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Review: Nile - Annihilation of the Wicked
Annihilation of the Wicked

Label: Relapse Records
Year released: 2005
Duration: 53:00
Tracks: 10
Genre: Death Metal


Review online: July 9, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.29/5 (85.88%) (51 Votes)

I know it's pretty obvious to give Nile a high score, but I'm not going to pretend this is not a great album just because more than three people own it. Nile return from a three-year hiatus with an album slightly less monstrous than their last. "Annihilation Of The Wicked", the band's fourth album, stands as a less ostentatious, but more controlled and memorable experience than the sometimes self-indulgent "In Their Darkened Shrines"

It seems like Karl Sanders got the ambient crap out of his system with his solo record, because this album features a marked drop in the bullshit interludes that often marred Nile releases in the past. While I like them, too much is too much. Thus "Annihilation" is much more like their furious debut "Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-Ka". It's direct, complex, varied, and sometimes mind-bogglingly technical. After the required intro track, things get down to business with the opening blast of "Cast Down The Heretic", which is a good song, but a bit too standard for Nile. It sounds like a leftover from the "Darkened Shrines" sessions. "Sacrifice Unto Sebek" is where the band shows they have really progressed since the last album, as the song is just as fast and furious as we would expect, but the riffing is tighter and more memorable. In fact this is a highlight of the album as a whole, as the songs have more identity than Nile songs have ever had before, and you can really tell them apart after just a few spins. The album proceeds to just flat out kick ass through the epic highlight "User-Maat-Re" – which may be the best song Nile has ever done - through the staggering riffs of "The Burning Pits Of The Duat". "Lashed To The Slave Stick" is another rim shot on the album. A good tune, but just average for this band. Then there is the cool little instrumental "Spawn Of Uamenti", which you actually need there to give you breathing room before the album closes out with the amazing one-two punch of the masterful 8+ minutes of the title cut, followed by the 9+ minutes of the awesome "Von Unausprechlichen Kulten" – finally another song where Nile slow things down a bit and hit a more Doomy vibe. Though still not that slow. "Kulten" closes the album out on a truly grandiose note, rounding out an album that has more cohesiveness than "Shrines", and leaves a more satisfied feeling behind when it is over.

When they are firing on all cylinders, Nile are about the best Death Metal band in the US, and one of the five or six best in the world. Despite a few flaws, "Annihilation Of The Wicked" is 90% Nile pushing themselves farther than they ever have, and working at the limits of what they can do. They have managed to get better without changing a jot of their signature sound, and I just don't see this band ever losing their touch. "Annihilation Of The Wicked" is one of the few well-hyped albums that deserves the praise it is getting, and I expect it will take a spot on many top ten lists for 2005, mine included.

More about Nile...
Review: Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-Ka (reviewed by Lars Christiansen)
Review: Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-Ka (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Annihilation of the Wicked (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
Review: At the Gate of Sethu (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Black Seeds Of Vengeance (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: In Their Darkened Shrines (reviewed by Scott Murray)
Review: Ithyphallic (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Those Whom the Gods Detest (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: Vile Nilotic Rites (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: What Should Not Be Unearthed (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Worship the Animal - 1994: The Lost Recordings (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Interview with Dallas Toler-Wade (Guitars, vocals) on October 17, 2009 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with guitarist and vocalist Dallas Toler-Wade on April 27, 2016 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with guitarist and vocalist Karl Sanders on May 4, 2023 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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