Angry Metal Guy hates this album. He hates it so much that he won’t even deign to put to paper how much he hates it; and thus has commanded me to do so in his stead. Given how bad At The Gate of Sethu was, I was sure it wouldn’t be difficult to do so but was nonetheless displeased. I was all for skipping What Should not be Unearthed, and going on my merry way pretending Nile broke up four years ago, but sometimes you bite ass, and sometimes your ass gets bit. After spending a few days in the crypts with this album, a few things have become clear: it’s still the Nile you know and probably have some sort of strong feeling for. The chromatic riffing, incessant double bass pounding, and ham-fistedly (or perhaps mouthedly) delivered lyrics about gods and pyramids and the afterlife and what have you all align; What Should not be Unearthed is anything but groundbreaking. But the band have cut back on the self-plagiarism and boring brutality that undermined the previous album and paid more attention to elements of their sound that set them apart from other bands.

This is the part of the review where I’d go about discussing the first few or strongest songs of the album. Sadly, I instead get to tell you that, much like the last Nile album, Unearthed is pretty barren of highs and lows. There’s really no killer single or flaming bag in the mix, just fifty minutes of guitar picks and George Kollias’ feet moving really fast, though rarely in unison.

What set Nile apart from their contemporaries (and the countless bands that somehow want to swipe their riffs) are their unmetered passages. Since Kollias can keep 64th notes coming with little punctuation for quite some time, the rest of the band, and by that I mean mostly Karl Sanders, are free to tremolo and riff abstractly for a while. At best, these are brief and work like an extended, full-band drum fill; they reels and pitch for a moment before locking back into a groove. There are a few of these full-band passages scattered across Unearthed and they’re actually pulled off pretty well, but far more frequent are moments when the guitars, drums, or most often, vocals slip past the others. The fluid feeling of this slip pairs excellently with Nile‘s style of riffing and drumming, and it’s well-capitalized on in songs like “Age of Famine” and “To Walk Forth From Flames Unscathed.”

Nile - What Should not be Unearthed 02

The problems arise when the songs aren’t spilling over themselves; the best days of Nile riffing seem to be behind us, and though there are a few good cuts in the album – like on “Evil To Cast Out Evil,” after a minute or so even that song loses its way, and even its cool bridge is too little, too late for the album. What Should Not Be Unearthed feels like a supercut of the mid-quality parts of previous Nile albums interspersed with the occasional tumbling, uncoordinated moment of intrigue. Add that to its typical production – little to no bass presence, shitty-sounding cymbals, and vocals that have never been top of the class, and you get an underwhelming piece of music.

I’d really love to hear another Nile album as good as Ithyphallic or Those Whom the Gods Detest or even a song half as good as “Lashed to the Slave Stick,” but between this and George Kollias‘ equally average release earlier this year, it looks like fans will have to sit through this uninspired, natron-stiffened version of Nile for a few more years. While I’m sure the band needed to write new material to make sure they weren’t dead, I’d have preferred this album stayed in the ground.


Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 182 kbps mp3
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Websites: nilecatacombs.net | facebook.com/nile
Releases Worldwide: August 28th, 2015

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  • This won’t go over well.

    • Kronos

      My reviews rarely do.

      • André Snyde Lopes

        What is this parallel universe in which Kronos’ reviews are not regarded as excellent?

        • Kronos

          There’s this thing called me hating nearly everything and fanpeople butthurt.

          • André Snyde Lopes

            Your hate is usually validated by some rational points whic… oh yeah, butthurt fans…

    • Rob Liz

      Kronos has my support. Come on Nile, be better.

      • And my axe!

        • And my joke!

          • Parallel development!

          • Hulksteraus

            Parallel Angry Metal Guy?? Does that mean that Happy Metal Guy was really Angry Metal Guy from a parallel universe!!??

          • Here’s Johnny

            Once you have all stopped flirting and touching each other, i will be back with more than an axe.

    • Here’s Johnny

      You are right it hasn’t. Total clusterfuck of a review but i will be back once i’ve listened to the album some more.

      • Yes we know. Big name bands must get good scores. We’ve heard it from you plenty.

        • Here’s Johnny

          I’ve never said that.

          • You’ve made insinuations on multiple occasions that we give lower scores to big name releases than other acts. It’s silly, but there it is.

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    As an exercise in self-control I will say no more than ATGOS’s only real problem was the production and YOU’REWRONGSOGODDAMNWRONGABOUT
    EVERYTHINGETTÄPÄOLETKINWRONGGODDAMMIT!!

    Sorry, I tried. I really did.

    • Sir Tapir The Based :]

      I’m going to wash your mouth with soap, young man!

      • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

        I’m going to wash your mouth with ammonia and bleach, young Tapir.

        • Sir Tapir The Based :]

          Did they ban this Howard too?

          • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

            Yes they did. A couple days ago on the mini-review article, I made a comment, and as a result, this account got banned, too. Long answer below:

            In the comment I made, I mentioned that the band Skaur that they covered was a borderline NS band (it’s pretty much National Socialism “lite” with their brand of “National/Nordic Romanticism”), and that the label they are on, Darker Than Black, is almost completely a NSBM label (it’s owned and operated by Hendrik Mobus, the guy who started Absurd and who killed one of his classmates back in the 90’s, and the label is filled with NS and racist themed bands). I said that I was genuinely surprised that the ToH decided to cover the band and the label, since they’ve been so passionately averse to even allowing people to mention NS-related bands or submit riffs from bands that they don’t like and don’t want to be associated with or whatever. For whatever reason, I got banned because of that.

