Label: Nuclear Blast
Release Date: June 29, 2012
This year Nile released At the Gate of Sethu, adding another album to their legacy which has lasted almost twenty years. Nile, being one of the most unusual bands in metal, definitely stands out amongst the masses. Combining speed, technicality, low guitar tuning, classic death metal influences, and amongst it all, Egyptian and Middle Eastern influences which ensures that everything this band releases is destined for success.
The first track off of the album is titled, “Enduring the Eternal Molestation of Flame,” which opens with a sound clip of Middle Eastern instruments and people screaming. The sounds become more intense and violent until the opening riff, where the speed and power accelerate. Vocalist and guitarist Karl Sanders then comes in with his gruesome growls that make your hair stand on end. The next track is, “The Fiends Who Come to Steal the Magick of the Deceased,” which introduces itself with more technical riffs and aggressive drumming.
After a couple more rapid and heavy songs we get to “Slaves of Xul,” which is composed of Middle Eastern instrumentals (particularly percussion) and the sound of a deity screaming and whipping several slaves. After a little research (out of curiosity because I’ve seen this term before) I found that “Xul” is the Sumerian word that stands for evil, and in the book The Necronomicon by H.P. Lovecraft, (whom Karl Sanders is also inspired by) all gods are malicious and destructive, are known as ‘Xul’. The relentless metal monster that is Nile then goes on into “The Gods Who Light up the Sky at the Gate of Sethu”, which is less technical than the previous songs but equally as intense.
After an aural onslaught of some more intricately written songs, violence and Middle Eastern-inspired instrumentals, we get to the album’s epic conclusion entitled “The Chaining of the Iniquitous.” The intro of the song consists of a calming Ney, which then transcends dramatically into a heavy, low-tuned piece along with Sanders’ most wicked growls. The technicality of the guitars increases as Sanders uses his trademark vocal styles against a backdrop of extremely aggressive drum-lines. In the middle of the song we get to a fierce guitar solo that gets your adrenaline pumping through the roof and the following last-minute and a half or so of the song just sounds like pure evil; an excellent way to draw a conclusion to this jaw-dropping album.
The multi-talented and master behind the band Karl Sanders once again brought us this masterpiece of an album. Drummer George Kollias, definitely one of the fastest drummers in death metal, never fails to impress as he continues to blast his way into our souls. And new bassist Todd Ellis’ bass-lines are brutal as hell.
Honestly, Nile has to be one of my favorite bands. I’ve been obsessed with Ancient Egypt from a young age; the art, the mythology, and the history has always been captivating to me. When my brother told me several years ago about a band that is inspired by Egyptian mythology, I was ecstatic to find out that a band combines my appreciation of Egyptian culture and my passion for death metal. Ever since then, Nile has made my blood boil, my heart race, and above all, kept me headbanging!
The talent and hard work behind this band tells me that this band will continue to stride in the death metal community. I personally have no complaints. I’m just hoping they tour soon because I can’t imagine how incredible this album will sound live.