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Nile - "In Their Darkened Shrines"
Relapse Records 2002

Finally! After almost two years since brilliant "Black seeds of vengeance" the masters of ancient Death Metal are back with a new masterpiece, which can be easily labeled as one of the best Death Metal releases this year. Although Pete Hammoura and Chief Spires left the band, their places are more that perfectly filled with inhuman drummer Tony Laureno (ex-Angelcorpse) and bassist Jon Versano, who isn't a permanent member of the band (yet?). As expected, those changes didn't affect the band much, because "big boss" Karl Sanders is still taking care of everything.

"In Their Darkened Shrines" is the title of a brand new epic adventure, where Nile offers us 12 new songs in their typical way. Don't get me wrong! This doesn't mean this is a boring record at all! The new album is as original as all their previous releases. Again it's a perfect mix of really fast and tricky parts usually followed by "ancient" sound effects, which make their songs even more insane. Already first track "The Blessed dead" make us realize that they are back with even more energy and speed than before and even vocals sound angrier than before. Absolute highlight of the record is 11 minutes long track entitled "Unas, Slayer of Gods", because it's a mix of all musical elements Nile had done before. If you haven't heard Nile before, it's enough to listen to this song and you"ll see what Nile is all about. I must also add that they "stole" a few riffs for this song from Candlemass ("Well of Souls" from album Nightfall), but who cares?! Of course there are also instrumental songs like "Hall of Savarion Entombment" (like "Kudurru Maglu" in Amongs tha Catacombs...), which calms you down for a bit before another speed blast. What to say about sound and production? Everyone who is familiar with Nile knows that no one has ever complained about their sound before. The production is (again) crystal clear because you can hear every sound, scream, noise, cymbal... so nothing new for Nile fans. Drumming is fantastic (double bass sounds killer!), guitars are mostly fast and furious and bass sounds heavy & aggressive again. Not only the sound but also the lyrics remain almost the same. So say hello again to the dead, gods and everything that has anything to do with ancient Egypt. I still haven't got the CD (yet!, "cos here it's really a miracle to find a CD like this even months after release), but if there are explanations of each text, that's another huge plus to this record.

With "In Their Darkened Shrines" Nile made another step forward in their carrier and gave another great release to Death Metal scene. I find them one of the most original bands in this genre, so I think that they deserve every support in any kind of way. So if you're a Death Metal fan... buy or die!

Author:   Primo¾

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