            I think my comment struck a nerve with the ToH inner circle, because they’ve been so passionately anti-NS and adversarial with me and my appreciation for certain unsavory bands (like Grand Belial’s Key), and having me point out the irony and hypocrisy of their covering the Darker Than Black label set them off.

            They’ve been looking for an excuse to ban me lately, anyway. I’ve been butting heads with Joe over this very issue for months. I find the draconian policing of the ToH ethos of overt political correctness and social justice to be annoying as fuck and futile, since so many of the guys behind the bands in extreme metal are kind of scumbags (and I think I proved that point, since they allowed a racist/NS band and label to be covered and endorsed, and they didn’t even realize it!). They’ve also been intentionally leaving out my submissions for Riff ov the Week since Joe got butthurt that I submitted Grand Belial’s Key. They even left out my riff for the week when I submitted the theme!

            Oh well. The ToH is governed by a very tight, insular, and rigid body of cronies in the inner circle. Disagree or pose any opposition, and you’re done. It’s funny, Joe is a thousand times worse than Axl Rosenberg or Vince Neilstein. Those two take shit all the time from readers and commenters, and they just go on with their business and act professionally. They don’t throw fucking tantrums and ban people who disagree with them.

          • Sir Tapir The Based :]

            Wow! That’s a really shitty thing to do.

          • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

            It didn’t surprise me, though. For months now I’ve been seeing this coming, this direction that’s being taken. The ToH is so inbred and isolated. There are a few dozen dudes who read and comment on there regularly. There are very few dissenting opinions. So when that happens, a mini-gang mentality starts. A few dudes don’t agree with or don’t like something, and they snuff it out. It makes things easier for the group. But in groups like that, if you go astray or stand apart, it likely means game over for you.

          • IDK, dude…I can kinda sympathize with your points of view on the political stuff but you know me; I’m a dick in a bunch of other ways and have never even been warned.

          • Don’t be a dick. You’ve been warned.
            –The Management

          • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

            Yeah, you can be a dick about certain things (it’s never bothered me, I think a helping of people be dickish/adversarial keeps a community healthy and diverse), but you don’t touch the ToH sacred cows (political correctness, social issues, etc). And you definitely don’t take it as far as I do. That’s probably why you’ve never been warned. Plus, you’re a good dude, and one of the ToH’s resident elder statesmen (I say that earnestly–the ToH needs you around to drop truth bombs about heavy metal in the ’80s)

            I admit that I have a current of defiant/oppositional personality in me. Hell, I think that’s what drew me to metal in my younger years. So when I’m in a situation with a bunch of other people, I will play devil’s advocate. I will question things. And that’s gotten me into lots of trouble on the ToH, where those actions are certainly not appreciated or tolerated.

          • sweetooth0

            I remember the massive butthurt in the comments from that GBK riff ov the week. If it matters at all, I personally think a few of them need to calm the fuck down on the Toilet with regards to their white knight attitudes about how you are a scum bag if you listen to Burzum because you are supporting a hate campaign, blah, blah, blah. It’s a goddamn metal blog, unsavory and controversial topics/bands are going to come up. Personally I listen to several bands who would probably be classified as NS (if you listen to black metal it’s pretty much unavoidable) , but I’m also that guy who would spin Public Enemy right afterward. It’s all about the music for me.

          • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

            “Personally I listen to several bands who would probably be classified as NS (if you listen to black metal it’s pretty much unavoidable) , but I’m also that guy who would spin Public Enemy right afterward. It’s all about the music for me.”

            Bingo. Perfectly said. This is exactly how I feel.

          • sweetooth0

            It’s funny, should we now boycott all Craig Pillard related projects now because he used to be a big racist (and even put out a racist album)? I bet there’s a ton of bands that get featured on that blog where they have no idea what ideologies the members of the band have. I don’t feel like I’m supporting the resurrection of the fourth reich if I buy a GbK CD from Moribund, no matter how shitty of an attitude the members of that band may have.

          • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

            Agreed. The Pillard thing also got brought up during a RotW when I submitted a Disma riff. It also caused a shitstorm.

            They definitely aren’t aware of how many sketchy guys they are inadvertently covering and supporting, all the while professing that they won’t tolerate those types of people/bands. The Darker Than Black coverage wasn’t the first. They’ve covered the label World Terror Committee several times, and that label is also run by one of the guys in Absurd!

            That’s always been my argument. It’s futile to be this super P.C. enforcing metal fan, because if you are at all interested in extreme metal, you HAVE and WILL continue to listen to and support guys that are scumbags. It’s inevitable. Black metal and old school death metal are filled with sketchy dudes and shitty opinions. Hell, even Chuck Schuldiner made homophobic comments back in the day.

          • sweetooth0

            Yeah, and I can’t think of anything much less “metal” than spending a ton of time looking into every band’s past history to make sure it is “safe” enough to write about.

          • tomasjacobi

            “It’s funny, should we now boycott all Craig Pillard related projects now”
            Yes!
            Yes we should! There is so much amazing metal out there that there is no reason to support a guy like that or a band that tolerates him.

          • sweetooth0

            Fair enough. Isn’t gonna stop me from listening to Incantation and Disma though.

          • MoshOff

            It’s all Obama’s fault.

          • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

            It’s all The Ayatollah Barack Ebola’s fault.

