Those Whom The Gods Detest
laidu2rest, on november 17, 2009 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: Nile is probably one of the most intense, creative and whimsical death metal bands out there. Hailing from South Carolina, more known for it's beaches and occasional hurricanes, you'll think to yourself: Nile? Egypt? South Carolina? Kittens? Well, you are correct. Don't let that fool you, these guys are 110% serious with their lyrical content on Egyptian history and mythology.
"Those Whom the Gods Detest" is Nile's most brutal, fast, heavy and intense album to date, combining "Annihilation of the Wicked" and "Ithyphallic" elements with "Black Seeds of Vengeance" and In Their Darkened Shrines". Either way, this was the next evolutionary step in the band's path.
To be honest, I was afraid of Nile releasing another album. I was so into Ithyphallic (2007) for the past two years, that it Ithyphallic had to be, the be all, end all for me. I just couldn't imagine anything else being able comparable, let alone, surpass the excellence of Ithyphallic.
Karl Sanders, Dallas Toler-Wade and George Kollias are the members of Nile for those of you who have just heard of the band. Karl (Guitars/Vocals), Dallas (Guitars/Vocals), George (BEAST, Drums). I'll give you a quick run down on the musicianship of this album. MAGNIFIQUE. Such great guitar tone in this album. Believe me, I live for strong guitar tone, and these guys have nailed it. The riffs themselves are just brilliant. Fast, heavy, technical and head-bangable. The solos are crazy, but in a good way. They are shredding ripping leads with unusual and unconventional scales. Now for the drums. George Kollias. All hail George, a modern Greek God. What's their to say about Kollias? Nothing. Unfortunately, the English language lacks a word that is equivalent to his performance on this album. Filled with nasty fills, rude quads and blasts, any death metal drummer would cry at the amazing things he is able to do. The greatest part however, is the drum tone. Clear, solid, but at the same time totally acoustic. Some death metal drummers can trigger too much, but besides the bass drums. This album is totally kick ass from a drum point-of-view. // 10
Lyrics: Well, well, well. Lyrics. Figure it out guys, "Nile". What on earth could they be singing about? I'll give you three guesses, but you'll only need one. That's right, Egypt. More specifically, ancient Egyptian mythology and history. More of the same on this album as other albums, as they stay true to their interests. One song however, takes a different turn. "Kafir" deals mostly with Islam, rather than Egypt it's self. Long story short, "Kafiristan" is a province in Afghanistan that resisted Islamic expansion up until 1895. Hell, they even with stood Alexander.. Alexander, THE GREAT. Yeah. So a little bit of a different direction for these guys, but Karl's explanation of the purpose and true meaning of this song is good enough for me to accept it on this album.
The vocals themselves are great as per usual. The combination of Dallas' more clearer vocal style with Karl's more old-school, early Cannibal Corpse vocal style, this is sure to make and death-growl fan extremely pleased. // 10
Overall Impression: Hmm, where to start.. first off, one of the, if not THE, best album of 2009. It's hard to decide between this or Behemoth's "Evangelion". Everything about this album is right. I can't think of a single thing that would make this album any better. It's just too good to be true. I know I sound like I'm just drooling over this album, but trust me; listen to it, them come back and talk to me. They have gone all out on this album.
I hate to have to pick out songs, because every song is memorable and great in their own ways, but if I have to, then I shall. "Kafir", great opening song. I love the lyrical content and they all out heavyness of the guitars. "4th Arra of Dagon": Epic. For clocking in at 8:40, it doesn't get boring at all. "Permitting the Noble Dead to Descend to the Underworld". Short, fast, catchy vocal phrasing, highly memorable song. "Iskander D'hul Karnon" This is probably my favourite. This is the more progressive song off the album I think. Again, catchy, great vocal phrasing and just overall, a well constructed and written song.
I can't really think of comparing this to anyone. Nile are really in a league of their own within the death metal genre. It's technical, brutal, progressive and at some points, there is some groove in the album. Basically, if you like death metal, you cannot dislike Nile. It just wouldn't make sense.
I say, go out, by the album. You'll be really interested to find that in the booklet, Karl Sanders explains the historical context of all the lyrics, and how they came to write the song lyrically and musically.
