Nile is a band that has consistently put out albums which I have a hard time faulting. Having really enjoyed their previous album, At the Gates of Sethu, I was looking forward to hearing the new material.
Production wise, it’s a lot cleaner than the previous album. The guitars sound a lot thicker and the whole sound is more cohesive. Everything is also audible and there is clarity in the guitar tone. Top marks there.
Opening the album is the first single, “Call to Destruction”. Touching on the particularly sensitive matter of the destruction of ancient artifacts, it makes for an interesting departure from the usual lyrical content. It’s similar in a way to songs like “Kafir!” from Those Whom the Gods Detest. Also having the sort of breakneck pace as well, it sets whole tone for the album.
Taking a slightly slower pace is the track “Negating The Abominable Coils Of Apep”. Having a mid paced vibe with fast paced drums and also crushing slower sections helps create the suitably chaotic atmosphere that Nile is known for. Breakneck speed riffs along with slow crushing riffs and the roars of Dallas and Karl make this one of the standout tracks on the album.
“Liber Stellae – Rubaeae” comes in like a ton of bricks and immediately takes no prisoners with its crushing guitar riffs from Dallas and Karl and super speed drum patterns from George. Having a slightly quicker pace than the previous track, it immediately reminds you that you are listening to a Nile album and not something that is calm and collected. This track is about as aggressive as it gets when it comes to this kind of metal with both the slow pummeling and the super speed guitar riffs.
Opening with the traditional Middle Eastern instrumental part is the song “In the Name of Amun”. In true Nile fashion however, this section then explodes into the usual breakneck drumming and riffing after around 50 seconds. This song is one of those songs that is very hard not to head-bang along to. It has one of those infectious riffs that would go down a storm live. For these reasons, it’s a standout track for me.
The title track of the album, “What Should Not Be Unearthed” then plays. Having a slightly less breakneck feel compared to the previous track it caught me off-guard slightly. It’s not commonly what I would expect from a Nile song. It reminds me of the ending part of “4th Arra of Dagon” from Those Whom the God’s Detest. Nonetheless, a good track.
The second single from the album “Evil to Cast out Evil” comes in slightly calmer and has an overall mid-paced feel. It reminds me very much of “Lashed Unto the Slave stick” in parts with the flowing riffs and overall mid-paced feel. It’s still a killer song and shows that metal can still be brutal even if it is not at Mach 1 the whole time.
“Age of Famine” opens with a slower guitar riff and keeps an overall slower feel than the rest of the album. However, the addition of the harsh vocals changes the whole feel before the track transitions into a driving section with the drums kicking into overdrive in various parts. It’s one of the tracks that took me the most time to get into, maybe due to it not having the excitement that other tracks on the album have. It’s still a good track though.
A small instrumental track plays and provides a nice change from all the smashing riffs. Utilizing traditional Middle Eastern instruments, the track has an overall marching feel to it along with being calm at the same time. It’s one of the standout tracks, simply for being different to the other tracks.
Kicking the pace back up with super speed guitar riffs and machine gun fire drums is the track “Rape of the Black Earth”. Having an overall quicker pace than the previous 3 tracks, it shows off the musical proficiency of all the band members, In particular George with his insane drumming.
The final track of the album, “To Walk Forth From Flames Unscathed” then plays and takes a slightly more technical approach to the riffs. Having both the slow crushing riffs along with the descending technical flurry makes for an interesting listen. Having Middle Eastern influenced riffs played on the lead guitars adds to the overall feeling of the track and makes it a standout track for me.
The previous Nile album was a great album but was sadly let down by it’s production in parts. The musicality of that album was astounding however which made up for the production. This time round, both the production and musicality are on top form. I’d say that fans of Nile will not be disappointed by this album.
Standout Tracks: Liber Stellae- Rubae, In the Name of Amun, Evil to Cast Out Evil, Ushabti Reanimator, To Walk Forth From Flames Unscathed.
What Should Not Be Unearthed comes out on August 28th through Nuclear Blast.