate this break in the brutality and speed, but make no mistake, from the outset you are listening to Nile and you will know it. There are also many other vocal textures during ’At the Gates of Sethu’ than the band have used before, possibly with the addition of Todd Ellis, it really sounds like they have tried to push the sound forward and conjure more imagery through this album.
Karl Sanders and Dallas Toler-Wade’s guitar work, especially in ‘When My Wrath Is Done’ and ‘Natural Liberation Of Fear Through The Ritual Deception Of Death’ hurts my hand just thinking about it. The tone of the guitars together is gigantic, and although I’m not sure whether Karl or Dallas are playing which solo respectively, it is the best shredding the band have done in my humble opinion.
With ‘Tribunal of the Dead’ Nile return to their roots musically, and really thrash out for the penultimate tracks. I get the impression that this is really a masterpiece for them, especially Kollias, and even had to replay certain sections in disbelief.
My only criticism would be that if you haven’t liked Nile in the past, I don’t think this album will change your opinion, the heavier tracks are still the same, ithyphallic death metal sound. Personally I hope they never change but keep pushing forward the same sound as they have, and stay one of the few bands that really do keep getting better and never sell out.
Culminating with the seven minute epic ‘The Chaining Of The Iniquitous’ there is more of what can only be described as the sound of the opening to a film, followed by one of the most devastating heavy riffs, with an aptly placed chain dropping sound. This is repeated before one more final, punchy solo until the album ends on a powerful and frightening outro, with operatic elements and an orchestra trailing off, leaving me wanting much more, and soon.
This is Nile through and through, with enough surprises to appeal to long-time fans of both the band and brutal death metal and it’s good to hear they’ve kept their strong Egyptian influences throughout.
- Enduring The Eternal Molestation Of Flame
- The Fiends Who Came To Steal The Magick Of The Deceased
- The Inevitable Degradation Of Flesh
- When My Wrath Is Done
- Slaves Of Xul
- The God Who Light Up The Sky At The Gate Of Sethu
- Natural Liberation Of Fear Through The Ritual Deception Of Death
- Entho-Musicological Cannibalisms
- Tribunal Of The Dead
- Supreme Humanism Of Megalomania
- The Chaining Of The Iniquitous
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