Annihilation of the Wicked
(Relapse Records) Enslain Magazine Volume 2, Issue 1 This CD should be subtitled '"Egyptology 202"! More on that later. The opening track sets an interesting mood, featuring a Greek string instrument with low-ended wind sounds in the background. On the next track "Cast Down The Heretic," it's contolled mayhem from the start. The guitars and bass are tuned way down to "A," giving the music the most sick and brutal sound possible. The double bass drums fire away almost non stop, accompanied by tremelo picking on the guitars and bass as fast as it can get. The vocals are very deep and sound very "throaty;" that is, one can hear the slight gurgling characteristic. It's not overdone in terms of degree; it's tone matches the depth of the music.
The riffing here is very chromatic, and often employs useage of the Phyrigian scale, with its leanings on the b2nd degree as the dominant chord pivot. This sound is very common in metal, but the phrasings used here especially give the music the Egyptian type of sound. The muted chords sound very thick, with a bit more decay than usually heard on muted chords, which creates a greater sense of connection.
Not only is the record well played and produced, it has to be one the most lyrically thought-out records EVER. Mastermind Karl Sanders gives indepth liner notes on each track about the inspiration for each piece, with much detail concerning the Egyptiian myths and history on which the songs are based. It is nothing short of fascinating.
Some of my favorite moments are the intro to "User-Maat-Re," with its classical guitar lines played on the lower strings (a bit similar in tone to the intro to Metallica's "Battery") and the first and last riffs (the same) to 'Sacrifice Unto Sebek," with its low power chords, accents, and erie background, which sounds like either a large gong cymbal, or the sound of an awakening monster. The other nice thing about this record is that there are guitar leads (remember those?) They are totally chaotic, with their own obcure tonalities, but they always fit the music. This is a must have for fans of brutal death. In addition to the music, you get a lesson in Egyptian myths at the same time! Again, one of the most well-crafted works in the entire genre of heavy music.
Enslain Magazine Issue #5
When I listened to this album it was the first time I had ever heard Nile. I didn't know quite what to except truthfully. I had heard only good things from various people in praise of their MCD Rhamses Bringer of War. That MCD set the scene very near ablaze for a couple weeks when it was released. I never purchased it though, preferring to wait until the full length was released. I can honestly say it was a good move. This album is insane, totally crushing. The sheer brutality that slams from the speakers is very impressive indeed. Nile doesn't stop there however, they push the envelope and make this a truly enjoyable album by throwing in Egyptian and Arabic rhythms to the standard deathmetal fare. This defiantly heightens the experience personally for the tribal-like beats only increase the sense of urgency and the blood lust for war. If you are looking for some powerful deathmetal that is refreshingly different I suggest Nile. One of the best deathmetal bands out there in my opinion.
-- Adam Schmidt