With all seriousness, I truly believe that this is a special band that has released a special album. You cannot fully grasp a song until you listen to the whole album. Great songs, one after another. I have thus become speechless at describing this album.
Listen to it. // 10
Those Whom The Gods Detest
snakesson, on november 19, 2009 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Nile has acquired the role of being one of the leaders of today's death metal scene. And with "Those Whom The Gods Detest", they prove it again. Unlike critics received for their 2007 "Ithyphallic" where some fans thought Nile cannot top their "Annihilation Of The Wicked", well, those fans are in for a delight. Because the new album is a killer.
The production is again a 10, slightly better than Ithyphallic and considering that they are playing in Drop A and with constant blast beats. It really pays off to give this album a listen, even if you are not that much into Nile and overall death metal scene.
Again, (SURPRISE!) Nile is all about Egyptian mythology, even though the opener Kafir! slightly differs from others considering the concept, but again, it is all about the music these guys have to offer. Karl Sanders, Dallas Toler-Wade and George Kollias really did an awesome job.
Nile just keeps on improving, again, you have those crazy solos, those complex riffs, melodies and drums are beyond reach for most of the drummers. // 10
Lyrics: As previously stated, Nile is back once again, with even more Egyptian mythology! Karl can still amaze you with his knowledge of Egyptian mythology, and even put out a small booklet of explanations, which is nothing new for Karl, but again, he succeeded in pulling it off, yet again.
The music and the lyrics perfectly match. It is one of the major elements Nile is famous for, you can imagine a pharaoh headbanging to this monster.
Considering singer skills, there is a major thing I have noticed right on the start of Kafir! - the opener. Dallas has changed his pitch of voice a bit, making his growl even more cleaner and recognizable. But you still hear that bark that makes your head go crazy. While Karl is staying with his recognizable deep-growl roots. // 10
Overall Impression: If I have to compare it to the other albums, this one is a mix of everything. It has "Annihilation Of The Wicked" mixed with "In Their Darkened Shrines" with a small touch of "Black Seeds Of Vengeance". While the long-time fans were lacking the "old-school" touch on "Ithyphallic", Nile came back with a portion of that "old-school Nile" which a lot of fans seem to like.
If I had to point out some songs, that would definitely be "Kafir!" which is one of the best openers Nile, right behind "Cast Down The Heretic". The title "Those Whom The Gods Detest" is one of those epic songs that Nile is famous for. Progressive, slow and rapidly changing into fast with the chorus-like growling of "We are they whom the Gods detest" surely leaves a mark on you. The following song "4th Arra Of Dagon" is the longest one on the album, blasting your ears for 8 minutes and 40 seconds. It reminded me on "User-Maat-Re" a bit, but the outro that lasts for nearly 3 minutes and slowly fades out is a bit too pumped for Nile-like epic songs. The next song I really liked was "Kem Khefa Kheshef", which reminded me on "Cast Down The Heretic", especially with the fast-play on verse and the long dual-solos. Although, the song that I must point out from all of them is the ending song "Iskander Dhul Karnon", which is one of the best, if not the best, song on the album. It sums up what Nile is really capable of doing. It really pays off to listen the go through the whole album and then be kicked in the face by the ending song.
Normally, I would give this album a 10. But considering that Nile has "Annihilation Of The Wicked" and "In Their Darkened Shrines" in their arsenal, I would go with the 9. It brings a brutal force, but it did not top songs like "Unas Slayer Of The Gods, Cast Down The Heretic, Lashed To The Slave Stick" etc.
