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3.85 | 25 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 2000

Filed under Brutal Death Metal


1. Invocation of the Gate of Aat-Ankh-es-en-Amenti (0:43)
2. Black Seeds of Vengeance (3:35)
3. Defiling the Gates of Ishtar (3:38)
4. The Black Flame (3:21)
5. Libation Unto the Shades Who Lurk in the Shadows of the Temple of Anhur (1:32)
6. Masturbating the War God (5:41)
7. Multitude of Foes (2:09)
8. Chapter for Transforming Into a Snake (2:25)
9. Nas Akhu Khan She En Asbiu (4:15)
10. To Dream of Ur (9:07)
11. The Nameless City of the Accursed (2:51)
12. Khetti Satha Shemsu (3:32)

Total Time: 42:55


- Karl Sanders / Guitar, Vocals
- Dallas Toler-Wade / Guitar, Vocals
- Chief Spires / Bass, Vocals
- Pete Hammoura / Drums, Vocals
- Derek Roddy / Additional Drums, Vocals

- Mostafa Abd el Aziz / Argoul on track 1
- Boz Porter / vocals on track 3
- Gary Jones / vocals on tracks 3, 6, and 12
- Scott Wilson / lead vocals on track 10, vocals on track 12
- Aly et Maher el Helbney / Respirations on track 11
- Ross Dolan / vocals on track 12
- Bob Moore / vocals on track 12

About this release

Label: Relapse Records
Release date: September 5th, 2000

Thanks to Vehemency, theheavymetalcat for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"Black Seeds of Vengeance" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US death metal act Nile. The album was released through Relapse Records in September 2000. There have been a couple of lineup changes since the release of "Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka (1998)" as drummer Pete Hammoura was forced to leave Nile as a result of an injury he sustained while touring in support of the debut album. He plays on "To Dream of Ur", but other than that the drums are played by session drummer Derek Roddy (Malevolent Creation, Hate Eternal, Council of the Fallen, Serpents Rise...). Second guitarist/vocalist Dallas Toler-Wade is new in the lineup. The lineup is completed by Karl Sanders (guitars, vocals, keyboards) and Chief Spires (bass, vocals) who are the only remaining members from the lineup who recorded "Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka (1998)". Only a few months after the release of "Black Seeds of Vengeance", Chief Spires would also jump ship.

So "Black Seeds of Vengeance" was created in a period of lineup turmoil, but that´s not really audible when listening to the album, which is cleverly crafted and skillfully played. The album features 12 tracks and a full playing time of 42:55. Some tracks are fast-paced, technical, and initially quite chaotic sounding like "Defiling the Gates of Ishtar" and the title track, while others are more heavy and epic like "The Black Flame" and "To Dream of Ur". In addition to the "regular" metal tracks, the album also features shorter instrumental middle eastern sounding interludes. The ancient egypt lyrical themes are explained in detail in the booklet which features extensive liner notes for each track. Along with the generally dark atmosphere, the middle eastern instrumental parts, the in depth description of the lyrics provide the overall listening experience with great impact.

The band are highly skilled musicians, and every note is played with great passion and conviction. High speed precision drumming, fast-paced guitar riffs and screaming atonal solos, and brutal growling vocals delivered by three different vocalists. The vocals are predominantly very low range and unintelligible, but there is the occasional word or phrase which are intelligible. The sound production is generally powerful, raw, and detailed, but a more organic bass drum sound and a more intense guitar tone, could have made it even better. Those are only minor issues though, and "Black Seeds of Vengeance" is overall a great sounding release.

So upon conclusion "Black Seeds of Vengeance" is a high quality sophomore studio album by Nile, which sees them developing their sound even further towards something unique. It´s raw, filthy, and chaotic sounding, but at the same time highly sophisticated and structurally complex, which is a hard balance that Nile strike perfectly. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.
siLLy puPPy
While NILE hit the ground running on their debut release “Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-Ka” which found the band utilizing the Egyptian mythology that Iron Maiden flirted with on their “Powerslave” album, it was their second album BLACK SEEDS OF VENGEANCE where they really started to take the ideas laid down on the debut release and organize them into a more cohesive package that began their slew of epic feeling death metal releases. In the lineup department, this was a volatile period of the band’s existence with band leader Karl Sanders having to replace percussionist Pete Hammoura because of injuries sustained during touring. In to save the day was Derek Roddy who was a seasoned drumming veteran at this point after playing in several bands including Hate Eternal. He would fill the role in the drum department only for this one album before he would be replaced by the great George Kolias. Another great change in the band’s sound came with the addition of the second guitarist /vocalist Dallas Toler-Wade who added a new heft to the band’s already heavy sound. The new two-guitar lineup granted the expansion of rhythm and lead counterpoints which the band exploited superbly.

