Nile – Those Whom The Gods Detest

Nowadays Nile are considered as one of the premier extreme metal bands around. Rightly so, because albums like Among The Catacombs Of Nephren-Ka, Black Seeds Of Vengeance and Annihilation Of The Wicked are landmarks within the death metal hemisphere. The one thing that sets Nile apart from the rest is their profound fondness for Ancient Egypt, which runs as a central theme throughout their music and lyrics. Last year Karl Sanders and Co released a new album, entitled Those Whom The Gods Detest. Let’s see whether they’re able to maintain their status as one of the leading bands within extreme metal.

Truth be told I wasn’t too fond of  Ithyphallic, their previous record. It was an album in the signature Nile style, but it wasn’t exactly their most creative and focussed effort to date. Luckily things have changed for the better on Those Whom The Gods Detest. This becomes very clear in blistering compositions like Kafir, Utterings Of The Crawling Dead and 4th Arra Of Dagon.

It’s not like Nile try to reinvent the wheel on Those Whom The Gods Detest. The album still contains all the elements for which the band is known. The blistering speeds combined with doom metal like mid tempo parts, frantic guitar leads, the Ancient Egyptian inspired lyrics and themes, the guttural vocals and the use of exotic instruments that  give the album its authentic character and atmosphere. No, it’s the way in which Karl Sanders and Co know how to incorporate all these different elements into something which is truly unique. This is demonstrated in stunning fashion in such memorable compositions as Permitting The Noble Dead, Kem Khefa Khesef, The Eye Of Ra and the aforementioned Kafir, Utterings Of The Crawling Dead and 4th Arra Of Dagon.

The true brilliance of the album lays in its details, such as cleverly placed Eastern styled orchestrations, subtle shifts in melody and atmosphere, the way the songs are arranged and the use of actual hooks and memorable choruses. The title track and the aforementioned Kafir are the perfect examples of that.

The sonic violence of Those Whom The God Detest is expertly handled by Neil Kernon. The clear and heavy production gives the album the extra edge it thrives on.

What can I say? Those Whom The Gods Detest is a clear demonstration of why Nile are counted among the very best of what extreme metal has to offer. Truly exceptional!

written by Raymond Westland

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