Nile have released their ninth studio album, Vile Nilotic Rites via Nuclear Blast recently and they’ve picked up precisely where 2015’s excellent, What Should Not Be Unearthed left off.
On that previous release, Nile began exploring the tight line between maintaining their extreme sound yet adapting it just enough to make it, dare I say, a little more accessible? It’s a subtle change but those who are familiar with Nile’s older work will notice it.
It’s also not a bad thing, all of the things What Should Not Be Unearthed got right, Vile Nilotic Rites also knocks out of the park and builds upon. When a band focuses almost exclusively on one subject or theme such as Nile’s deep attachment to the Ancient Egyptian world it can be difficult to keep things both fresh and relevant yet Nile seem to have no problem doing it.
Vile Nilotic Rites is possibly the best album from an old school death metal band since Cannibal Corpse’s 2017 release, Red Before Black. From the opening of ‘Long Shadows of the Dead’ with its scorching guitars and nice, heavy metal staple bell toll to the close of ‘We Are Cursed’ this album is a mix of dirty guitar tones, guttural growls and the technicality that earned Nile their loyal following.
The excellent ‘Seven Horns of War’ serves as a reminder of what Nile can still do, it’s a brutal track featuring Dimmu Borgir styled symphonic blasts and horn parts that tie everything together into an epically destructive sound, a vibe the entire album seems to aim for and pulls off, especially here.
Anyone who in the past may have been put off by the complexity and extreme nature of Nile’s music, I’d highly recommend picking this album up (as well as What Should Not Be Unearthed) as the bands sound is only evolving and is well worth your time. As I mentioned before, this record is a strong contender for one of the best death metal albums of 2019 and should be seriously considered if you’re looking to add a little more savagery to your record collection this winter.