Formed in 1993 in South Carolina, the technical death metal act NILE has returned after their last release “What Should Not Be Unearthed” dating from 2015. In February 2017, Dallas Toler-Wade left the band and was replaced by ENTHEAN vocalist/guitarist Brian Kingsland. The first studio effort “Vile Nilotic Rites” with the new vocalist is released on 1 November 2019 through Nuclear Blast.
It was with “Papyrus Containing The Spell To Preserve Its Possessor Against Attacks From He Who Is In The Water” that convinced me of NILE‘s sound. The in 2007 released “Ithyphallic” has since been one of my favorite releases. Going through their complete repertoire I instantly fell in love with the almost over-the-top complexity of their songs, rooted in Egyptian fury. A unique sound, even in the genre. I somewhat lost touch with the band after “Those Whom the Gods Detest” but always kept on listening to their older material.
When the first single of the album “Long Shadows of Dread” was released, I couldn’t help but thinking, damn this is probably one of the best songs they have released since the release of “Ithyphallic”. Right from the start, it’s also clear that in my opinion the new vocalist/guitarist is a worthy successor for Dallas. NILE wouldn’t be NILE if they wouldn’t once in a while have these insanely long or peculiar titles. On this album it’s “Oxford Handbook of Savage Genocidal Warfare”, the song is just as insane as its title, with fast and furious riffs combined with ferocious blast beats. The earlier sound that I had fallen in love with is back on “Vile Nilotic Rites”. The title track “Vile Nilotic Rites” is a bit slower and has a bit of a groovier drum pattern, it’s short but at the same time raw and very intensive. “Seven Horns of War” is perhaps the most cinematic technical death metal song I have ever heard in my life. The orchestrations put you back in Ancient Egypt, accompanied by a whirlwind of complex and brutal riffs. This definitely a song that stands out on the record. “That Which is Forbidden” reminds me a lot of the older material with its ingenious intro, with beautiful guitar harmonies. “Snake Pit Frenzy” is a hard-hitting song, which might be best described by imagining a pit of angry, venomous snakes attacking you, including deadly riffs, and vile blast beats. My personal highlight on this album, however, is the instrumental intro track “Thus Sayeth the Parasites of Mind” which progresses beautifully in the killer track “Where is the Wrathful Sky”. Both of these songs show a modern NILE, nailing down a genius atmosphere of Ancient Egypt in about 6 minutes. The orchestrations, choirs, downright evil guitar riffs, insane solos, and compelling drum patterns really make this my favorite track of the album. With its tempo changes and diverse orchestrations, “The Imperishable Stars are Sickened” is probably the most complex and technical song on the album.
The one thing that bothers me about “Vile Nilotic Rites” is its production. In modern times it’s next to perfect. Production-wise a very polished sound replaces what used to be perhaps a bit of murky sound during for instance “Black Seeds Of Vengeance”. However, this sterile sound takes a lot away from the atmosphere that used to be there. This, however, is being made up for with the number of epic orchestrations inspired by North African traditional elements, and totally depends a little bit on how you prefer your death metal the most, for me, there’s a certain charm in how it used to be back in the day.
With “Vile Nilotic Rites”, NILE has managed to create an album embracing the best of their worlds. With a modern, cinematic feel to this album, the album sets you back to Ancient Egypt, along with a variety of diverse tracks and themes. “Vile Nilotic Rites”, brutal and technical at its core, doesn’t show mercy!
01. Long Shadows of Dread
02. The Oxford Handbook of Savage Genocidal Warfare
03. Vile Nilotic Rites
04. Seven Horns of War
05. That Which is Forbidden
06. Snake Pit Mating Frenzy
07. Revel in their Suffering
08. Thus Sayeth the Parasites of the Mind
09. Where is the Wrathful Sky
10. The Imperishable Stars are Sickened
11. We are Cursed
Karl Sanders (guitars/vocals)
George Kollias (drums)
Brad Parris (bass/vocals)
Brian Kingsland (guitars/vocals)