If you’ve been at all interested in Extreme Metal within the last 10 years it goes without saying that you will have heard of legendary Death Metallers, NILE. The hype surrounding this band is second to none other, with titles such as “The Saviours Of Death Metal” being accredited to them. Before hearing this release I had never been exposed to NILE, but after reading positive review after positive review, I figured this must assuredly be a great album and a fairly safe purchase. Right?
With “In Their Darkened Shrines” NILE have created one of the most boring Death Metal albums I have ever had the misfortune to hear. The album kicks off with a vaguely Egyptian sounding riff and from there on in the tedium begins. Each song is more or less the same, with the Egyptian riffs played periodically over light-speed drumming, with occasional solos thrown into the mix. While the ingredients in themselves don’t sound bad, ultimately the biggest downfall of this album is the song writing. Each track races along at full throttle without any real purpose, throwing in riffs at random and basically failing to create any identity. When NILE decide to slow their songs down they are at their strongest, but these moments are few and far between. It is a shame this album is the way it is, because the musicians within NILE make it abundantly obvious that they know how to play.
Although this album is boring, all considered it isn’t exactly terrible, it just fails to leave any kind of impression upon me, with the exception of one thing; The horn section in “Unas Slayer Of The Gods”. Most reviewers make mention of it and with good reason, because it is simply brilliant. Unfortunately 42 seconds worth of brilliance can’t make this album worth listening to. I’m not going to recommend that you don’t buy this album, because it seems to be a favourite of so many, however I will warn against making the decision too lightly next time you are out shopping for CD’s. (Online February 17, 2006)