In Their Darkened Shrines Review

artist: Nile date: 03/16/2004 category: compact discs
Nile: In Their Darkened Shrines
Released: Aug 20, 2002
Genre: Technical Death Metal, Death Metal
Label: Relapse
Number Of Tracks: 12
"In Their Darkened Shrines" is the third studio album by American death metal band Nile.
 Sound: 10
 Lyrics: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 10
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (2) 14 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.7
In Their Darkened Shrines Reviewed by: Browns Town, on december 03, 2007
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: Nile start off with extreme power with 'The Blessed Dead' and it's amazing to hear how much better the band actually sound in terms of songwriting and instrumentation. The guitar tones are lethal, and new drummer Tony Laureno (formerly of Angelcorpse) just tears his kit apart. Tony was actually the first thing to capture my attention, because it's almost impossible not to hear the guy just slamming away on his skins. His performance is phenomenal, and the riffs unleashed by Karl Sanders and Dallas Toler-Wade are devastating. 'Execration Text' is up next, and I simply fell in love with this song the second I heard it. I couldn't believe my ears as the second riff in the song is simply surreal. In fact, all of the riffs are killer-highly melodic and extremely technical. Dallas Toler-Wade is responsible for this beautiful piece of metal as he wrote the music for it, and it's amazing to see how well he's adapted to the Nile approach. Outstanding from start to finish, this song will leave you begging for more. Thankfully, you'll only have to beg for about two seconds. Track three on the album 'Sarcophagus' sees the pace slow down considerably, with the band exploring furthermore with slower, more grind rhythms. The vocals are the highlight in this song, as all three vocalists demonstrate their skills. Speaking of which, former lead vocalist Chief Spires has been replaced by Jon Vesano, who also took up bass duties for the band. He's not as powerful as Karl, and he doesn't even come close to Dallas' inhuman approach, but he still does a fine job. The song ends with some cool Egyptian melodies and some excellent double-bass work from Tony Laureno. A short but insane drum intro sets the pace for track four 'Kheftiu Asar Butchiu', which I consider to be the finest song in Nile's history. The guitars slam you from left to right, up and down, and the drumming will have you picking your jaw up from the floor. This song is 3 minutes and 52 seconds of pure ass kicking death metal. In my 12 years of listening to this genre of music, never have I witnessed such a high level of pain delivered in just one song. The vocal tradeoffs are outstanding, the drum work is the best you could ever wish to hear, and the riffs are simply mesmerizing. My favorite section in this song is probably the breakdown, in which Tony shows us what most drummers tend to overlook when sitting behind the kit-cymbals. The cymbal work here is simply beautiful, and the build up to the horrific outro is spectacular, with all three vocalists singing 'Kheftiu Asar Butchiu' in unison. It feels like you're left alone to meet your death in one of the ancient pyramids. Hats off to Karl Sanders for writing what I consider to be one of the best songs in the history of death metal. Hell, no one even comes close to this one. How many of you out there have heard a 12 minute epic death metal song? Not too many of you I would guess, as I can't recall anyone doing such a thing before. 'Unas, Slayer of the Gods' was my first time too, and man, this song has unbelievable written all over it. A sweet acoustic intro is the first thing come out of your speakers, and just when you're caught in the beauty of it all, insane blast beats and furious riffs come blazing towards you like napalm flame. It's like being caught with your pants down. This song has so many different sections that I'm not even going to try to go over them all, you have to hear it for yourself to believe it. There is one thing that I will say, however-the horn section in the song is brilliant. Tony Laureno delivers a stunning kick drum solo in the breakdown and.. ah, I should just skip to track six, which is called 'Churning the Maelstrom', which is exactly what the band does. Nothing too special here, just outstanding death metal from start to finish, with an equally outstanding guitar solo. 'I Whisper in the Ear of the Dead' is quite possibly the most haunting song on the album. Slow and brutal is the formula here, with the band expanding their Egyptian approach even further. The Egyptian sounds that the band come up with are pretty amazing, as they make all of them themselves. Karl Sanders sounds like a demon from the underworld-his vocals are so low that chances are dogs probably hear it better than we do. My favorite vocalist in Nile is without a doubt Dallas, for the man has awesome strength and agility. But there is something about Karl's vocals that are hard to pass by-deep and powerful, the air rushing through his lungs creates a very horrific effect when used in slower songs. Track eight 'Wind of Horus' is another highlight. Kicking in with creepy guitars and cymbal work, this song sets the mood for ancient Egypt perfectly. Another signature Dallas riff follows the intro, and all hell breaks loose in a furious onslaught of metal. Tony does a fine job of handling such a complex song, but it's the riffs that propel this machine of malice. Here we witness some of the best riffs in Nile's history, and the riff right before the melodic breakdown is one of the best I've ever heard in my life. All in all, another bomb from Nile. Now this is where the album gets into some really interesting territory. 'In Their Darkened Shrines' consists of four songs, the first being 'Hall of Saurian Entombment'; an instrumental piece. This can hardly be considered new for Nile, but everything is done so well and the atmosphere created is so perfect that the song (almost five minutes in length) doesn't come across as boring or dull, and sets the mood for track ten flawlessly. 'Invocation to Seditious Heresy' is another gem penned by Dallas Toler-Wade. It is a fine song in every aspect, with riffs that hammer you up and down. Tony Laureno does the business from behind the kit in the most genuine way-like I said before, it's nearly impossible not to hear the guy as he can capture your attention whenever he feels like it. 'Destruction of the Temple of the Enemies of Ra' starts with a vortex of haunting noises and voices. Tony is the first member to kick in with a brief drum solo, and when the rest of the band enters you should really duck for cover. It's so easy to feel the madness and panic the band wanted to create here as you can literally feel massive stone blocks crumbling on top of you. The riffs delivered in this pulverizing piece of beautiful noise are top notch to say the least, and combined with the unholy vocals of Dallas and Karl, they gain more definition and presence. // 10