            FTFY

          • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

            I’m sure from their side they can justify the banning with whatever reasoning they conjure. Am I sometimes abrasive? Yes. Do I like some bands that are considered sketchy? Sure. Will I speak out if I don’t agree? Absolutely. This made me a thorn in the side of the inner circle, though. So away I go.

          • Sir Tapir The Based :]

            Btw, I really enjoyed голос сталі.

          • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

            Byah! Seriously one of my favorite black metal records ever. So powerful and vicious, but also immensely beautiful at the same time.

          • MoshOff

            Dude I don’t want to add to the flames, but…

            You were a part of the “inner circle”, whatever the hell that means, for as long as I was until you decided to leave voluntarily and on good terms. For the entire duration of your time there as a writer people had nothing but respect and endless praise for you, and you were a highly valued member of the community.

            Then you come back and start progressively pushing more and more NS bands and stirring stuff up in the comments because… why? I really cannot make heads or tails out of our change in behavior, because I have been a part of the writing team since you left and no one’s personality or attitudes there have changed.

            Yours have, and I really don’t know why because I used to really respect you and it’s a crying shame you decided to. I don’t know the exact reason for why you got banned, but knowing the mods as well as you once did, I’m sure it was for a perfectly valid reason.

          • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

            The first article I wrote for the ToH was about Grand Belial’s Key and Arghoslent. So those opinions were there from day one. I made it very clear that I listened to everything, and that I separated the art from the artist.

            I left voluntarily due to life obligations, but also because I wasn’t a fan of the direction the ToH was taking in respect to these things. I didn’t want to constantly feel like I was offending someone if I talked about a certain band or made a joke about. Metal to me is about the music, not the politics behind it. When it felt like I was constantly having to defend myself for liking the music of certain bands, I got pissed. I will admit that. And it made me more oppositional.

          • MoshOff

            Then why not just stick to metal and ignore everything else? Not immature enough?

          • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

            I guess I don’t get what you mean? That’s exactly what I do–I listen to metal. I enjoy discussing music, too. So that’s what I do. I only ever responded to things or got into arguments when things outside the music were brought up.

          • we miss you HD. too bad things didn’t work out, i always enjoyed your words ov vvisdom.

          • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

            I miss discussing tunes with dudes like you, Tyree, King Shit, Simon Phoenix, W, NegroD, etc. Now I literally sit on troves of delicious new music I unearth in my travails, and I don’t share them with anyone (aside from Tyree; we still trade gems back and forth).

          • Wait, Who is banning folks?

          • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

            The Toilet ov Hell. I’ve been banned twice with two different accounts (that’s why there are two Howard Dean accounts).

          • Oh! Thanks for clearing that up. Should we preemptively ban you too? Be honest!

          • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

            If you’d like to, sure!

          • Óðinn

            As far as I know, Howard’s the only person that has been banned from the Toilet ov Hell.

          • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

            This actually isn’t true. Both Death/Tapir and Janitor Jim have been banned before. They just never got perma-banned, because they were quick to jump back into the circle jerk and tow the party line.

            The issue has always been and continues to be that I simply don’t agree with their overly P.C. approach to metal coverage and policing of certain bands. I made this known, and I got the banhammer for it. If there is an attempt to make me feel bad for liking a certain band because someone involved with the band/label is a piece of trash, I will stand up for myself and my tastes. That I wanted to discuss music made by bands like Nokturnal Mortum, Hate Forest, or Grand Belial’s Key does not make me a piece of shit. It makes me a fan of their music. I got sick of having to discuss the extraneous stuff around the band members instead of the music. When I pushed back, I got shown the door. Hey, it’s Joe’s ball, he can take it inside and kick me off his lawn whenever he wants. I get that. But that doesn’t mean that he’s wholly correct, or that I’m wholly in the wrong.

          • Pagliacci is Kvlt

            Joe got banned from a Power Metal Facebook page for trolling them with Pantera links, then couldn’t understand why they’d be so mad.

          • André Snyde Lopes

            “*insert person I don’t know* is a thousand times worse than Axl Rosenberg or Vince Neilstein.
            Those two take shit all the time from readers and commenters, and they
            just go on with their business and act professionally.”

            Metalsucks can be funny sometimes but it’s unequivocally a troll website. It would be counterproductive to have a negative reaction toward the trolls in their readership.

          • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

            Oh, I agree. The content on Metalsucks can’t be taken seriously at all.

            But love ’em or hate ’em (I’ve never been a MS fan), Vince and Axl make a living from their blog. They may be trolls, but they’ve got to maintain at least a little professionalism to stay afloat. They take tons of shit from the readers/commenters. But they just keep plugging away.

          • We don’t want the comment section here to become a forum to bash other sites. If you guys have issues with another metal blog, you need to work them out over there.

          • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

            I will stop now. I don’t want to clog up your comment section with bullshit.

          • Óðinn

            In defense of Toilet ov Hell and Joe Thrashnkill, I’ve found Toilet ov Hell to be one of the more positive Metal websites / blogs. The community there is much more positive than MetalSucks, Blabbermouth, or Metal Injection. I only know Joe online, but he seems like a great guy. I don’t know why Howard Dean was banned. I’m sorry that happened.

      • BANNED: Howard Dean

        And I’m going to wash your mouth with lye!

    • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

      I agree that ATGOS had some issues with production.

      It also had issues with songwriting. And almost everything else.

      • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

        You’re all conspiring against me, I WANT MY MOM!

        • Sir Tapir The Based :]

          I’m here sweetie. Don’t cry.

