Nile – What Should Not Be Unearthed (Nuclear Blast)Sunday, 9th August 2015
To echo the comments of many that heard Nile’s last effort, 2012’s At the Gate of Sethu, it just felt too ‘clean’ overall. You could still tell it was Nile but it seemed a step down from what is usually one of death metal’s most consistent bands. What Should Not Be Unearthed takes things back a long way, which should please all fans of Egyptian-based death metal. This is the most ‘fun’ and aggressive Nile has sounded in years.
What Should Not Be Unearthed sounds as if the band loosened the reins a bit. The band’s technical flair is still wildly displayed, yet there’s a visceral bite that the band hasn’t tapped this hard since Among the Catacombs of Nephron-Ka. Opener “Call of Destruction” gives this immediate impression, with a ferocious wall of sound backing up Karl Sanders recognizable death roars. In fact, the intensity doesn’t let up until a Middle Eastern arrangement opens up the fourth track, “In the Name of Amun.” They aren’t all speed-mongers however, as the mid-tempo crusher “Age of Famine” effectively slows things down just when it was needed. The biggest highlight of the album does go to the savage “Liber Stellae – Rubaeae,” which combines some groove alongside a frenetic pile of technical riffs that should by all means become a future live staple for the band.
At the end of the day, Nile still sounds like Nile and that’s a good thing (just think of all the imitators and copycats they’ve spawned over the years). Nile long established what it is that they mean to do with an album and there’s a reason why they are one of the most established bands in death metal. It’s just great to see that they’ve eased off their effort to get too technical. Because of it, What Should Not Be Unearthed stands as a behemoth of Egyptian-inspired violence that’s bound to make long-time fans sadistically smile.