It could be said that death metal is a rather saturated area of extreme metal, with many a band purveying their gore-drenched tones and guttural vocals, but some bands within this subgenre manage to carve out a unique niche. One of these bands is Nile, with their ancient middle-eastern themes, steeped in Egyptian mythology and peppered with the occasional reference to HP Lovecraft's own mythos. Nile are a well-established band, having been formed in 1993, and “Vile Nilotic Rites” will be their ninth studio album. However, ancient Egypt covers over 3000 years of history, so there's plenty of further source material for the band to draw inspiration from yet. Known for their technicality and speed, Nile are a full-on assault on the ears, but their music is often interspersed with the odd acoustic or atmospheric track making use of more traditional north-African or middle-eastern musical influences.
Opener “Long Shadows of Dread” sets the tone for the record, providing the soundtrack for the ancient Egyptian apocalypse. “The world has become a despairing desert. The sands of time run dry”. An ominous, brooding first song for this album.
“Seven Horns of War” is an epic, cinematic piece showcasing both the technicality and brutality that Nile are known for, and may just stand as one of Nile's best ever tracks. “Snake Pit Mating Frenzy” is a writhing maelstrom of chaos, venomous king cobras spitting poison in your ears. “The Imperishable Stars Are Sickened” is heavier than a truckload of lead, a solid eight minutes of crushing, grinding death metal with a traditional middle-eastern acoustic guitar intermezzo to provide a moment of respite from the aural attack.
With Vile Nilotic Rites, Nile have produced one of the best albums of their career, having managed to create an epic, cinematic feeling album, a captivating journey through ancient Egypt's history, horrors and mystery. Heavier than a serial killer's heart dumped onto the scales with a thud at a mythological weighing of the heart ceremony, Vile Nilotic Rites is a monster of an album, technical and brutal in equal measure, and sure to please long-term fans. Like the river itself, Nile show no sign of running dry any time soon and are a force to be reckoned with. Let Vile Nilotic Rites flood your ears - it's time to let the riffs flow.