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Its George Lucas Syndrome...
on 23 May 2006
'Annihilation...' was one of the two reocrds I was really really anticipating getting last year, the other being 'Words that go unspoken...' by Akercocke. I had them sent to me Thailand, as I couldn't wait to get home before listening to them such was my fervor.
Nile's new output was dissapointing. Not the playing. Its still the leading light for the rest of the death metal world to follow. Not the vocals, as they don't get much deeper and barbaric as the twin attack of messers Sanders and Toler-Wade. Nor the production as its typically Nile great.
What Nile have here is a great opportunity to make the best album ever, using the experience of previous outputs, the sounds of whats hot and whats not in the death metal world around them, and their ability to play like shredding demons. They didn't do this. They missed the opportunity to make something great. George Lucas Syndrome.
No... its the originality of the whole piece that lets it down. It should be called "In their Darkened Shrines: Part II". Nile, for want of carving their name into the sandstone of DM history as the most brutal, fastest and intelligent sounding band ever, have neglected to inject any real new ideas in to this album. Its a monster, no doubt, but its also been done already.
Even the formula of the album is predictable. Some nice accoustic/ percussive egyptian stuff, followed by horns and chants, followed by all out wall of noise blasting. Then, some nice accoustic/ percussive egyptian stuff, followed.... you get the idea.
After spinning the disk for the first time I wanted to listen to something else, as even the songs (with some rare exceptions) seemed to start sounding pretty similar. Something I couldn't accuse them of on previous albums.
'Cast down the Heretic' and 'Lashed to to the Slavestick' are top draw tracks, and would stand out on any album you cared to put them on. But its the rest of the disk I have problems with. The lack of vocal changes and timing (again with some rare exceptions) bores me to tears.
Good points about this album are the liner notes that Sandes always provides to give you an insight into how he came about writing the very complex and niche lyrics. The egyptian theme is still a great getaway from all the gore/devil/violence abounding the genere, its just a shame this album didn't expand on it musically, as lyrically Nile are a 6 star band !!!!
If you are a Nile nut, or a super brutal "all out blasting no matter the monotony" fan of DM, then this is for you. If you've never heard Nile before, I would recommend any of their albums (my personal fave being Black Seeds of Vengeance), their best being "officially" In their Darkened Shrines.