      • Here’s Johnny

        Please do tell us all the issues then in detail all mighty metal elitist. The production sucked but ATGOSwas full of great songs.

        • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

          It was uninspired, reshashed shit with godawful production. Take a classic Nile era song, remove the elements of songwriting that made the classic era songs great, and replace them with jumbled, tired, recycled versions of themselves that are second rate in every way. What the fuck else do you want for an explanation? If you’re a fanboy and get butthurt when someone doesn’t like your favorite band’s new release, it’s going to be a hard road for you.

          • Here’s Johnny

            ATGOS was more progressive, so how could it have been rehashed or tired, recycled? I think you are talking shit, go ban yourself.

          • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

            More progressive to whom? You?!

            Clarification: Disjointed mess =/= “progressive death metal,” no matter how much the Akerfeldt’s and other wannabe prog rockers in “death metal” want it to be. On ATGOS, Nile took reheated elements of their previous work and mashed them together into a disjointed, painful mess.

            If you honestly can’t see and admit that present day Nile is a shadow of itself c. 2002-2005, you are drunk, retarded, in denial, and/or fanboying at extreme levels. Go find a Karl Sanders forum and jerk off.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    I like it better than Sethu but that’s not saying much. Nile simply forgot how to write proper songs. It’s all just a desert of random drum patterns with a few cool riffs buried in the sand.

    (pun intended, of course)

    • Here’s Johnny

      Ah another internet expert musician, ‘random drum patterns’?! You have no idea what you are talking about do you?

      • André Snyde Lopes

        The confrontational nature of your comment (and some of your other comments in this review) has me worried that you are not the type of person to accept that people have different opinions from yours. Is this true or am I misunderstanding your intentions?

        I’m pretty sure I’ve never engaged in conversation with you but sarcastically calling someone ‘another internet expert musician’ and questioning their credibility without providing any credible counter argument is not the correct way to initiate a healthy discussion.

        • Here’s Johnny

          How long did it take you to come up with all that?

          ‘Random drum patterns’ proved you have no credibility. If you want to intiate proper conservation and constructive criticism of the album simply don’t be a troll, pretty simple.

          • André Snyde Lopes

            I was not trolling. I said Nile can’t write a coherent song for shit nowadays and just stick with wanking their instruments, particularly Kollias, whose solo album sucked, by the way. There is no mood, no sense and purpose to any of the songs (even the better ones).

            This and Sethu have no creativity and are mostly uninteresting. Go be a fanboy somewhere else.

          • Here’s Johnny

            This album has much less ‘wanking’ and is more straight ahead brutality. Songs like Call to Destruction are not coherent?

            How do you wank the drums anyway? As i said go troll elsewhere.

  • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

    Nile was cool in 2005. Black Seeds of Vengeance, In Their Darkened Shrines, and Annihilation of the Wicked are great records. I could listen to songs like “Unas Slayer of the Gods” and “Lashed to the Slave Stick” all fucking day. But the Nile of the last decade has been mediocre at best. This album continues in that vein of mediocrity. Things just feel dull.

    Old Nile were fresh–brutal, interesting, inventive. Their themes were unique, their sound was novel. But now, they’ve faded into the murkiness of the mediocre “middle” of death metal, never to emerge again. Shame.

    • Howard Dean knows his metal.

      • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

        Byaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

    • Tom Hardy

      No mention of Amongst The Catacombs of Nephren-Kakakakaaaaaka?

      • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

        The three albums I listed are my three essential Nile records. The debut is solid, too, but I revisit these three when I listen to Nile nowadays.

    • thiR

      Yeah because today there are so many great brutal death metal releasing fresh materials like… Uh… None (yeah ok maybe Gorguts but they were absent for quite a while… Then what? Ulcerate releases the same album over and over again and are basically copying Immolation which himself is releasing the same stuff over and over again).
      Let’s face it, the golden age of BDM was around 2000 – 2010. Now we can’t really expect anything new, but we can still expect very solid albums like this one (because yes, it’s a solid album), or “Infernus” by Hate Eternal (their best effort so far) or “The Satanist” by Behemoth (their best effort so far).

      • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

        There are tons of death metal bands releasing great material right now.

        If you are talking about the very narrow niche of “brutal death metal” (which Nile don’t belong to, by the way), then yes, that sub-subgenre has gotten very stale.

        • thiR

          Agreed. Death metal in general and black/death are quite healthy. But BDM as a sub genre, not so much.

      • Kronos

        Wormed.
        Ulcerate.

        • thiR

          Nah. Ulcerate is “Everything is Fire”, the rest is the same. And even EIF was very Immolationish. It was good, but not super duper new either. Plus they are ok live but not nearly as good as Nile which still kicks ass on stage more than any other BDM band (except Behemoth maybe that offers magnificent shows).

          • Kronos

            I haven’t seen either band live so I can’t comment on that, but there’s no denying that the follow up to that album, The Destroyers of All, added a lot to their sound. I would agree that EIF is the defining Ulcerate album and it’s within your stated decade.

          • Kronos

            I should say that I think you’re completely correct in brutal death being past its best years, but I can’t help providing some counterexamples for the sake of discussion.

          • thiR

            Hum the only one that comes to mind for me is Svart Crown, but they have a kind of black metal vibe to their sound.

          • thiR

            Oh and Disma “Towards the Megalith” is excellent too. But hardly anything new.

          • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

            I think the issue here is different opinions of what brutal death metal is.

