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Review: Nile - Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-Ka
Nile
www.nile-catacombs.net
Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-Ka

Label: Relapse Records
Year released: 1998
Duration: 33:14
Tracks: 11
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: September 27, 2006
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Readers Rating
for:
Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-Ka

Rated 4.15/5 (83.08%) (39 Votes)
Review


It was pretty much unanimous that Nile were undeniably one of the finest bands to arrive on the death metal scene at end of the nineties, especially in terms of combining sheer clusterfuck brutality with innovation and originality. It was on this, their first album proper, that they served up their declaration of war (no doubt signed in blood on an ancient parchment...), and that the benchmark was set that all other death metal would be compared against from then on, not only in terms of brutality, but also technicality and expansion of the genre.

Nile's effective and eclectic integration of Egyptian musical styles, chants, instrumentation and overall atmospheres into a breathtakingly intense brand of death metal gave them the perfect sound to complement the lyrically violent tales of the ancient Egyptian people and the Gods that they feared. Bass heavy, crushingly fast and dynamic, it's the aural equivalent of getting the fuck smashed out of you by a 300lb heavyweight boxer – well, without all the pain and lost teeth anyway…

However, this is not a one trick pony – it's not all pedal to the metal top speed cruelty throughout. The overall sound changes from being incredibly brutal and overpowering one moment, contrasting to an almost eerily foreboding atmosphere in an instant without sounding inappropriate in context of the music, with great use of strange instruments and recording techniques to benefit the air of menacing evil (although, again as this was their debut, that side of things was kept to a minimum when compared to their later releases, where the band's true diversities came to the fore much more prominently). I wouldn't say there are necessarily any stand out tracks in particular, as I personally think this album is best taken in as a whole rather than the sum of its parts (and that's not such a hard task seeing as it only has just over half an hours running time). Nonetheless, Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka is a dead certain 'must have' addition to fill a gaping hole in anyones collection.


Track Listing:
  1. Smashing the Antiu
  2. Barra Edinazzu
  3. Kadurru Maglu
  4. Serpent Headed Mask
  5. Ramses Bringer of War
  6. Stones of Sorrow
  7. Die Rache Krieg Lied der Assyriche
  8. The Howling of the Jinn
  9. Pestilence and Iniquity
  10. Opening of the Mouth
  11. Beneath Eternal Oceans of Sand
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