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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 24 May 2005
Nile are one of those bands who are credited with taking death metal forwards (a daunting task by anybody's standards). They have never, in my opinion, been found lacking.
This is a brilliant album. The song-writing is as superb as we have come to expect, very much sounding the successor to their previous effort, In Their Darkened Shrines. The technical skill is superb, but I don't find that it gets in the way of the flow of the songs. A special mention has to be made for the incredible precision of the drumming. Truly awesome.
Although there are no filler tracks on the album, the ones that really stand out, for me, are:
Cast Down the Heretic
The Burning Pits of the Duat
Chapter of Obeisance...
Lashed to the Slave Stick
Annihilation of the Wicked
Another thing I love about this band is the effort they put into the CD booklets, where a detailed account of the context of each song is given, along with how it came to sound the way it does.
If I were to be brutally (and possibly unnecessarily) honest, I would say that this is not as revolutionary or as thrilling as ITDS. Where that album was a classic, this is merely great. However, it is still an immense effort from one of the most talented, friendly, and truly different bands extreme metal has ever produced.
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on 20 June 2005
Nile are the best death metal band in the world. This new album showcases all that is great about them, and this time round adds to it excellent production and a ridiculous new drummer.
My favourite thing about nile has always been the vocals. I cant say that about many bands, but this album's vocals are without doubt the most intense and sinister, - and cool -, vocals these ears have heard.
Everyone knows about Nile's brutal death metal take on egyptian mythology, and thier penchant for both slow burning epics and (relatively) short blurs of speed and intensity, so it only remains to talk about the musicianship. The guitars need no introduction, take a bow messrs Sanders and Toler-Wade. This album introduces probably the best young drummer in metal today. I heard he broke the world record for bpm on this album, and its not hard to see why.
Breathtaking Nile album
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on 24 May 2005
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this album. I saw them live a few months ago and was impressed by their new songs in the live situation. On previous works the production has been slightly muddy and lacking definition. This time they've done a great job and all the instruments come through nice and clear. On this album the Egyptian influence has been toned down slightly with only two tracks (including the intro) not of a metal base. The rest is (mainly) a blur of speed, blasting drums, shredding, and possibly most of all, brutality. The whole album flows nicely from start to finish with plenty of variation in timing and tempo with mid-paced sections that give the "all-out-brutality" parts even more power and intensity. Once again they've proved they are right up there at the top of the death metal ladder. For me the best track is the title track, which at 8:30 isn't short!! 2 other tracks are also over 8 minutes. After a few listens i think its the best album they've done as it isn't as dis-jointed and flows better than previous ones. Well, i won't spoil any more suprises and leave it as saying if you liked other nile albums, prefer death metal to be a little more serious and meaningful or are interested in metal of truly epic proportions then buy this. I can't imagine why you'd be disapointed!!
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on 17 March 2006
If you are a death metal fan and you haven't heard Nile, you haven't lived. Their egyptian-themed music is both epic and brutal at the same time, whilst the musicianship is tight and of highest caliber. Songs like User-Maat-Re, Lashed to the slave stick, Annihilation of the Wicked and Von Unaussprechlichen Kulten are undoubtably some of my all time favourite death metal songs. Words cannot express how good this is, buy it now.
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on 30 May 2005
This hasn't left my CD player. I'm listening to it now. It's Nile's best CD to date, and that's saying a lot if you consider how much I worshipped all their previous CDs.
The technicality, strength of songwriting and incredibly intense vocals have to be heard to be believed. Basically- stop reading this and buy the album.
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VINE VOICEon 13 August 2005
Their drummers come and go, but Nile's albums are predictable in their content: and for this 4th album it's the usual collection of furious death metal tunes broken up with a couple of atmospheric pieces, and with a dominant Egyptian influence complimented by a touch of H.P. Lovecraft. Thankfully Nile are also predictable in their ability to crank out great albums, but Annihilation of the Wicked may well be the bands best album since their debut. While the Egyptian influence is very much still in effect, the extraneous muso wanderings and ethnic instruments that crept into the epic tracks on their last album have been scaled down, and what we have instead is a much more riff-orientated metal album, with the likes of Lashed To The Slave Stick featuring some massively addictive hooks. A perfect mix of over the top blastbeat orientated songs and slower epic tracks, Annihilation Of the Wicked sees Nile at their most focused, and is one of their best offerings. Those with the cash might also want to try tracking down the Japanese import version, as it features the esclusive additional track Sss Haa Set Yoth, and far from being a throwaway bit of atmospherics this is a very strong 5 minute+ shredder, and one of the better tracks on the album.
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on 24 May 2005
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this album. I saw them live a few months ago and was impressed by their new songs in the live situation. On previous works the production has been slightly muddy and lacking definition. This time they've done a great job and all the instruments come through nice and clear. On this album the Egyptian influence has been toned down slightly with only two tracks (including the intro) not of a metal base. The rest is (mainly) a blur of speed, blasting drums, shredding, and possibly most of all, brutality. The whole album flows nicely from start to finish with plenty of variation in timing and tempo with mid-paced sections that give the "all-out-brutality" parts even more power and intensity. Once again they've proved they are right up there at the top of the death metal ladder. For me the best track is the title track, which at 8:30 isn't short!! 2 other tracks are also over 8 minutes. After a few listens i think its the best album they've done as it isn't as dis-jointed and flows better than previous ones. Well, i won't spoil any more suprises and leave it as saying if you liked other nile albums, prefer death metal to be a little more serious and meaningful or are interested in metal of truly epic proportions then buy this. I can't imagine why you'd be disapointed!!
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on 21 December 2005
i compare this band to mastodon. not music wise, of course not, but for musicianship. there music is so god damn good, they can write their lyrics about anything. i mean, im sure 95% of all death metallers wont be interested in egyptian mytholigy at all, but because the music is probably the most advanced and perfect sounding death metal EVER, they can get away with it. and to be at that level is a very hard feat. bow to the feet of NILE, i hope they continue for many years and break many more boundaries.
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on 19 September 2008
Nile will always have a very special place in my heart, as 'In their Darkend Shrines' was the first true Death Metal album and my stepping stone from kinda heavy bands like Converge and DEP into the realms of the extreme. I still love that album, and after getting Catacombs and Black Seeds of Vengence it was a good 3 years before i got another Nile album, being this.

