Nile In Their Darkened Shrines

In Their Darkened Shrines is nothing short of an epic journey through past centuries, lost civilizations and outrageously flamboyant drum fills. This gang of forward-thinking North Carolina death metal freaks have taken the sound found on their last full length, Black Seeds Of Vengeance, subtracted the ludicrous computer-enhanced production that plagued that album and added an air of acceptability with a less bass-drenched aural attack. The result is a very heavy death metal masterpiece that can blow minds with its three-minute technical death metal songs just as well as it can expand them with nine-minute epics filled with quiet, tomb-searching interludes, silly sounding spoken word parts and straight-faced orchestrated funeral marches. Drummer Tony Laureano puts in one of the best drum performances the death metal genre has ever seen; the man is a goddamn octopus behind his kit, stretching out fills, throwing in odd double bass rolls and keeping up his blast beats with the speedy, ultra-hysteric guitar work of main Nile man Karl Sanders and the other player in this triangle of madness, Dallas Toler-Wade (both Sanders and Toler-Wade handle bass duties here). Man, it's all here and there's nothing to complain about; even the 60-minute playing time makes a whole lot of sense when dealing with art of this calibre. Some will find this album too much to take in, no doubt, but for those willing to give it some time, the rewards are awe-inspiring. (Relapse)