Nile Annihilation of the Wicked

Nile Annihilation of the Wicked
With their fourth full-length, modern day death metal’s biggest hopes have toned down the experimental forays that bogged down the last couple of discs and have focused on creating a brutal, straight-ahead metal album. Maybe Nile main man Karl Sanders exorcised all his Egyptian demons on his recently-released solo album, but spare a couple minutes of acoustic and ambient soundscapes, this is 52 minutes of bottom-heavy death metal done right. With a new bassist and drummer intact, the band continue their tradition of grinding death metal played at speeds that couldn’t get any faster during the grind parts, or any slower during the doomier moments. Closing nine-minute epic "Von Unaussprechlichen Kulten” is a highlight, proving innovative riffing and ideas still exist within the tired genre. And even if the extended atmospheric parts are gone, the riffs themselves still exude that Middle Eastern flavour. Main guitarist/leader Sanders is still capable of coming up with great, memorable riffs, which is impressive this many albums in. And the production is one of the band’s best, eschewing the intensely bass-heavy and nearly un-listenable sounds of the past couple albums for a more balanced, human feel. Although it may have a moment or two of uncomfortable familiarity, this will easily be the death metal release of 2005, unless someone comes out of the woodwork to blow all minds. (Relapse)