Getting a copy of this album can only do you good. Even if you are not that big of a fan of extreme death metal music. // 9
Those Whom The Gods Detest
Nergal22691, on november 19, 2009 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Nile is one of the most unique and technical death metal bands out there. They blend brutal death metal seamlessly with Egyptian and Middle Eastern influences in a way that no other band does. This album is certainly a huge step forward for Nile in terms of production. The guitars are much clearer sounding than they have been on past Nile records, the drums sound massive and powerful without being overpowering and the bass is more than audible which seems to be an increasing rarity in today's metal scene. Karl Sanders and Dallas Toler-Wade are absolutely on fire with riffs that are both technical and memorable and George Kollias shows why he is considered one of the greatest death metal drummers alive, utilizing his inhuman double bass chops tastefully (somewhat rare with many death metal drummers) and never letting his parts become overbearing. The two stand out tracks in my book are "Permitting the Noble Dead to Descend to the Underworld" and "Iskander Dhul Kharnon" Both of these tracks show why Nile are masters of Ithyphallic metal. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics on this album are pretty much standard fare for Nile. There is a lot of ancient Egyptian mythology and some token H.P. Lovecraft references. The one song that breaks the normal Nile mode lyric-wise is "Khafir" which eschews the normal Nile themes and looks into the Islamic faith. Nile is one of those bands where the lyrics and music are inseparable, they go together perfectly. The vocals on this album are a return to an older Nile sound with Karl handling more of the lyrics than he did on Ithyphallic. There are also some awesome clean vocals, most notably on the song "Those Whom the Gods Detest" and some more "middle eastern-ish" chanting/singing which help to further the overall Egyptian vibe of the album. A huge bonus for me was have the lyrics and explanations of the lyrics written by Karl in the liner notes. Often humorous and always informative, these notes help give a deeper understanding of how Nile's lyrics and music relate. // 8
Overall Impression: This may be my favorite album of 2009 thus far (and that is saying a lot as 2009 has been quite a good year for metal) I love most everything about this album! Especially the increase in production quality. The only quibble I have is that the bass could be a bit more prominent and deviate from the guitar lines a bit more, but in the end it doesn't take a way from the music. The most impressive songs to me are "Permitting the Noble Dead..." "4th Arra of Dagon", and "The Eye of Ra". This is one album I can listen to the whole way through no problem. If it were lost or stolen I would certainly buy it again! Simple amazing! If you are a fan of Nile or just Death Metal in general, you need to buy this album, you will not be disappointed and like me you may find a burgeoning interest in Egyptian/Mesopatamian mythology by way of Nile. // 9
Those Whom The Gods Detest
DeaThrash, on february 25, 2010 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The TechDeath kings, Nile, back with the most groundbreaking album of the year, Those Whom The Gods Detest. The album opener Kafir! Really gives you a taste of what these guys can do. Nile are well known for their extreme tempos, and this album peaks at 280. Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal) made a really good job producing the drums for this album, and George Kollias isn't holding back anything, his mind blowing speed never ends! In this album Nile has some Epic Doomish sections, they use their Egyptian instruments wisely along with the low tuned guitars. Karl Sanders and Dallas Toler-Wade really put concentrated hours behind every single riff.
My bottom line is: "This album is without a doubt a milestone in the genre." // 10
Lyrics: Egyptian mythology is still the main theme for Nile, on this album they centered the ancient pharaoh Akenathon (who is on the cover art). Akenathon, who they sang about in song "Cast Down The Heretic" from the album "Annihilation of the Wicked" (2005). However, the first song, Kafir! Is about Islam. The first line "There is no god but God" is a very important line in Muslim. "Kafir" means "unbeliever" in Arabic. Karl added liner notes after each song in the album booklet to explain the history and concept behind every song. Karl wrote all the lyrics for this album. The vocal style is the usual death metal growling, where Dallas covers most of the vocals and Karl adds his flavor here and there. Karl's voice is very deep and guttural while Dallas is more clear but still keeps the dark feeling. // 9
Overall Impression: This album is just an upgrade from their last album (Ithyphallic). Some songs reflects "Annihilation of the Wicked" but still keeps its own feeling. The songs that stood out most for me was Kafir!, 4th Arra of Dagon, Permitting the Noble Dead to Descend to the Underworld, Kem Khefa Kheshef and Iskander D'hul Kharnon. My favorite is probably Iskander D'hul Karoon. It's progresive and very colorful, it's a really good song to end an album with, Nile did a really great job for the opening and closing of this album. The only thing I'm thinking now it "how will they possibly top this album? Is it possible?" Those Whom The Gods Detest is a must-buy for any death metal fan, no question about that. // 10