Sound — 8
Nile is the type of band that will crush you with their incredibly brutal and heavy type of metal, and yet soothe you with their ambient soundscapes. In short, they're a very versatile and talented band. Nile is one of the bands that truly show how diverse the death genre is. On Ithyphallic, we're treated to what at least I consider to be a slight step down in terms of pure sonic production, compared to their previous effort, Annihilation of the Wicked. On the other hand, this album is a tiny bit more diverse than Annihilation, so it can be argued that this type of sound, being more similar to the one on In Their Darkened Shrines fits them better this time around. Either way, it's a very good production.
Lyrics — 8
We're treated to something very unusual, yet something very typical for Nile. As you might've guessed, it's their Egyptian/Middle Eastern themed lyrics (which have a major influence on their music as well). It would be wrong to say Nile are reinventing themselves with the lyrics -- the themes aren't as fresh as they once were, but Nile are so in a league of their own, that they've managed to carve their own little niche within the whole metal spectrum. In sections, the lyrics are very catchy, and I dare say that the lyrics aren't as obscure (ie, you do not need a PhD in Egyptian Mythology to get the hint) this time around, but we're still treated to something that requires a tad more insight and thought than the average Satanic rant.
Overall Impression — 9
Nile always seems to deliver -- with their back catalogue they've managed to put the bar ridiculously high, yet they never seem to disappoint. Ithyphallic is definitely not an exception. You have brutality and technical playing pat down, add the ambient sections and some more grooving sections to make the music flow... you can't really ask for more. The vocals are brutal as expected, but they're definitely not unintelligible. Hell, in places the material is very catchy, especially in the choruses. Some people may see this as blasphemy, but Nile manages to mix it so damn well with all the brutality, odd time signatures and unusual themes. Kollias is all over the place and the drumming alone should satisfy your needs -- there's some seriously sick shit going on behind that kit. Nile aren't reinventing the wheel with this release, but why should they when theirs is so much better than that of everyone else?