Nile – “Vile Nilotic Rites” (Nuclear Blast Records)
Battle Helm Rating
If you like your death metal blurringly intense, yet fused with blinding technical wizardry and conceptualised brilliantly by ancient eastern cultures, then Nile is your band. I honestly feel they are unique, not necessarily in the components that make up the band, but rather the sheer perfection that the musicians embody in their superior musical excellence bringing it all together through the darkly epic journeys each of the band’s incredible albums take their listeners on. On this 9th release they push the envelope even further – as if humanly possible – and while some of the song titles are definitely out there (try ‘Oxford Handbook Of Savage Genocidal Warfare’ or ‘Snake Pit Mating Frenzy’), there’s no denying the sheer delight this complexity elicits as smouldering fret board runs and demon possessed solos from founder guitarist / vocalist Karl Sanders and racing buddy Brian Kingsland make you wonder just how their dancing fingers (or even guitars) don’t melt from the whirring brilliance of their great skill. Then there’s drummer George Kollias, who’s either studied under – or is – a human octopus given how frightening fast he is and only induces even more heart palpitations through his mesmerising precision while being simply all over his kit! Nile do of course vary the tempos with plenty of slower or even quieter moments but the arranging is all undertaken with remarkable skill to add even more atmosphere into their needless to say, high exciting music. Backed by extremely harsh riffing, songs like ‘That Which Is Forbidden’ exude overpowering eastern ambience through exotic captivating melodies before the cyclone takes off as growls and harsh vocals conspire with dramatic haunting choirs to really invoke a presence of being in an otherworldly dimension. Things get even more bombastic on ‘Revel In Their Suffering’ as Kollias’s absolutely stampeding double bass beats drive the wang bar insanity as femme sopranos add their suave backing while the exotic melodies continue to flow as if willed by some god king himself. Taken in fully by the tabla and sitar splendour of ‘Thus Sayeth The Parasites Of The Mind’ offering brief serenity and promising karmic bliss, the grand epic of ‘The Imperishable Stars Are Sickened’ may open slowly enough even if still twisting and slithering its dark charms all the way, before a jaw dropping mix of driving double bass beats and exotic high melodies leads into some keyboard tranquillity before priestly wails mix with gutturals and driving brutality to bring this gargantuan epic to a climatic conclusion. With no disappointment whatsoever, “Vile Nilotic Rites” is yet another bountiful offering worthy of the gods themselves from this hugely talented band.