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Nile -Those Whom The Gods Detest

  • Review by: Ankit Baraskar
Nile is undoubtedly one of the biggest bands in the contemporary international death metal scene, and since ‘Ithyphallic’ was released in 2007, the metal community was waiting for the band to push themselves further in the form of another studio album. Karl Sanders released a solo acoustic album called ‘Saurian Exorcisms’ which was ground-breaking in it’s own way, but still lacked the technical, precise and brutal drumming that Kollias manages to dish out so effortlessly, and the heavy Midddle Eastern sounding riffs played in Drop A. From that point of view, this album does not fail to disappoint.
The overall formula is the same, it hasn’t really changed a lot since ‘Annihilation of The Wicked’. The solos are faster, more involved, more complex. Same goes for the riffs. It’s getting more technical than brutal, so as to say. And I for one would regard that as a definite improvement. Sanders had used traditional Egyptian instruments, not to mention the crazy screams etc for his solo project(Not to mention some Indian temple bells, and Kaali Ma/Om namah shivay chants), and similar experiments have been carried out with respect to this on this album.(Though Nile songs have had acoustic starts, as in a few songs from ‘Annihilation of the Wicked’ etc).Highlights of this album would also include the clean backing vocals for the track “Those Whom The Gods Detest”, which remind you of the perfectly pitched “Cast Down The Heretic” backing vocals. “Permitting The Noble Dead To Descend To The Underworld” is another song that has extremely non Nile-esque elements…though I can’t definitely state that it’s a positive. “Yezd Desert Ghul Ritual In The Abandoned Towers Of Silence” is something that besides being an interesting title also plays the role of a bit of an interlude after the initial first half(?) of the relentless onlsaught, though it could have come a song earlier, or probably even not at all, depending on the listener’s taste.The production quality is pretty good, and the riffs, vocals, drums and solos can be heard pretty much what one may term crystal clear. But the final review boils down to one thing…the Egyptian formula works for Nile, but are they overdoing it? After a certain point of time, the riffs aren’t very distinguishable from each other, and since their approach to the music remains pretty much the same, they might get trapped in the niche they’ve carved out for themselves. Good death metal no doubt, but after having listened to them for a considerable amount of time, makes you wonder if they
should finally change their sound or rest back on their laurels.
Final verdict…3.8/5.
Must listen at least once for everyone (Especially since the die hard Nile fans won’t want to miss it no matter what I write and the ones who haven’t heard Nile shall find this as a good introduction to Nile’s music).