Nile are a US death metal band and this is their ninth album.
On Vile Nilotic Rites Nile return with a new lineup and a new approach to songwriting. There’s a greater cohesion in how the band members work together, and subsequently how their instruments and vocals fit with each other, meaning that the songs on this new album are very high quality. Nile sound focused and hungry.
Nile’s music has always been a balancing act between technicality and brutality, while also occasionally admitting melodic and atmospheric aspects to emerge from the chaos. This new album is no different in spirit, although in delivery Vile Nilotic Rites works wonders with its material due to a greater focus on what every part of every song is doing and how it contributes to the greater whole.
There’s a lot to absorb on this release, but no part of its 55 minutes is ill-judged or poorly considered. Even Thus Sayeth the Parasites of the Mind, the album’s only atmospheric interlude, is finely-tuned to its purpose, leading nicely into the rhythmic hyper-aggression of Where Is the Wrathful Sky, (itself atmospherically enhanced by tasteful interludes).
Opener Long Shadows of Dread wastes little time in establishing dominance; there’s no fancy intro, just pure Nile-flavoured death metal mayhem. This new album demonstrates Nile’s considerable strengths in no uncertain terms, from the utter brutality of Snake Pit Mating Frenzy, to the bombastic epic wonder of Seven Horns of War, to the blackened storm of brutality that is That Which Is Forbidden, and much in between. Second longest track The Imperishable Stars are Sickened is a particular favourite, providing a feast for the ears in many different ways, (including some powerful, well-used, clean vocals).
Each individual song has its own personality and purpose, fitting into the whole with skill and character. Vile Nilotic Rites has achieved the unexpected accolade of sounding like classic Nile, while also sounding like something new with a different direction and vision. It’s impressive in pretty much every way, and I can’t praise this album enough.
Having been a fan of Nile since they first emerged from their catacombs, it’s fantastic to hear the band so refreshed, revitalised, and so driven and focused. Vile Nilotic Rites is essential listening for any extreme metal fan.