Among all modern death metal band, Nile is easily the most consistent band to have come out of the scene since the mid 90s. From their second release, Amongst the catacombs of Nephren-ka, Karl Sanders and his collaborators have put out some high quality death metal. Even if some probably regrets the days of Black seeds of vengeance when they had a more rough recording, Nile have stayed true to themselves and continuously released solid albums that contained a lot of excellent songs each time. My personal favorite is still Annihilation of the wicked but going back through their discography I was constantly impressed by how many memorable songs I could find on each albums.
Twelve years after he started producing music underneath the name of Nile, Karl Sanders is still writing quality death metal with eastern influences. In a Kerrang! interview back in 2000 he simply summed up his band’s passion by stating « We just want to play metal » and to this day it seems that the man is staying true to his words.
From the start of Call of destruction, it’s obvious that the rhythm section of Dallas Toler-Wade and George Kolias is very strong as proved by the massive stop-start machine gun double bass blast that opens the album. However, Nile hasn’t made a name on the scene with straight up brutality and they quickly move to a slower pace. Wade‘s voice makes the lyrics very easy to understand while Sanders continues to provide some excellent low growl (and the lyrics). The riffs are not too obviously influenced by eastern music as to not make the songs sounds like cheap world music but the lead continues to point towards some less occidental influences (like at the end of the first riff on Negating the abominable coils of Apep).The guitar tone is not as dark as on older release and could even be used on a thrash album. Nonetheless, the guitarists still hits the lowest point of the fret board rather than switching around from top to bottom.
Long time fans of the band will also not be surprised by the song writing as it is still very consistent. The material here is mostly quite violent and is here to smash audiences in pieces. There is none of the more melodic moments of Those whom the god detest. The chorus are still very memorable but focus on Wade’s ability to shout clearly the lyrics as if he was announcing some terrible prophecies. However, when he is backed by the sample of a crowd on In the name of Amum, he sounds like he is leading hundreds of slaves to their demise as they build a pyramid to a pharaoh who rise to the rank of deity.
George Kolias has plenty of occasion here to show how fast he can hit his double bass. However, even if the sound of the drums is a bit dry, it still has more oomph than on In their darkened shrines to preserve the impact without strangling the guitars. Nile is all about the riffs but the trio does not forget his power house of a drummer and he constantly pulls some excellent trick to offer a very rich performance while remaining extremely fast.
What should not be unearthed is another monstrous release from Nile and for fans of modern death metal. Whereas most contemporary, and modern, bands lack the morbid atmosphere of the early days, Nile has remained a keeper of the torch while powering through the limits of what is humanly possible technically. Death metal generally sounds lifeless when recorded with so much attention to detail but Nile makes the impossible possible with another excellent record.