            You are grouping lots of different flavors of death metal under the brutal death metal banner, and many of them are not considered BDM by the metal community at large. For most of the metal community, BDM are bands in the Suffocation/Pyrexia/Disgorge/Brodequin vein: chromatic, percussive, and with slams. Relatedly, slam death metal like Devourment, Vulvectomy, and Cephalotripsy broke off from BDM, but are still considered BDM. A lot of the bands you are listing (Behemoth, Disma, Svart Crown, etc) are MILES away from BDM.

            For legit BDM being produced today, check out the aforementioned Wormed, Defeated Sanity, Malignancy, Deeds of Flesh, etc. There is a lot of it out there still being made, and some of it is pretty decent and inventive (Defeated Sanity and Wormed in particular).

          • thiR

            Yeah I know all of these but really don’t like slam like Disgorge or Bordequin… I don’t see the point (if I want that level of intensity in music I would rather listen to grindcore or grind/death). I wouldn’t consider it BDM.
            Deeds of Flesh I’ve always seen them more as technical death metal, same for Wormed, Severed Savior, Spawn of Possession, Origin or Decrepit Birth and even some Cryptopsy (rather the Di Salvo era, Lord Worm Crypto is definitely BDM).
            But yeah Defeated Sanity, yup. Don’t like them that much though. It’s good. But not the kind of thing I’m listening to very often.

          • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

            Incantation is definitely not brutal death metal by the definition I gave (which is the prevailing definition in the metal community).

            Like I said, the issue is differing definitions. I’m using the one that is most prevalent (most of the metal-related resources and communities on the internet use this definition), you are using a different one. That’s why we aren’t meeting any common ground.

          • thiR

            Alright. I’m then very unsure of how you would call bands like Incantation, Immolation or Disma. “regular” death metal? I would rather see bands like Morbid Angel, Vader, Bolt Thrower, Autopsy and such in this category (so, bands that very seldomly use blast beats or at least not as profusely and rely at least as heavily on thrash metal beats).

          • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

            They are regular death metal. It’s not much of stretch to go from Morbid Angel to Immolation, or from Autopsy to Incantation. Are the latter a little darker, with beefier production? Yes. But it’s not much of a stretch. Musically, they are death metal in the same vein. Immolation expanded upon the dissonance and riffing “weirdness” of Morbid Angel, with Robert Vigna crafting riffs similar to what Trey was writing on his 7-string back in the late 80’s. And Incantation took the mid-paced doominess of Autopsy’s brand of death metal and kicked it up a notch. But in the end, it’s still death metal. Far different than brutal death metal bands like Disgorge or Brodequin, where the songwriting is completely different and focused almost solely on percussive, chromatic brutality with mosh-inducing slams thrown in. Suffocation and the “Suffo-clones” bred BDM.

            Incantation and the Incantation-clones are a whole different animal from brutal death metal.

          • thiR

            I understand your point. From a guitar perspective I totally see what you mean. As a drummer though, it seems to me that Autopsy and Bolt Thrower have as much in common with Immolation and Incantation, drum wise, than Motörhead and Slayer (not much). I guess my perception of BDM is definitely very old-school and what used to be called BDM back in the early 90’s.

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            Incantation are much tighter and more controlled than Autopsy as well. The down to earth savagery of Autopsy is a big part of their appeal IMO.

          • Tom Hardy

            They’re called Old School Deathmetal for a reason – reference to Disma or Incantation. Morbid Angel or Vader are Deathmetal.

          • thiR

            Old school DM is Autopsy, Vader (at least pre-Litany), Bolt Thrower and co (throw in all the Swedish death metal too). Incantation is way too extreme to be OSDM (Disma… yeah maybe).

          • Tom Hardy

            You can have that opinion mate and the world will not end. But I’m sorry to say that, unfortunately for you, while you’re being all overly concerned about technicalities of those specific genres, your opinion isn’t inaccurate.

          • thiR

            You mean is inaccurate?

          • +1 for Malignancy

          • Luke_22

            I’d also throw in katalepsy and Saprogenic as two worthwhile BDM bands. And although they lean towards the progressive and technical side, Artificial Brain are another top notch band.

      • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

        If you think The Satanist by Behemoth is brutal death metal, then I honestly don’t know what to say or how to respond.

        • thiR

          Well, laced with black metal. Wasn’t proper black/death metal either. It’s a tricky album to classify.

          BDM didn’t stop post Morrisound era (which I despises btw: some major came out of this studio of course, but also tons of shit sounding exactly the same).

    • Here’s Johnny

      Nile are one of the top DM bands still today so i dunno what the fuck you are talking about the ‘middle’ of death metal. Is there a Fifa type ranking system?

      Whats the tour in Europe at the moment? Oh yeah Nile + Suffocation. Two middle of the road bands i guess(!?)

      http://tix-media-files.s3.amazonaws.com/img/cache/img/events/300/nile-suffocation/nile%20%26%20suffo.jpg/3eb2707e5386b8443071c787ccc95e89.jpeg

      • ALSO BANNED: Howard Dean

        Fucking fanboys like you are annoying as fuck. Nile is over the hill. They were great 10-15 years ago. I’m sorry that they are your favorite band and that you probably missed out on their glory days. But I suggest you stop getting sand in your vagina every time someone casts a critical eye towards them, because you ain’t making any progress and you ain’t changing any minds.

  • Andy777

    Nile fanboy here, I liked the songwriting on Sethu quite a bit, as others have said it’s the production that was awful. After giving this album a few spins I’d like to say I disagree with this review, but I can’t, the best I can muster is a 2.5.

