The Metal Crypt on Facebook  The Metal Crypt's YouTube Channel
Review: Nile - Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-Ka
Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-Ka

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


Review online: February 26, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
How do you rate this release?

Rated 4.1/5 (82.04%) (49 Votes)

Nile have been getting a lot of ink lately with the release of "In Their Darkened Shrines", all of it deserved. So it seems a good time to go back and examine this, the first album released by a band that has become one of the biggest in death metal. "Catacombs" (I ain’t typing the whole name over and over, thank you.) was put out in ’98, when the death metal scene in the US wasn’t exactly flourishing. The Gothenburg scene was just getting rolling over in Europe, in fact the underground itself was just beginning to crawl back up out of the muck. This album helped a lot, proving that old-school death metal still had life in it, so to speak.

"Catacombs" is a brutal, heads-down death metal album; short, furious, and evil. All the things that would later define the Nile sound are here, mostly in an embryonic form. From the chants and weird instrumentation to the oriental guitar picking and of course the ancient Egyptian horror themes. The whole package smacked people upside the head with its originality, as well as the extremely technical musical assault. While nowhere near as sprawling and epic as "In Their Darkened Shrines", the music on this debut is still highly complex and challenging.

The CD is beautifully presented, with arresting yellow and red design taken from ancient Egyptian art. Any album with a picture of a mummy (a real one) on the cover is cool in my book. Lyrics are included, which is also very cool, as they are quite involved and refer to ancient myth and history. The album is short – only about 30 minutes, but at this full-throttle pace any longer would probably be too much.

This is a great death metal CD, and I actually prefer this, in a way, over their later work. Its not as varied and epic, but for sheer relentless fury, this has few equals.

Standout Tracks: Serpent Headed Mask, Ramses Bringer of War, Stones of Sorrow

More about Nile...
Review: Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-Ka (reviewed by Lars Christiansen)
Review: Annihilation of the Wicked (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
Review: Annihilation of the Wicked (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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)
Click below for more reviews
Latest 0-9 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 Various Books/Zines 

The Metal Crypt - Crushing Posers Since 1999
Copyright  © 1999-2024, Michel Renaud / The Metal Crypt.  All Rights Reserved.