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Nile - Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-ka (9/10) - USA - 1998

Genre: Death Metal
Label: Relapse Records
Playing time: 33:14
Band homepage: Nile

Tracklist:

  1. Smashing The Antiu
  2. Barra Edinazzu
  3. Kudurru Maqlu
  4. Serpent Headed Mask
  5. Ramses Bringer Of War
  6. Stones Of Sorrow
  7. Die Rache Krieg Lied Der Assyrische
  8. The Howling Of The Jinn
  9. Pestilence And Inquity
  10. Opening Of The Mouth
  11. Beneath Eternal Oceans Of Sand
Nile - Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-ka
To be honest, I never checked out any NILE-material before cause I feared a brutal onslaught of Death Metal. It was until a friend of mine played me some songs that I got interested in this band, and subsequently, in the Brutal Death Metal-scene.

What NILE has is something not often encountered in this scene. Where numerous bands fail to be original, and thereby only copy the known concepts of blasting riffs and drums, without getting to a certain point, NILE is full of originality. Ok, we're talking here about a band that is indeed heavy as hell!! The guitars and drum create a wall of Metal that you will remember for a long time to come. But hey, the variety on this record is excellent, they do not only resort to fast riffing, but almost doomy riffs often pass by. But that's not entirely where I base this originality on.

That must be the concept of NILE. As the name suggests, NILE takes much inspiration from the ancient Egyptian civilization. Not only the lyrics deal with this culture (with some songs entirely sung in Egyptian language), but also Egyptian instruments are used in several songs. And oh boy, does this sound wicked!! For instance, the song "Die Rache Krieg…" is a song originally sung when the Assyrians went all out for war… and it sounds like the war is upon us, the feeling that this creates is almost realistic!!! And a song like "Ramses Bringer Of War" starts with an excellent drum-intro, like a group of slaves in announcing the entry of the almighty Ramses into the room. You have to hear this for yourself, but it adds so much to the atmosphere of the music!

The eleven songs on the album pass by as one big story, taking you back to the days of the mummys and pyramids, showing mainly the brutality that already reigned supreme in ancient times. Songs like "Smashing The Antiu" and "Serpent Headed Mask" are showcases of massive brutality, while songs like "Ramses Bringer Of War" and "Opening Of The Mouth" are more or less a hybrid of the Egyptian melodies and the brute pace of Death Metal. Something that has to be said is that the drum performance by Pete Hammoura on this record is terrific!! Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that there are multiple vocalists, all members of the band (3 in total) do a part of the grunts on this record, and this adds an extra dimension to the vocals!

A minus though: this record is only 33 minutes long, way to short to satisfy the needs… Fortunately they have released another album, "Black Seeds Of Vengeance", so there is plenty of NILE-material to be enjoyed! NILE is great stuff, and is highly recommended to anyone that can stand fast riffs and grunts!!

Vincent Portegijs



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