CD REVIEW Nile

Band : Nile
Album title : At The Gate Of Sethu
Label : Nuclear Blast
Distributor : PIAS
Release date : 29/06/2012
Release : CD

Oh crap...sorry about the delay in bringing this review maties...between only getting the album in August along with a shitload of other albums getting priority, changes occurring in the work (job) situation (including exclusion from being to work on the Internet), and a hectic personal life schedule, things boiled down to me catching writer's block two months ago. As it turns out, we at Concrete Web also completely overlooked getting a review done for this Thematic Technical Death Metal act's 2009 album Those Whom The Gods Detest, and our last update on the band dates back to the previous album...the band's debut for Nuclear Blast, Ithyphallic. Meaning I we have to turn back the clock considerably here!

First of all, Ithyphallic became Nile's most successful album up to that time, not only reaching the charts in several countries where the band never did that before, but also taking place at positions #76 and #162 in respectively the German charts and the US's Billboard. The album's musicians [mainstay Karl Sanders on guitar and vocals, Dallas Toler-Wade on guitar and vocals (as well as bass on the album), and new drummer George Kollias (well, actually he'd been with the band since 2004)] enlisted bassist/ singer Chris Lollis (he's done additional vocals on the album), and off on the road they went to promote the album even more with several tours (with Suicide Silence, The Faceless, Unexpect and Warbringer in the US; with Grave, Omnium Gathering and Severe Torture in Europe) and festival performances (among the latter Ozzfest).

The band entered the studio again in early Summer 2009 to record Those Whom The Gods Detest, which was released in November that same year to generally favourable reviews. That resulted in the album peaking on Billboard at #160...again a little better than with the previous one!Once again, the touring schedule was a busy one, the band first putting in a one-month European tour during November and December 2009 (with Krisiun, Grave, Ulcerate, and Corpus Mortale), crossing the US in January and February 2010, putting in half a dozen dates in South-America in March, and adding a small tour through Oceania (Australia & New Zealand) in late May...before traveling across the Atlantic to put in dates at the European Summer festivals (including Belgium's famed Graspop). Prior to going on a new US tour (with Ex Deo, Psycroptic, Keep Of Kalessin and Pathology) on Halloween 2010 and lasting throughout November, the band announced the official addition of bassist/ backing singer Chris Lollis to the line-up. 2011 again saw the band on tour in support of their last album with several tours: in East and West Europe (with Melechesh, Dew-Scented, Zonaria & Darkrise) from the latter half of January to the first half of February, and in North Europe (with Melechesh, Bibleblack, Pressure Points and Goat The Head) during the latter part of that same month. But after that, the separate band members took some time off.

All except Karl Sanders, of course, whom was gathering ideas for new material. An announcement was made in early December 2012 that Nile had begun recording their new album, starting with the drums, which Kollias managed to do in only a week, in spite of the complexity of the material. Guitars were done in December and January 2012, and on February 4 a new announcement was done to state that the band had recruited Todd Ellis for bass duties and backing vocals. Lollis, apparently, had completely vanished from the face of the earth, or rather, he'd been involved in the initial writing of the album, and then disappeared. After 3 months of absence, the replacement was searched and found.

Now...is there anything more I can say about the qualities of this band that I haven't said already so often before? Catchy tunes with diverse vocals (you'll not only hear grunts...and some of Sanders' deepest growls ever...but also screams, other aggressive vocals, and even clean parts), and to boot, there's always those recurring vintage musical instruments! At the Gate Of Sethu even finds a composition which seems taken right off a movie on Ancient Egypt's handling of their slaves. Really, Nile stands alone at the top of their game, and has done so for quite a few years already. But then, I'm sure that any lover of góód Technical Death Metal already knows all of that. Newcomers to the scene are urged to check out àny material by the band! For some older songs, check out the band's MySpace (www.) myspace.com/nilecatacombs. Of course, you might wanna check the band in live conditions, and it so happens they're over in Belgium again come this November 1st (playing at Antwerp's Trix venue), that being the start of another European tour (which lasts until somewhere at the end of December) as support to Kreator (other bands being Morbid Angel and Fueled By Fire). Besides Belgium, the tour will also hit Holland, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Bulgary, Slovenia, Hungary, Switzerland, The Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Poland, Lituania, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and of course Germany (quite a few shows there, evidently)!

Additional news. As the album's already out a couple of months, I can tell you thatin July it hit the charts in the US (#2 on the Billboard Heatseekers charts, #131 on the regular Billboard charts), Germany (#27), Austria (#61), Switzerland (#61 – but those last three were to be expected as they're the label's major area of influence), Finland (#37), Sweden (#41), France (#182)...and even Belgium (#156)!

98/100

Tony.