Nile: At the Gates of Sethu (Nuclear Blast)
American Death Metal band Nile have been around since 1993 & have recently released a new album. Their previous album was a bit of a disappointment & if you want to find out whether or not this one is too then read on.
Nile have been regarded as masters of the Technical Death Metal genre for well over a decade now. Their albums ”ËBlack Seeds of Vengeance’ (2000) and ”ËAnnihilation of the Wicked’ (2005) are exceptionally well thought of within the Tech Death community. Their last album ”ËThose Whom The Gods Detest’ (2009) was not, however, so well received.
The complexity which Karl Sanders and Dallas Toller-Wade bring to every release is most definitely present in certain aspects of ”ËAt The Gates…’, but there is something askew which inhibits the full enjoyment of this album. Whereas earlier releases such as ”ËAnnihilation of the Wicked’ managed to successfully merge progressive technical compositions whilst still maintaining a strong sense of clarity and structure, ”ËAt The Gates…’ fails at this.
Niel Kernon (a UK based producer who has been active since the 70’s) takes a bizarre approach to the production of this album. There is a fragmentation to the tracks which causes the listener to drift in and out of focus, sometimes several times within the one song. The vocals are a particularly woeful aspect of the album, ranging from inaudible guttural growls to weak sounding yelps. The drums also sound tinny and badly recorded. Everything seems so oddly layered and there is a real impression of under production which, instead of producing a raw and vicious sound, leaves the album seeming incredibly broken up and incomplete.
There are certain redeeming factors to ”ËAt The Gates…’ some sections are indeed unquestionably brutal and intriguing. Although, more often than not, these snippets of brilliance simply drift into shattered and disconnected apathy.
The usual themes of Egyptology and Middle Eastern mysticism are still present and for committed fans there will probably be something to gain from this release. For the vast majority of us, however, there is very little which would endear a new listener to the band. Investigate their back catalogue instead.
One of the stronger tracks on the album is When My Wrath Is Done which you can stream below:
Nile’s official Site