Saturday 14 December 2019

ALBUM REVIEW: Nile, “Vile Nilotic Rites”

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 01/11/2019
Label: Nuclear Blast

“Vile Nilotic Rites” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Long Shadows of Dread
2. The Oxford Handbook of Savage Genocidal Warfare
3. Vile Nilotic Rites
4. Seven Horns of War
5. That Which Is Forbidden
6. Snake Pit Mating Frenzy
7. Revel In Their Suffering
8. Thus Sayeth the Parasites of the Mind
9. Where Is the Wrathful Sky
10. The Imperishable Stars Are Sickened
11. We Are Cursed

The Review:

Four years on from “What Should Not Be Unearthed”, Nile return with a new guitarist and bass player, with Karl Sanders and George Kollias still in place. However, it really is business as usual as far as the record's sound and approach are concerned. “Long Shadows of Dread” is, as always, impossibly dextrous and fast. Oxford Handbook of “Savage Genocidal Warfare” is brutal, the title track is a welcome change of tempo and offers up some excellent dynamics and song writing. The sound is excellent- the vocals are particularly well mixed and recorded.

What, then, what can Nile offer a couple of decades into the game and having rejuvenated the genre with their earlier albums? Well, the band sounds enthusiastically focused and are technically incredible, of course, and the Egyptian themes remain. Nile, at this stage in their career have entered into a similar strata as Obituary or Cannibal Corpse. They will no longer innovate- they have their own sound and style- but they will remain at the forefront of the genre and some albums are better than others! I found “Vile Nilotic Rites” to be more instantly gratifying than “What Should Not Be Unearthed”- insofar as that the songs are somehow less wilfully tech-y and seem to be a little more natural in their composition and delivery.

Whether it be the excellent scene setting intro of “That Which is Forbidden”, the epic “The Imperishable Stars are Sickened” or the straightforward aggression of “Snake Pit Mating Frenzy”, there is a lot to listen to here; the individual instruments, the superlative production and even... the song writing. It's not perfect; there is nothing here that can match Deicide for memorable 'tunes' and there is nothing to trouble a listener who heard “In Their Darkened Shrines” years ago and was blown away... However, this is a perfectly serviceable entry into Nile's musical canon and is, I think, better than their last album (which I loved at the time, but after exploring other albums rate a little lower these days) while not being up there with “ITDS” or “Annihilation of the Wicked”.

For fans of technical and brutal death metal, any Nile album is a must, for those who are new to the band- why not start here? For connoisseurs of Nile... well, it's solid and the band sound fully engaged and committed. On that basis, it's one of the best death metal albums you will hear this year but only time will tell how this fares in the overall Nile discography. A classic band have thus delivered a good album. No complaints here.

“Vile Nilotic Rites” is available HERE

Band info: facebook