Annihilation Of The Wicked Review

artist: Nile date: 07/18/2005 category: compact discs
Nile: Annihilation Of The Wicked
Released: May 24, 2005
Genre: Technical Death Metal, Death Metal
Label: Relapse
Number Of Tracks: 10
It marks the long-awaited return of one of extreme metal's most revered bands and teems with the blasting extremity and epic arrangements that have become Nile trademarks.
 Sound: 10
 Lyrics: 10
 Overall Impression: 10
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overall: 10
Annihilation Of The Wicked Reviewed by: MorbidAngel333, on july 18, 2005
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: Nile has been said to be one of the most epic death metal bands ever. They are to death metal as Iron Maiden is to power metal. George Kollias is one of the genre's finest, most talented drummers (even topping Flo Mouiner of Cryptopsy fame). As if they couldn't top 2002's In Their Darkened Shrines, AOTW slaughters contemporary death metal bands trying to equate in sound such as Necrophagist and Mastodon. What sets Nile apart from these bands is their promonent fascination with ancient Egypt and Middle eastern countries. This fuels the bands hard driven lyrics and epic instrumentals. AOTW's opening track, Dusk Falls Upon The Temple Of The Serpent On The Mount Of Sunrise is a short instrumental that sounds like ti is played on an coustic guitar. Cast Down The Heretic is the second track that starts off the reaminder of the album with lightning fast drumming and strange sounding percussion, collosal riffs and growling vocals, bringing Nile's other side into play. A death metal band that can play both calming instrumentals and heavy, epic, growling, enthralling metal is something you don't find often, and thats what makes Nile so amazing. // 10

Lyrics: The music is played fluently with pure musicianship and enthusiasm, and the lyrics are just as satisfying. Nile's obsession with middle eastern and ancient Egyptian themes is what makes the lyrics stand out. While other death metal bands sing about gore and killing, death and limb ripping, (and there's nothing wrong with that) Nile discusses ancient torture methods and the ruling of Egypian gods. A Passage from The Burning Pits of the Duat reads: "I lay in chains before the undying flames. I am helpless in the presence of he who is master of the pits of fire. I am humbled and broken in the presence of those who shall consume my shade in the pits of burning." The lyrics from Nile's AOTW prove to be intelectually written from the mind of one who is about to be tortured. Another lyric passage, this time from Lashed To The Slave Stick, reads: "Abui. The god who burns the dead. Shall leave you smoldering in exile from the nethwerworld. Abati. The god of Gorer. Causes you to howl like a jackal in anguish." These lyrics are compelling and complex, written like text from an ancient egyptian scroll. Nile also did their research, and in the lyrics boooklet, also include the history and meanings behind the lyrics and ideas for the songs, as well as how some are preformed. These long passages of lyrics and information really show just how infused these lyrics are with ancient themes. Some songs, such as User-maat-re and Von Unaussprechlichen Kulten almost reach the 10 minute mark with pride. Karl Sanders and Dallas Toler-Wade are both vocalists and guitarists and their growlings are intense and heavy, sounding as though from the pits of hell, no exagerration. // 10

Overall Impression: AOTW is certanly one of the finer death metal offerings of today, and quite possibley a classic album. Nile have produced an original collection of songs, oozing with craftsmanship and musicanship. All of the songs on AOTW are incredible, and my favorites are Lashed to the Slavestick, Von Unaussprechlichen Kulten, and (catchy title)Chapter Of Obeisance Before Giving Breath To The Inert One In The Presence Of The Cresent Shaped Horns. I love the instrumentation of the album, the way the sounds are made, it just puts a picture in my head of how these ever so descriptive scences appeared in ancient times. If it were stolen or lost, I ould definitley replace it, but that won't happen. This is one of death metal's finest works, and should be owned by every purist. // 10

