Although some albums from death metal wizards/Egypt scholars Nile weigh on the soul (seriously, Black Seeds of Vengeance is about as devastating as death metal gets), some (Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka, Ithyphallic) revitalize and energize. Those Whom the Gods Detest does just that. Maybe they're on a roll, having recorded three albums with the same line-up, but this disc is hopping with energy, no doubt helped along by what could be the band's cleanest production to date. Main man Karl Sanders has upped his guitar playing to levels of originality matching that of drummer George Kollias, both dudes taking unconventional ideas and running with them. Some of the many highlights on this excellent disc include the title track, which incorporates all those wacky instruments and atmospheric passages that Nile do so well (the ones that make you feel like you're trapped in a pyramid, if not in real life, then at least in Super Mario Bros.). The band get slow and sludgy with great results in "4th Arra of Dagon" and "Permitting the Noble Dead to Descend to the Underworld" is damn near catchy. And when "Yezd Desert Ghul Ritual in the Abandoned Towers of Silence" follows it up, it's clearly the year's best double-shot of ludicrous song names. Nile, we knew you could do it.
I think people often come to Nile albums for the drum freak show, but this time it's a drum and guitar freak show. Were you guys putting an emphasis on pushing the guitar work to new heights?
Kollias: Yeah, Nile always went a little bit too far with drums [laughs]. But guitars were always extreme as well. I haven't seen any guitarist playing a Nile song like Karl or Dallas [Toler-Wade] does. This time, the production is also super-clean, more than anytime before, so this is another reason for a few people to notice what we actually do in there.
Two years ago, we asked Karl if you guys would ever run out of Egyptian themes to write about. Today, I pose that question to you. You must be getting closer to Egypt burnout?
No way, Karl has a lot more to give, he even has two solo records and he's going for the third sometime soon. So, it's not about a concept that Karl pushes himself to write about, but it's about something he believes and likes. He is really into it.
Who do the Gods detest?
Me, you, anybody, anyone who has something to say and anyone who believes in anything other than the Gods. (Nuclear Blast)