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4.26 | 15 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2019


01. Long Shadows of Dread (4:07)
02. The Oxford Handbook of Savage Genocidal Warfare (3:09)
03. Vile Nilotic Rites (3:28)
04. Seven Horns of War (8:48)
05. That Which Is Forbidden (5:35)
06. Snake Pit Mating Frenzy (2:48)
07. Revel in Their Suffering (5:44)
08. Thus Sayeth the Parasites of the Mind (1:42)
09. Where Is the Wrathful Sky (4:40)
10. The Imperishable Stars Are Sickened (8:00)
11. We Are Cursed (6:53)

Total Time 54:54


- Karl Sanders / Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Bağlama, Bouzouki
- George Kollias / Drums, Percussion
- Brad Parris / Bass, Vocals
- Brian Kingsland / Guitars, Vocals

About this release

Nuclear Blast
CD, 2 x LP, Digital
1500 Red vinyl, 300 Red bone splatter vinyl
300 Beige, White and Purple vinyl (Nuclear Blast mail order only)
released 1st Nov 2019

Thanks to Nightfly for the addition and adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"Vile Nilotic Rites" is the 9th full-length studio album by US death metal act Nile. The album was released through Nuclear Blast in November 2019. It´s the successor to "What Should Not Be Unearthed" from 2015 and features a significant lineup change as lead vocalist/guitarist Dallas Toler-Wade has jumped ship. He has been replaced by Brian Kingsland (Enthean).

Stylistically it´s more or less business as usual. Brutal technical death metal with Ancient Egyptian/Middle East lyrical themes and melodies/atmospheres. As on every Nile release before this one the musicianship is through the roof. The tracks are so complex in structure and the riffs and rhythms so technically difficult to play, that it´s impossible not to drop your jaw several times while listening to "Vile Nilotic Rites". Funny enough we have now been spoiled for so many years and albums with the band´s incredible musicianship, that it by now feels like a matter of course, which is of course totally unfair to the performers, but that´s just what happens when you continue to deliver on such a high level for so many years. It unfortunately also has the consequence that expectations to any new Nile release are now sky high, and any deviation in quality or sound is noticed by the rabid fans. Nile fans are like the Dream Theater fans of death metal...

...which leads me to the lineup change on the lead vocalist spot. Overall Kingsland does a good job replacing Toler-Wade and the quality of the vocal performances from both Kingsland (intelligible growling vocals), Karl Sanders (deep unintelligible growling vocals), and Brad Parris (higher pitched screaming vocals) are high. But when that is said, replacing Toler-Wade one to one is nearly impossible. He is one of the most distinct sounding and powerful growling vocalists on the scene and the importance of his voice and commanding vocal style on Nile´s previous albums can not be underestimated. So for all the good intentions and skilled vocal performances on "Vile Nilotic Rites", the quality of the vocals, or maybe more correctly the uniqueness of the vocals, is lower here than on the last many albums by the band which featured Toler-Wade.

The instrumental part of the music is as intriguing and busy as ever. It´s powerful, brutal, and technically very well played death metal of the highest caliber. Nile are in the Premier League of death metal artists, and "Vile Nilotic Rites" does nothing to change that. The album features a powerful, brutal, and detailed sound production and upon conclusion it´s yet another Nile album reeking high class. I´m not sure I find it quite as interesting as "What Should Not Be Unearthed (2015)", but a 4 star (80%) rating is still deserved.
Kev Rowland
In the years between the release of 2015’s ‘What Should Not Be Unearthed’ and 2019’s ‘Vile Nilotic Rites’ there has been some changes in the Nile camp, with the departure of Dallas Toler-Wade after some 20 years of being in the band. The band are again back as a quartet, with Sanders and Kollias being joined by Brad Parris (bass, vocals) and Brian Kingsland (guitars, vocals), but most importantly is what has happened to the music. Nile have looked back towards their roots in many ways, yet are also pushing forward with an album which is many ways is one of the most varied they have ever released. There is a brightness within it, a light which is shining, which allows them to move away from the lower register without ever losing any of the heaviness.

There are times when both guitars and bass are tracking note for note at incredible speed, with the bass being played so high up on the neck that it sounds almost like another guitar which allows space to be filled by the drumming of Kollias who has apparently got a second wind as this release probably contains his best performance yet. Apparently the band changed the way they undertook pre-production this time so when George was tracking his drums he had a much better idea of the finished sound. We even have orchestral passages which allow the band to have improved contrast so they can really come back firing. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Nile album I haven’t really enjoyed, but this is taking things to a whole new level. The use of brass during “Seven Horns of War” is simply inspired, yet when the band really kick in the song becomes something down, dirty, disgusting and most definitely Nile.