Lyrics: They're lyrics all in all are excellent. They use their Egyptian knowledge and approach to use in various songs with good meanings behind it. Verses like "Through Subterranean Labyrinths of Catacombs/We Hath Crawled To Gather in this Dimly Lit" and "And Here I Stand/I who would be master of the Black Earth/Have summoned you here secretly/You who are faithful to me/To share in the Black Kingdom that shall nr Tonight we shall witness/The breaking of the chains which Enslave us/And the birth of a Dark Empire" show the more evil and darkened side of the album. The lyrics all in all are very well thought out and written. // 9

Overall Impression: This album, in my opinion does not really relate to other artists OR albums. It's unique on its own because of the new sound Nile produce. In my opinion the songs that impressed me the most were 'The Blessed Dead '; great introduction to such a good album. Then there was 'Sarcophagus ', 'Churning the Maelstrom ', 'Destruction in the Temple of the Enemies of Ra ' and 'Ruins '; a good song to end this album. The things I love about this album are not particularly the lyrics or instrumental aspects of it, that too, but I find it amazing how Nile write and produce such powerful songs with meanings behind it. Yes, if this album was stolen from me, I would go to the record store the next morning and buy another one. This album is really worth buying, if you do not yet have it, take the time to buy it, listen to it and enjoy it. // 10

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overall: 10
In Their Darkened Shrines Reviewed by: Joth, on march 16, 2004
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: Sound - exceelent from the start, from the opening A in the blessed dead you can tell that this album is oging to be something special. The drumming, guitar is as fast as ever and as beforethe guys from Nile really show off their immense skill at their instruments. Truely amazing playing all round. // 10

Lyrics: Lyrics - same Egyptian themed lyrics, the death growl is as strong as ever. Again great. // 10

Overall Impression: This is Nile at their best, the best songs from the album are: The Blessed Dead, Unas Slayer Of The Gods, In Their Darkened Shrines II -- Invocation to Seditous Heresy, In Their Darkened Shrines III -- Destruction of the Temple of the Enemie and In Their Darkened Shrines: IV. Ruins, I love every second of this album, Nile really prove that they are the kings of Death Metal...Nice! // 10

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