Nile - Ithyphallic
Nowhere will you find a more engaging, enjoyable and entertaining death metal band than Nile. There, I said it. Had to get it out of the way. Now, if you're unfamilair with the band, stop reading this and get your hands on any album they've ever made; then prepare yourself to be fully impressed. You might just want to start with this year's Ithyphallic...
Continuing with their dominant themes of Egyptian folklore, mythology and history, the death metal maestros have yet again conjured up the spirits of dead pharoes, high priests and lowly slaves, totally recreating the atmosphere of a mystical and frightening time in history. The true depths of the lyrics is such that, at times in the past, mastermind Karl Sanders has included texts explaining them with the album. His knowledge of this region is unbelievably deep, and that pours into the music a sense of honesty mostly unheard of in the death metal realm.
As for the songs themselves, the album never disappoints. As has been the case over the past two records, Ithyphallic contains more slower-tempo riffing and doom-like atmospheres, bringing the hammer down not for speed's sake but for the strength of the blow. Their songwriting has a slight touch of formulatic (is that a word) direction to it, but that mostly has to do with the themes we're always returning to. "As He Creates, So He Destroys" might be my favorite track, seeing as it rips my face off a little quicker than the rest. I often equate listening to Nile to having your head dipped in a tub of sulfuric acid while having your bowels removed by a shaman using a rusty blade. But it's really fun!
They haven't released an album I'd give less than a 4.5 ranking to; if you're a metal fan and don't know it yet, it's time to get your shit together and give Nile your full attention. I fully believe they could make 10 more albums that sound like their past 5 and I'd be totally satisfied, this stuff never gets old and somehow, defying odds and expectations, they keep getting better and better at it.
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on 2007-12-18 dscanland Said:
Kevin, I checked Nile out quite some time ago when you recommended it to me. Ithyphallic was definitely worth a review of this calibre. Nicely written!