It is still technical death metal, but in many ways they are pushing the boundaries and taking the genre into new directions. Lyrically Sanders is still pushing the boat with references to Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and Levantine history, and who else would have a song about zombie ants? Sanders and Kollias are firmly at the helm, and with the new guys firmly on board and bedded in on the live circuit, they have created what may just be the best album of their career. It is certainly their most diverse, without losing any of the power and brutality for which they are renowned. Simply essential.
siLLy puPPy
Still reeling from the high of seeing NILE play an energetic and exhilarating live show at the Oakland Metro Operahouse in lovely Oakland, CA supporting the band’s ninth studio album VILE NILOTIC RITES, i’ve still got my Egyptology hat on coupled with the death metal technicalities riffing through my head and the new album crankin’ in my earbuds on automatic replay. It’s been four long years since “What Should Not Be Unearthed” displayed the technical death metal wizardry of Karl Sanders’ baby and since then there has been a changing of the guard leaving only half of the band that played on the previous album. Dallas Toler-Wade departed in 2015 and left a void for both guitarist and bassist. Instead of recruiting another multi-instrumentalist to cover both, Sanders has replaced him with bassist / vocalist Brad Parris along with guitarist / vocalist Brian Kingsland. Both Sanders and long time drummer George Kollias remain firmly in control of their craft and although half the lineup is new to the game, the classic NILE sound of yore not explored since 2005’s “Annihilation of the Wicked” has returned like Coptic vestiges of long lost pharaohs.

After that 2005 mega-mastery of technical death metal wrapped up in ancient historical themes and imagery, NILE seemed to ditch the unique aspects of the Egyptian folk instrumentation that made the band stand out from the legion of death metal bands active in the 21st century and instead opted to engage in a relentless brutal delivery of technical guitar riffs and the usual suspects of labyrinthine song structures delivered at the speed of light. Virtuosic dissonant rampages of sound were the rule of the roost and even though NILE delivered the satisfaction of extremely professional sounding stampedes of sonic wizardry, i have been missing those slower introspective flirtations with the ancient sounds of traditional Egyptian music that sound as if they emerged right out of a Conan The Barbarian soundtrack. Well, my days of waiting are over as VILE NILOTIC RITES simultaneously takes NILE into a new musical paradigm that delivers an expanded palette of metal antics but also reaches back to the days when the Egyptian flavors were as prevalent as the sandy tan hues of the great pyramids of Giza.

Firstly i was surprised to find that Sanders, Parris and Kingsland pretty much share the vocals on this album, a surprise because they all sound so very much alike and i would never have noticed had i not seen the live performances. Stylistically NILE deliver the expected goods of caustic technically infused death metal guitar riffs along with the deepened growls that take serpentine paths into the mysteries of the hieroglyphic laden ancient past while bedazzling us with 21st century brutal bombast along with a nod here and there to Sanders’ early Morbid Angel connection with the sizzling squeal of a guitar solo. However despite the wrath of the NILE sound smacking me in the face at full force, there is more variation this time around. Not only does drummer George Kollias engage in a wider range of percussive pummelation but spends as much time taking a simpler route than delivering the madman in hyper speed approach the entire run. The music not only engages in the usual freneticism of the quickened death metal but also reverts back to some fo the death doom elements that launched the NILE sound in the first place.

Best of all are tracks like “Seven Horns Of War” that begin with the soundtrack quality epic sounds that gave birth to the unique musical scales and alternative tunings that give NILE its own distinct and instantly recognizable sound and while this track uses these effects as an intro and for closure, the lengthier intermission “Thus Sayeth The Parasites Of The Mind” implements a longer more intricate display of Saharan orchestration that sets the proper mood for mummies in the catacombs. The beauty of VILE NILOTIC RITES is how the brutal bombast of the tech death riffing alternates so perfectly with the slower slinking classical orchestrations and unlike previous albums that kept the two segregated, this one allows the two to stand side by side. On the metal side, NILE engages in more streamlined riffing attacks that sometimes offers some thrashy variations and often repeated riffs along with the chaotic meandering flow of dissonant distortion.

This is the sound i’ve been hoping NILE would revisit and here it is without sacrificing the art of moving forward while looking back. This album perfectly represents what NILE does best and that would be simply cranking out those exotic death metal riffs fortified by the esoteric sounding Saharan musical styles along with the sun scorched atmospheres of a ruling dynasty from so long ago. The epic mythological feel of earlier albums is completely restored and to great effect. While i’ve pretty much loved every NILE album since the debut, it’s this blend of styles that works best for my ears and VILE NILOTIC RITES delivers in the proper proportions and leaves me wanting more. This album reminds me of while NILE is near the top of my list for 21st century metal bands and easily maintains its own status quo while cranking out another batch of outstanding top notch quality tech death metal tracks. While it’s true NILE doesn’t stray too far away from the apple tree which gave it life, that is not such a bad thing when the wellspring is so plentiful and the sound is so original that i don’t get tired of it. A casual listen may sound like a mere retread but after several spins of this amazingly beautiful slice of tech death heaven, i’m enchanted by the subtle differences from the band’s past as well as the much needed revival of the softer elements that evoke the proper sonic spirits. The live performances i experienced were just icing on the cake.

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