Well, the stakes were very high for 'Annihilation of the Wicked', with 'Darkened' being considered a mile stone for the genre in terms of technical ability, songwriting and energy, and to be honest i didn't expect it to be better. But, believe me friends, it is better in every single way. Some reviewers have commented that there is not enough difference between the two albums, but i would content that 'Annihilation', far from being 'Darkened' part 2, surpases that album in each area. Technically, this takes Nile's sound to a new level with some frightning fret work that makes me wonder how Karl Sanders and Dallas Toller-Wade's fingers haven't fallen off yet. Give 'Cast Down the Heretic' or 'Lashed to the Slave stick' a blast and you will, no doubt be astonished by the inhuman guitar wizardry. Also, new drummer George Kollias performance is nothing short of collosal, blisteringly fast and powerful yet with deadly precicion that completly blows your ears off. I'm not one who usually gets excited about drumming in metal, but this guy is amazing. I've not been so impressed by a drummer since Tara by Absu. 'Annihalation' also features Nile's tradmark Egyptian sound effects and the odd break for acoustic guitars, orchestras and choirs, but this is much less then in previous works and is less of a distraction from the punishing metal. Production wise, this also surpasses previous works and is one of the best productions i've ever heard for Death Metal. Everything is so thick and utterly epic, yet nothing gets lost in the mix and the vocals are almost decipherable. Great work.

As for the accusations that Nile haven't introduced an new elements into 'Annihalation', I'd argue that as well. Of course, Nile have their own unique style and all records will sound similar, but i think Nile really went to town on incorporating some much slower, crushingly groovy parts into the songs then ever before, with some parts almost bordering on Doom Metal. See Usher Maat Rae as an example, or the titanic mid section of 'The Burning Pits' . Nile also show off some very prog tendencies with the last two tracks both pushing almost ten minutes.

All in all, the faster parts are faster, the brutality more brutal, the technical parts more technical, and the album is just Nile's best. Simple as that. In fact, i think this is one of the best Death Metal Albums ever. It manages to combine inhuman brutality with some wonderfully intelligent songwriting and some of the best drumming ever to create another brilliant album from a one of a kind band.

Highly recommended
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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.
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