    • 517H

      Agreed. I’d probably go a 3. But that’s pretty low for Nile. Annihilation gets an easy 4 or 4.5

  • Tom Hardy

    1. Call To Derptruction
    2. Negating The Agrobada Meshitoka Lomanata Hakuna Matata
    3. Chicken Liver, Stella, Reuben sandwiches
    4. In the Name of A Son Of A Motherless Goat
    5. What Should Always Be Unearthed But Never Touched For If You Touch It You Will Never Know What You Ate Yesterday
    6. Evil to cast out Evil in Evil in Good in more Evil with some Good within Evil
    7. Pizza-crusted Walls Of A Mine
    8. Push-back The Aligator
    9. Crepes Made Out Of Karl’s Chin-skin
    10. To Painfully Walk Over Chocolate Pudding Without Eating All Of It

    • 517H

      I’m actually keen to hear what you really think. You usually have a coherent perspective on Kronos’ reviews

    • Hulksteraus

      Gold!

      • Here’s Johnny

        Seriously? About as funny as ball cancer. Childish.

  • 517H

    Yay! Been hanging for AMG’s review of this album. I’m glad the Overlord gave the review to you, Kronos. I appreciate your no nonsense approach to the more extreme side of the metal releases.

    I’m glad you mentioned Evil To Cast Out Evil. That songs rips it up then as you say, kind of loses its steam. But then when the main riff comes back with an alternate ending I did do a bit of a fist pump. It’s pretty damn good. Unfortunately most of the album doesn’t have the same ferocity. I suppose when you release a song like Lashed To The Slave Stick, everything else by comparison is sub-par. Lashed is probably one of the best metal tracks ever (with the exception of Bloodbath’s Outnumbering The Day) so everything after that in my mind will be compared to the heights of Lashed and this album although good doesn’t quite reach the same level.

    • André Snyde Lopes

      Outnumbering the Day, what a song! Shame they didn’t play it live last time I saw them. I would have flipped my shit!

      • 517H

        They could only make it up to you by playing Eaten I reckon. Wish I got to see them live. Lucky devil

  • Hey, I like Dallas’s vocals. Karl’s are pretty boring though.

  • Alexandre Barata

    I, for example, think this is their strongest album since 2005. It’s not one of those great albums that stay in history for a long time, but still has a couple great riffs. I’m not the biggest fan of Nile (I think Behemoth-Death Metal Era tried to emulate them and were better than their masters, songwriting-wise), still I could listen to this album losing my attention only an handfull of times (which is not bad considering my attention span). Would easily give this a 3.0, and it’s on my to-buy-list as it made my head bang once or twice (something they couldn’t since 2005)

    • thiR

      I think TWtGD is a bit better than this one (I prefer the mix and the sound of the drums and the combination of the last 3 songs makes an amazing finale) though. Can’t really think of another band within the genre delivering solid death metal as consistently as Nile though. But this year I’ve been quite impressed by Hate Eternal (I usually don’t like them so much but “Infernus” realy kicked my in the nuts and ran away).

  • Monsterth Goatom

    Well, I like the album art…. 4/5 for that?

    • Kronos

      it is pretty good, but kind of reminds me of the last origin album

  • thiR

    I don’t understand why people are so attached to AOTW. Ok there are some great songs on this album like “Cast Down the Heretic”, “Lashed to the Slave Stick” and “Sacrifice Unto Sebek”… But then you have boring pseudo epic songs like “User Maat-Re”, “Annihilation of the Wicked” or “Von Unaussprechlichen Kulten” that are Nile trying to reash “Unas Slayer of the Gods” and fail lamentably. And the drums on AOTW are down right terrible. Albums like “Those Whom the Gods Destest” or “What Should Not Be Unearthed” are far superior to AOTW or Ithyphallic (I will not speak of Sethu which is probably the worst Nile album).
    Some people should really listen those album side by side, in one go, without skipping tracks (good luck with that for AOTW: I’ve always skipped User Maat Re passed the first 2-3 listen of the album) before talking and cut down on nostalgia a bit.

    With this new album Nile strikes a perfect balance between relentless face melting brutal uber fast death metal and dark, crushing, mid tempo passages (even Ithyphallic doesn’t have has many mid tempo parts).

    • Tom Hardy

      What you skip, may not be what others skip. Why assume anyone skips a track on AOTW? People have different tastes mate.

      • thiR

        I guess Nile isn’t playing “User-Maat-Re” live for a reason: because it sucks (it ain’t because of the length since they play “4th Arra of Dagon”… or at least the last 2 times I saw them) or at least it’s far from being a fan’s favorite.
        Personally (yes, these are my tastes), I prefer an album which is consistent in its quality, rather than one with ups and down. Sure you can fill a “best of” with best Nile songs from only a couple of their albums. But if you want to judge which album is the best, you shouldn’t just focus on the best songs. I sincerly think “Unas…” is the best song they have ever written, but ITDS isn’t their best album IMO. I would rather pick TWtGD that is delivering quality music more consistently with no real weak point (except maybe “4th Arra of Dagon” but that’s a super fun song during concerts).

        • Tom Hardy

          Like I said above, you have an opinion or a preference (like the ones you cite above) and that’s fine. Take it easy out there, grab a Gatorade or something.

  • sssgadget

    Well when Myrkur gets AOTM and Nile 2.0 something is wrong. I will just have to listen to Nile a lot more in memoriam. 3.5 for me.

