NILE - "WHAT SHOULD NOT BE UNEARTHED" - REVIEW


“Speak not of the Gods to me.”

The feelings that Nile create are of a massive, majestic and holistic entity. With complex song structure, intense delivery of double vocals, bombarding drumming and the use of samples recreating what the music in ancient Egypt could be like, they take the listener to a mythical and mystical journey into places that have long been dead.

Sanders knows what he is talking, singing, yelling and growling about. He has a deep knowledge of the mythology and history of ancient Egypt and through that he writes stories.

The album begins with an unusual, for the band, storytelling. “Call to Destruction” is about the destruction of ancient temples by Islamic extremists. An excerpt says:

“The preservation of human heritage
And the enduring achievements of Mankind
Are secondary to the will of Allah.”

and the lyric video that was released begins with a disclaimer. I can understand that. The lyrics are being written like the one that is singing is in fact the one that endorses the destruction of our cultural heritage. This, from the perspective of the listener, creates a very weird relation with the song. Just imagine singing these lyrics, while taking a walk or a bath. And you will do it because the song fucking slays. It will stick with you. “Allaaaaaah.”

Nile’s mastering is not only about writing top-notch riffs. It is about the song flowing. How every section is connected and pushes through until the end of it. From the bridges, to the mid-section riff, to the vocal delivery that feels like it is coming from within the song. Like a warmonger general that shouts to his soldiers in the midst of a battle.

This is where several songs have flaws. Some songs don’t have good sequencing. Actually the not-so-good parts take the listener out. Let’s dissect “Liber Stellae – Rubeae”. It begins strong, introducing us to the song with a heavy riff and the unstoppable drumming. Then, at around the 30 seconds mark, the guitars plays a lead that should serve as a canvas for the vocals, but it is dull and repetitive. At around 1:10 the song fucking explodes into awesomeness, with a beautiful lead that turns into a riff and the vocals being thrown at you. The song then repeats the intro riff and then sinks into the doomy section of the song, which closes it smoothly. It is just a flawed section that doesn’t do justice to the song.

The title song “What should not be unearthed”, should not be unearthed and included. It is just a mush up of music sections which results into a song that is not a song. After that comes one of Nile’s best songs. “Evil to cast out evil” is catchy, with a great riff and a solo that reminds exactly what made death metal, death metal.

On the same pace, “The Age of Famine” is an uneven song, with great sections and boring ones. It is more of a doomy song that finally catches up towards the end of it. But it feels like it wasn’t worked on as much as it should be worked on. Finally, the album closes with one of the best songs contained in it. “To Walk Forth From Flames Unscathed” can be called a classic Nile song, leaning towards the doomier sound and it is perfect for closing.

I’d say that this is an uneven album that doesn’t do justice to the potential that it showed. The evolution of Nile can be seen from album to album. They have a more defined and refined approach to song writing, sometimes even stripping it down to its essentials. But it doesn’t always work out. Creating songs that are extreme and chaotic and at the same time disciplined, as to grab the listener, isn’t easy and that can be seen with “What Should Not Be Unearthed”. Sometimes it works, other times not so much.


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