A mere ten years ago, Nile was an immeasurably powerful and wholly creative force in modern tech-death. ‘In Their Darkened Shrines’ capitalized on the successes of their previous outings ‘Black Seeds Of Vengeance’ and ‘Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka’ while minimizing any and all flaws present on those albums. To this day, it stands as Nile’s magnum opus, second only to the George Kollias dominated follow up ‘Annihilation Of The Wicked’.
Fast foward to 2012 and Nile has some serious explaining to do. Amongst the myriad of bands making gigantic leaps forward for themselves and even their respective genres (Meshuggah, Spawn Of Possession, Cattle Decapitation, Dying Fetus) Nile has decided to give us their worst material in years, making the most laborious parts of ‘Ityphallic’ look like ‘Sarcophagus’ or ‘Wind Of Horus’ in comparison. I’m appalled at what’s been leaked and if ‘The Fiends Who Come to Steal the Magick of the Deceased’ is any indication as to the overall quality ‘At The Gate Of Sethu’ has in store, we may be looking at 2012’s first major tech-death flop.
Firstly (and most horrifyingly in my opinion) George Kollias’ always legendary drumming has been MASSACRED; what once was the most powerful and thunderous aspect of recent Nile has been reduced to a series of obnoxious clicks and pot banging. It’s an absolute disgrace and given that George Kollias has already been confined to a large degree by Nile’s formulaic post 2005 drum patterns (blast blast fill fill blast blast rinse repeat) this should serve as the final slap in the face required to move onto greener pastures.
Moreover, the only somewhat interesting instrumental portion is from 0:37 – 0:41, maxing out the creative potential of this song before the one minute mark is even reached. The rest of the track rests on the perceived laurels of a cookie-cutter, hollowed out Nile song structure; some shredding here, a vaguely Egyptian riff there, one slower bit to seem artsy/heavy and constant spoon-htting-wet-napkin sounding blasts. It’s as if the band has become a pained parody of themselves, turning what once made them unique and admirable into a cheap cash grab. I would be very surprised if the ‘writing’ process for this dud didn’t go like this;
“YEAH, Egypt and shit! Shreddy shreddy blast blast crocodiles and old ones and Re, oh my!”
Beyond every other problem however there is one utterly and entirely inexcusable flaw, a flaw that makes Karl’s riff/lyrical paucity and the assault on George look like the pet peeves of a stuffy elitist; Dallas Toler-Wade’s so called ‘vocal performance’. Shrill, obnoxious and detestable in every conceivable way, Dallas delivers vocals that would be laughed out of a Seattle Deathcore band audition and that bar is set so low it’s practically non-existent. The last time I was so repulsed by vocals of any kind, James Hetfield was gloating about being Lou Reed’s table. I can’t even laugh at how terrible Dallas has decided to sound, because that would be a form of validation it doesn’t deserve. At least Jason Peppiatt’s Psycroptic vocals would fit perfectly in a groove metal band. The bastardized pseudo screams, chorus chanting and pitiful clean vocals here should be banished far below even the darkest depths of the underworld.
In only 4 minutes and 30 seconds, every thing that once made Nile a staple of American tech-death has been mangled beyond repair. I used to really dig this band, especially ‘In Their Darkened Shrines’ and ‘Annihilation Of The Wicked’. With only one track, they’ve managed to lose my interest forever. I can find almost no redeeming qualities in this schlock and I predict the only place it will have on my prospective end of the year rankings is #1 on the ‘Complete And Utter Disappointment’ list.
George, do yourself a favor and jump ship. You’re one of the greatest metal drummers of all time, you don’t deserve to be treated this way by a band long past their prime.
Karl, you need to seriously consider the position you’ve put yourself in. I don’t know if you’re just tired or deliberately trying to end your band’s career but there’s no excuse for this. Retire if you’d like, slow down if you must but don’t give your fans this; it’s shit Karl. You should be ashamed.
Dallas, your soul deserves to have no existence for what you’ve done here. Abati The Gorer is going to have some fun making you howl like a jackal for these abominable vocals.
Time to wash this junk out with some ‘Colossal Titan Strife’ and ‘Pharaoh Of Gods’…