    • André Snyde Lopes

      Your sense of humor. I like it!

  • tomasjacobi

    I’m gonna have to agree with this review even though I don’t want to. It’s better than Sethu but that isn’t saying much. While there is SOME focus and energy present, it still sounds like an album they had to make, not one they wanted to make.

    • thiR

      Thought the same of TWtGD when it was released and now it’s my favorite right after Black Seeds of Vengeance. But I guess it all boils down to what you expect from Nile. Many people loved Nile for the mix of BDM and atmospheric middle eastern parts. For me those parts are the cherry on top but weren’t what made me love Nile in the first place. And since Karl Sanders has is own solo project for this kind of music, I don’t think Nile will release a lot of atmospheric albums.

      • tomasjacobi

        Well, I liked TWtGD from the first time I listened to it.

        • thiR

          I liked it as well (l’m a bit of a Nile fanboy and even managed to enjoy some songs from Sethu) but I was like “oh well, it’s obviously better than Ityphallic but clearly not as good as AOTW or ITDS”. Years later I completely changed my mind.

  • One More Thing

    I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but it seems to happen with every band that I listen to (and coincides with the AMG Law of Diminishing Records) where, after a particularly strong release from a band with four or five or more efforts already out (in Nile’s case, for me, Those Whom the Gods Detest), I enjoy the record but then lose all interest in the band going forward. Like, I’ve already outgrown them and moved on before they even start recording the next album. It’s kind of like eating a meal; I’ve eaten the veggies and the potatoes and the buttered bread (with butter) and the steak, and now I’m full. Sure, I could have that same meal again before too long and still enjoy it, but after that I’m gonna want something different. It happens inevitably with almost all bands where they run out of fresh ideas and are just putting out stuff to stay relevant. Nile is now serving up the same cafeteria food with each release and I’m just not feeling it anymore. Now I’m hungry… damn it.

  • Levly

    I count one…no, two…no, even three spheres! That has to count for something ;).

  • darksvn

    Even Nile at their worst are pretty good… of course that’s being said by someone that likes At The Gates of Sethu (though it did take time to grow on me, eventually looked past the production issues and was okay with most of the songwriting).

    I agree that they are wandering off a bit into less-structured songs, more of a mashup of riffs/blasts, and could really tighten things up… but then again, I listen to the new album and I don’t hear anything I dislike…

    As all comment/review sections go… we all have different tastes anyway :P

  • JL

    I disagree. I think the album is good. Not as good as early Nile, but still good. It doesn’t compare with Sulphur Aeon though. Death metal AOTY year for sure, that one.

  • Worldeater

    Listening to what should not be recorded … meh … back to those whom the gods detest!

  • Elton Chagas

    No surprise for me this low score.

    This album is just “Random Light Speed Riffs + Random Lyrics About Anything Egypt Related + A Very Small Dose of Musicality”.

  • Philip Pledger

    Music aside, that video makes me physically ill. I couldn’t even pay attention to the band, I was just cringing too hard at the relic smashing…

  • Here’s Johnny

    ‘Angry Metal Guy hates this album. He hates it so much that he won’t even deign to put to paper how much he hates it’

    This line alone is what I am talking about with this site. You are doing it on purpose to get hits aren’t you? How is anyone meant to take it serious from now on. If you hate this album, you hate Nile simple as that.

    Just about every single thing in this review is wrong. ‘Ham fisted lyrics’? Nobody has ever had a bad word to say about Nile’s lyrics, ever. They are amongst the best(and most researched) lyrics in metal. ‘Anything but groundbreaking’, cliched nonsense as nobody is groundbreaking these days. Basically this is slagging Nile off for being Nile.

    ‘Guitar picks and Kolias drums’ rarely in unison’, what? Even if Nile bore you or whatever you have to always concede they are one of the top technically proficient metal bands, Kolias is one of the best drummers in the world. I love Origin you gave them album of the month in July 2014, thats all well and good but they still aren’t as technically gifted as Sanders, Dallas and Kolias. Nor as they anywhere near as good song writers. Nile have plenty of songs, Origin well i couldn’t name one at the moment.

    ‘An album as good as Ithyphallic’ well that is their least good album of all Nile albums, not that they have released a bad album anyway. Even that album has plenty of great songs. ATGOS suffered from production errors but still had plenty of great material too, it was progressive whilst this new album is just more direct and brutal. So, they get dissed for being more progressive, get dissed for now being more direct. Basically people are fickle as fuck and need to take the pole out their ass.

    I like this new album a lot, its not their best but i would certainly give it something like 3.5/5 at least. The recent Krisiun album took a few listens before it really hit home and realised its an immense album, same with an album like this i bet. It is easy to go oh it is just another Nile album, well I am happy with that because there is no other death metal band like them. Anyone that thinks what they are playing is just ordinary or middle of the road has never picked up an instrument in their life or has a clue.

    • I’ve actually always really liked Nile. I have traditionally said that they’re among my favorite death metal bands. That said, I’ve become utterly bored by their sound of late. There were two big issues that I had with this album: 1) there were basically zero moments I found entertaining. The riffing has become forced and empty and, whereas previous records had sharp ideas and sharper riffs, these are practically just scale runs. I went back and listened to their old records to make sure it’s not just me getting old. It’s not me, it’s them; 2) the production of Nile’s sound has never been great, but I found this album to be nearly unlistenable. Again, this might just be me, but it’s loud and messy and I can’t focus on it even a little.