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overall: 10
Annihilation Of The Wicked Reviewed by: LedZeppelin, on april 21, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: To start off with, the guitar production on this record surpasses anything I've ever heard in a metal context. They're round, bassy, and beautiful, with chugging lows and screeching highs. Perfection, if a bit too high in the mix. You can hear every note perfectly. I wish the drums had been a bit louder, like Shrines, since the drumming is a key component of the exquisite death metal opera the band has laid out for us here. The bass is virtually inaudible- not a rare event in death metal, except for a few sick slap parts, most notably in Sacrifice Unto Sebek. I'm assuming that, if you're reading this, you already know Nile. They're a technical death metal band hailing from North Carolina. That means the music is fast, brutal, and manic. If you listen to Trivium, stop reading now, because this is nothing like that. Nile is certainly some of the best modern DM you will ever hear, and is commonly mentioned among legends such as Cryptopsy and Suffocation. Blast beats and double-bass fills permeate just about every second of the drums, slowing down to a screeching, eerie halt when necessary. The guitars, needless to say, are performed to perfection, with incredible leads worked into the riffs. I can't say anything negative about the sound other than some minor production tweaks I would've liked. It's pretty tough to hear the snare sometimes, and the drums overall don't have enough punch, but George Kollias's insane beats are still very audible. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are the essential frosting on the cake. As one could infer from the name, Nile writes on Egyptian themes. Guitarist/vocalist Karl Sanders's fascination with Egypt is very evident, from the usage of various Middle-Eastern and harmonic minor scales to the occasional usage of Middle-Eastern instruments. This is more of a straight-up tech death record than in the past. You can certainly hear the Egyptian influences, but it's not as immediately striking as the infernal underworld choir that filled out tracks like The Blessed Dead or the cascading drum armies of Hall of Saurian Entombment. Having said that, with the song structures Nile is developing here, that may be more appropriate. They've taken a much less epic tone than on previous outings for most of the record, tackling mostly literal, torture-related themes on most of the album. This lends itself to shorter, punchier tracks like the thrashy Lashed To The Slave Stick and almost-standard (! ) structure of Sacrifice Unto Sebek. Sanders goes into great depth in the liner notes about what each song is related to, and this is key to the music. After listening to the songs a few times, you realize the brilliance the music is arranged with. For instance, in User~Maat~Re, Sanders tells the story of Ramses II, an Egyptian Pharaoh who Sanders thinks was influenced greatly by the driving force of his dead father's incredible achievements. The song moves at a doom-like pace with the ever-present thundering double bass moving under the guitar riffs in an odd, almost syncopated rhythm. The guitars bristle with eerie, twisted, out-of-place pinch harmonics echoing the words of Ramses's father: "Thou hast done nothing." The lyrics are such an integral part of the music that it wouldn't be nearly as good without Sanders's lengthy, incredible explanations. All 3 vocalists come through with crystal clarity due to the massive production. The first track simply explodes out of your speakers with its machine-gun riffage and rapid-fire growled vocals: "Blasphemer, heretic, defiler of the sacred ones: Thou art deprived of your limbs!" And then Sanders, before the lengthy lead section: "Be drowned, be drowned, be vomited upon!" Perfectly executed vocals, all coalescing with the music at key points on the album, all collide in the last epic track, Von Unaussprechlichen Kulten, with guitarist/vocalist Dallas Toler-Wade letting loose an utterly earth-shattering barrage of a lyrical monologue, ending one of the most incredible pieces of music you will ever hear. // 10

Overall Impression: I'd say AOTW is on par with Shrines, which most people would say is Nile's best offering. An essentially perfect record, aside from a few very minor qualms. Every song is incredible, from the guitar heroics of Toler-Wade and Sanders on The Burning Pits of the Duat to the epic, dirge-like pace of the title track. The only mediocre track is an oddly out-of-place experimentation with jazzy rhythmic syncopation on Chapter Of Obeisance Before Giving Breath To The Inert One In The Presence Of The Crescent Shaped Horns, and even still, the song is excellent, just not one of Nile's best. If it was stolen, I would track down the thief, congratulate him on his superb taste in music, and then fill his orifices with fire (yes, that's a lyric). Excellent, excellent album. Don't miss out on it. // 10

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