It's almost easy to take Nile for granted. Since the late '90s, when they burst onto the worldwide death metal landscape with 1998's game-changing Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-Ka, Nile pushed the subgenre into a realm that was as visual as it was brutal; even the cover art itself signalled a sea-change for DM in the decade to come. Then came two more landmark records, 2000's Black Seeds Of Vengeance and especially 2002's In Their Darkened Shrines, and Nile's name was forever etched into death metal legendry. These albums, personally speaking, are modern DM classics. The height of 'memorably inpenetratable' before that was even such a thing (or before I started taking notice of such), both Seeds and Shrines unsheathed vast vistas of cavernous delights, daring you to enter or die trying. Much ado was made about their (near-)exclusively Egyptian-themed lyrics, but even without them, these first three Nile albums would've slayed on musical merit alone - and they still do.
For the next decade, though, the band solidified into a streamlined machine, both on record and onstage. Admittedly, this is where my interest in Nile waned. I levelled every criticism I could - too clean, too precise, too this, too that - every time a new record landed. I moved on; so did Nile. And I still stand by those intuitions at those times, but you know what? Time is a curious thing. Given that and some distance, patterns begin to emerge and then diverge; a richer history, a less-predictable patchwork, is built and then added to and even sometimes subtracted. Or put another way, listening to Nile's catalogue in succession - or even in reverse, whichever - can be an interesting exercise in charting the greater death metal paradigm during the post-millennial era. It's not as simple as saying, "This band shit the bed years ago," tempting (and accurate, for others) as that may be: Nile have continued to move, never staying still and never repeating past glories. And now they unearth (wait for it) their seventh album, What Should Not Be Unearthed. We're the first members of the media to hear it, and although it's billed as Nile at their punchiest and most concise, this thing's still a dizzying monster. Which is why we sent Lord Randall - another dizzying monster - in search of our favourite non-colonel, Karl Sanders.
FREE 15-TRACK COVERMOUNT CD FEATURING
Myrkur | Cradle Of Filth | 0 X i S T | Terror | Wrathage | Survival | Barshasketh | Paganland | Nebiros | Infection | Repulsive Dissection | Antropofago | Avulsion Rupture | Lynched | Picture Ann
PROPAGANDANews and ZT sponsored shows
REGULAR FEATURESKrisiun | Cattle Decapitation | Kataklysm | C.R.O.W.N. | Indesinence | Vorum | Shroud Of The Heretic | Forgotten Horror | Deiphago | Blaze Of Perdition | Barshasketh | Isvind | Diabolicum | Midnight Odyssey | Locrian | Chelsea Wolfe | Fuck The Facts
UNDERGROUND BLACK METAL SECTIONSerpent Noir | Katechon | Eternal Shroud
DARK ENTRIES | DARK AMBIENTOf Earth And Sun | Kristoffer Oustad | The Vomit Arsonist
ANGER BURNING | CRUST, PUNK, D-BEATFumigados | Generacion Suicida
RAPID FIREHope Drone | Nuclear | Disfago | Anuryzm | Khost | Torture Pulse | Deathrite | Abyssion | The Antichrist Imperium | Infera Bruo | Institute | Khemmis
SENTENCINGAudio reviews including the ZT Soundcheck and Release Of The Issue Live reviews including Temples Festival
- LABEL PROFILE | Greyhaze Records
- ON THE RACK | Cradle Of Filth's Dani Filth
- ARTIST PROFILE | Arthur Berzinsh
- VIEW FROM THE BUNKER | Alan 'Nemtheanga' Averill's column