      But I want to clear up one thing with you: under no circumstances are negative reviews better for us than positive ones. Every time we trash a record or talk smack about something, PR people everywhere move us down in priority. Once upon a time we got promo from Nuclear Blast at the same time as magazines, now we get it now and then and people don’t even respond to my e-mails. Furthermore, when we post negative reviews, no one shares them. If we post positive reviews bands share them and we get lots of hits and more people coming to the website. Possibly the only case where negative reviews were shared widely was the Amaranthe reviews I did a while back. But given how many facebook likes they have, I’m willing to bet that one positive Amaranthe review would be worth 3 times the hits we got for that review.

      Even my recent Iron Maiden review, which absolutely crushed our daily records in terms of hits, would have been way better had it been shared by a happy Iron Maiden webpage administrator because it was a 5/5.

      You don’t have to like our tone, but trust me when I say that negativity is part of what we do because we’re honest, not because it’s a good a business model. It’s a bad business model and it causes a lot of unnecessary pain for me as an administrator of this website.

      • Here’s Johnny

        If you got bored of them then that is fine, it is probably the same with Slayer. That does not make the new ones bad records though because they aren’t.

        Again the Nile album does sound good on speakers, not headphones. Its stil not as loud and brickwalled as ‘The Satanist’ though. Nile probably do need to try something a bit different on the next album, concept in two parts type thing but i still really like this album. It took a couple listens, the new Krisiun was like that too.

        How about giving a couple of different perspective on a review from two different writers. That is Nile, Maiden, Slayer all bad reviews recently, i’m sure i am not the only one that has really liked those albums. Maiden is number one in the UK and i absolutely love it, i think its their best in a long time.

        I used to come here for the reviews, now i’m being turned away by them. Something ain’t right.

        • I didn’t get bored with them. They got boring. And I’ve listened to the new Nile on multiple media, the best one is monitor headphones, but then I don’t like the riffing much at all. I feel like this plan that Sanders had to do something closer to his solo material and blend it with the death metal may have been a really good one.

          To be fair: as far as I’m aware, no one who works here has enjoyed Nile, Maiden, or Slayer. Of the reviewers, I’m fairly certain I’m the person who likes the new Maiden the most. Regardless, that you don’t agree with my assessment doesn’t mean I’m wrong, it just means you don’t agree. A lot of people do agree, and I think you can also see that by looking at the comments.

          I’m not doing the heavy metal correlate to hot sports takes here. The new Slayer is weak, the new Nile is really bad IMO and the new Maiden is so bloated that it’s tough to appreciate as an album. That these reviews landed within a fairly short span is just a coincidence, we’ve been lathering praise on a lot of other stuff lately.

          Anyway, sorry to hear that you’re not enjoying our assessments. I hope that changes.

          • Here’s Johnny

            Well i showed a friend the Nile review and he couldn’t believe what he read, especially ‘hates this album’, should have split 4 years ago’. They also mentioned same things about this site that i have, so it is not just me.

            The new Nile is far better than the last album, Karl said he wasn’t thinking of being uber technical too much on it, just naturally brutal. In a way this album should be less boring to people, as ATGOS was more progressive and technical.

            I think the Maiden is an album just to sit back and enjoy. The flow is bloody genius. Maiden at their best, light years ahead of Final Frontier.

            I understand people have different opinions but negative review after negative review, hurts the site. Saying albums are bad, isn’t fair especially when they are just average-good-great albums. You think Nile got boring, that is fine but its a bad record? Most metal bands put everything into making an album, its rare to release a bad record per se. Even someone bored of Nile would say the musicianship and song craft is top notch as usual.

            For me Ithyiphallic was my least fave but i downloaded it in 320k recently and actually really liked it again. I’m not sure how you can listen to Nile and go ‘oh its a really bad record’, nope. Super Collider is a bad record. If i was you and reviewing Nile i would take everything else/and everyone else into consideration and then maybe give it 3/5 even if i was bored personally of them.

            Debate is good anyway.

          • Well, aside from having you write all the reviews and give every album a good or very good rating, I’m not sure what you expect us to do. If a reviewer doesn’t like an album, he says so. You are forever free to agree or disagree. And as for hurting the site, we’ve grown from an obscure blog to one of the biggest in just a few years and last month was our biggest ever for readership. I think we’ll be okay.
            There are numerous other sites out there that give every album an 8 out of 10 flaming skulls so you can just focus on those if you can’t stand ours.

          • And why would we give a 3.0 to a record we think is bad just because it’s Nile? That’s your big band theory yet again, as if a big name act earns good scores forever like some kind of musical tenure. That would negate our whole rating rubric and make scores here meaningless.

          • AlphaBetaFoxface

            Because it’s NILE!!!! Duhhh….

  • sir_c

    I think these guys should go to Egypt, stand in some large river and then proclaim their album is good.

  • Óðinn

    2.0/5.0. Ouch!

  • Eric Freely

    Is it just me, or does anyone else really appreciate when NILE takes it “slower” and gives us To Dream of Ur, IV: Ruins, Von Unaussprechlichen Kulten, Wrought, or even 4th Arra of Dagon.

    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the speed and br00tal nature of the machine gun blasts and riffing up the ass, but something about those particular songs makes me think “Now THIS is NILE..”

    2.0 is lower then I’d personally give this record. I enjoy it slightly more than Gates of Sethu, but It’s still not the NILE I’ve come to enjoy from years back.

    Ahhh… Karl should really incorporate his solo project into NILE. May as well, been ages since he’s released anything from that.