Nile: Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka

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Nile: Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka
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Nile: Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka
Brutal Technical Death Metal
Relapse Records
April 28th, 1998
Release length: 33:12
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The debut full length album from Nile, Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-Ka, was one that really took the brutal death metal style to a whole other level. While the album was a blistering assault, Nile also tried to bring in some Middle Eastern sounds to the music to give off more of an Egyptian feel to the overall attempt. While the interludes worked, the album was still met with individuals pronouncing their hatred for the release.

Simply put, the music on Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-Ka is amazing. It’s heavy, it’s fast, and it’s brutal. Every second of this album is just a punch to the face that simply cannot be ignored, which is exactly what the style needed back in the day. It’s tracks like “Ramses, Bringer Of War”, with it’s solid, fast paced guitar work and even faster guitar work during the solo. Another nice piece to the madness that is Nile is the Egyptian elements they bring into the music. Lyrically, the album stands out solely for the fact that it just doesn’t sound like every other brutal death metal release out there that really fixates on lyrics being of the most brutal nature. Instead, we have lyrics reminiscent of ancient Egypt, and tracks that even have some ambient sounds in the background, such as on the slower paced “Stones Of Sorrow”, as well as “Kudurru Maqlu”, an instrumental track that was clearly placed on this release for no other reason then ambience.

The biggest gripe behind this CD, however, is the sound of the instruments. While the lyrics are very stylish and the solos are outstanding, the quality of the release does leave a bit to be desired if you have the inability to look past the distortions and somewhat poor sounding recording quality, especially for the time it was recorded. But, even with all that said, the music is still clear enough to be heard, and the distortion doesn’t really damage the album in any way, or it’s replay quality. The only thing that can become a bit aggrivating will be the shouting, which first appears abouut half way through “Stones Of Sorrow”, and then again throughout the Egyptian marching track “Die Rache Krieg Lied De Assyriche”. While it kind of interrupts the flow of “Stones Of Sorrow”, it’s clear that “Die Rache Krieg Lied De Assyriche” works well with those kinds of vocals.

Either way, Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-Ka is a blistering brutal death metal album that, though the elitists will say you will hate, you will absolutely love. The fine mix of middle eastern sounds blended with a brutal, and somewhat technical death metal sound make for a great change of pace. The slower tracks, like “Ramses, Bringer Of War” and “Stones Of Sorrow” are really the more stand out tracks of the album, but the face melting tracks “Smashing The Antiu” and the rather musically creative “Opening Of The Mouth” will have you wanting more.

01. Smashing The Antiu – 2:18
02. Barra Edinazzu – 2:47
03. Kudurru Maqlu (Instrumental) – 1:06
04. Serpent Headed Mask – 2:18
05. Ramses, Bringer Of War – 4:46
06. Stones Of Sorrow – 4:17
07. Die Rache Krieg Lied Der Assyriche – 3:13
08. The Howling of The Jinn – 2:35
09. Pestilence And Iniquity – 1:54
10. Opening Of The Mouth – 3:40
11. Beneath Eternal Oceans Of Sand – 4:18
Overall Score: 8.5/10


Digital review copy of this release provided by personal funds.