A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 
  • Nile  - Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka

    Nile - Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka
    1998 Relapse Records


Nile - Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka

1998 Relapse Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-08

Whoa! This album totally came out of nowhere!!! Alternating between standard death metal and a nightmare swirl of eastern musical passages, Nile here have succeeded in creating a unique sound which will ease the job of trying to differentiate them from the pack of Cannibal Corpse/Suffocation clones out there. It seems as though most bands take a certain paradigm for constructing albums now, either Cradle of Filth, or In Flames, or the aforementioned Cannibal style. This is most likely a function of the limited number of producers used, and the inevitable, indelible mark of their studio "sound" which is imprinted on the band. It is beginning to seem as if each label has a "house" producer, which , to my ears, is extremely limiting. Leave it to Relapse then to find yet another unknown band which is pushing the envelope, trying to forge something new. Importance here lies in the riffs, which, while familiar in scope, have a certain twist (the eastern influence) that is added to a lead guitar tone to create songs that stick with you. Let's face it, brutal 32nd note attacks may make you run that extra mile, or bench another 30 pounds, but they're not the songs you're humming whilst in the milk aisle, unless there's some melody involved! This is where Nile succeeds for me, matching the unbridled aggression with melodic lines that stick in my head. What could have also been an oh-so-clever marketing ploy of adding a new flavor to an old sound (there is a prevalent Egyptian God of War theme here, complete with tribal passages straight from The Ten Commandments) seems genuine, and the instrumental sections are pretty creepy, not cheesy as they could have been. Drumming is super-human, of course, ultra-fast double bass, perfect for this type of death metal. Bass is there, albeit rumbling in the mix along with the gargled vocals. It's the guitar that carries this release along, weaving the intricacies in and around devastating power chords. A to the point album at 32 minutes, Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka is a welcome change from the clone bands that seem to be churned out lately, and is a worthy addition to those into the extreme side of things. Ravi Shankar meets Malevolent Creation.