While “Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-Ka” found NILE with a relatively unique sound in the burgeoning death metal camp that glutted the 90s, one aspect of that release that was missing was a true sense of cohesion with well laid out concepts that flowed in a rather logical manner. The album was more simplistic in the composition department and retained an element of the punkish innocence that was a leftover from the demo days. On BLACK SEEDS OF VENGEANCE, the twelve tracks on board take all the disparate elements present on the first album and arrange them in a more logical and seductively pleasing manner. Firstly the lush Middle Eastern orchestral parts are no longer separated from the brutal death metal bombast and the two are allowed to mix and mingle at various points of the album. The technical aspects have also increased as the tracks are not only more varied in sound but the unorthodox song structures take more liberties to twist and turn in myriad directions superimposing the ritualistic serpent marches with the atonal caustic freneticism of the lightning fast guitar riffs and blastbeats. Likewise Derek Roddy delivers a more technical percussive workout offering more variation in the jaw dropping drum rolls and percussive bombast.

While the death metal orotundity has exponentially increased its technical virtuosity, it too diverges from the power driven speed of the debut and offers crushingly slow death doom passages that allow sustained chords to sustain in unison with Turkish gongs as well as creating thrash palm muted passages to parade through the serpent’s temples as the compositions are more infused with an exotic Middle Eastern flair and finds the band expanding their use of musical scales and experimental string tunings in various keys. Likewise the orchestrated exotic flair of the Conan the Destroyer soundtrack parts exhibit more variation this time around as well with extra musicians on board to offer tastes of exotic instruments and eerie choral vocals that conspire to create one of the most surreal death metal experiences of the turn of the millennium. The attention paid to the atmospheric possibilities in conjunct with the portentous ferociousness of the growled vocals and instrumental death metal assaults is quite artfully achieved. Tracks such as “To Dream Of Ur” offer up the full potential of these cross-pollinating aspects with strange growly chants, exotic Middle Eastern stringed instruments and death doom tempos that allow the tracks to build up to crescendoes before transitioning to more aggressive passages.

BLACK SEEDS OF VENGEANCE is rather unique in the NILE canon as it is the perfect transition album that finds the band shedding their old school brutal death metal skin and dressing it all up in their tech tuxedo of death in which they would continue to perfect on future albums but something about this second release continues to draw me back for returned visits more than any other NILE album. I believe that it is the album that most uses the death and doom metal elements to emphasize the Ancient Egyptian musical feel rather than the other way around. Every aspect of BLACK SEEDS OF VENGEANCE seems to revolve on keeping the listener anchored in the fertile pharaoh ridden shores of the river that sustained the ancients and all their mysterious ways. This one has more time dedicated to these non-metal aspects including chants and periods of eerie mummy raising rituals. The bombast of the metal simply reinforces the themes and mythology that the lyrics and exotic scales construct. For my money, BLACK SEEDS OF VENGEANCE is one of the best NILE albums in their discography and while albums like “Annihilation Of The Wicked” may be more technically advanced, they are still simply variations of the syncretic ideas laid out on this sophomore album. This album is EXCELLENT!!!!
Black Seeds of Vengeance finds Nile in an experimental mood, varying their sound to the extent of occasionally slowing things right down to the very verge of death-doom in contrast to the fast-paced death metal style they had perfected on their debut album. Although they deserve recognition for trying such a radical experiment so soon after their debut, I tend to think that this album represents a learning process for Nile. On subsequent releases, they would make better use of the technical mastery attained during the production of this album, though it's a fair listen if you want to hear the band in the process of expanding its musical palette.

Members reviews

This album is epic!

Combining the ambience of Egyptian music with Brutal Death Metal, Nile has forged themselves a masterpiece. This album is viciously epic, drawing on many regional influences for which the band is named, as well as incorporating the works of prolific science-fiction/horror writer H.P. Lovecraft.

Like most Brutal Death Metal albums, this one is fast; characterized by low-tuned, driving guitar riffs, rapid blast beats and double bass, and Karl Sander's growling vocals. The thing that sets this album apart from others that fit the description above is the vast array of Egyptian sounds and elements.

My personal favorites are the title track, "Defiling the Gates of Ishtar", and "Masterbating the War God." However, the entire album is very evenly distributed with ferrocious tracks.

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