Nile – Vile Nilotic Rites (Nuclear Blast)

Friday, 25th October 2019
Rating: 9/10

Crazy to think that it’s been over 20 years at this point since Nile released Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka. It was a landmark album upon release for this scribe, as it’s combination of frenetic death metal with Egyptian influences was something entirely fresh and groundbreaking back then. While Nile has evolved in some ways over the years, and had plenty of memorable albums, nothing has really been able to top said release to these ears. However, Vile Nilotic Rites sits as the closest they’ve come to it.

Vile Nilotic Rites is not a throwback album by any means. Nile is simply doing what they have been doing for 25 years at this point. Brutal, Egyptian-themed death metal. But where some of that epic grandeur and atmosphere has come and gone depending on the direction of each release, Vile Nilotic Rites seems to embrace those early roots of the band. Even more pummeling than their last album, What Should Not Be Unearthed, some of the tracks here offer that unleashed primal rage of “Smashing the Antiu” – straight-forward crushers like “Oxford Handbook of Genocidal Warfare” and the utterly devastating “Snake Pit Mating Frenzy” stand as some of the most memorable of this variety that Nile has penned in quite some time. But that’s not all that feels invigorated here. More epic-length tracks, like “Seven Horns of War” and “The Imperishable Stars Are Sickened” bring back a more moody and cinematic feel to the band’s otherwise bone-crushing state. Most of the tracks offer more atmospheric settings, but “Revel in Their Suffering” and “Where is the Wrathful Sky” do a masterful job of combining a more memorable vibe to something that stays authentically brutal and dark.

Easily the strongest effort Nile has had since their landmark debut, Vile Nilotic Rites is an impressive piece of material from such a long-standing act. It’s a fantastic example of a band dipping back into their past without becoming stuck there, instead integrating it into what they currently do and crafting a potent release that brings purified death metal fury with their trademarked Egyptian themes. Completely engrossing while maintaining an edge of savagery.

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