Nile – Annihilation Of The Wicked (2005)

(2021 Edit: did anyone notice in my re-upload of this post from Blogger I’ve now used the South Korea digipak cover where the title is spelt wrong? LOL)

I love absolutely any band that can keep death metal especially fresh and vibrant, without becoming too gimmicky. Nile have a hit and miss discography, in my opinion, but 2005’s Annihilation of the Wicked on Relapse Records is a monolithically heavy recording of blasting ancient Egyptian brutality. If there is a world in history that was particularly grim and unforgiving, ancient Egypt ranks pretty high on that scale. With sarcophagi bursting open with mystical and disturbing subject matter to fuel Nile’s song-writing fire, the “band what like does songs ’bout Egypt and that” have given us thus far seven albums of Pharoahcious (I went there) death metal.

The first thing I noticed through the chunky, Relapse-budgeted production was the immense, seemingly unstoppable wall of drums provided by one George Kolias. On sheer performance, discipline and astounding stamina this record is aeons above other death metal records alone, but couple said drumming wizardry with immensly technical riffs and super-complicated songs about stuff you can never begin to understand, and Nile take the crown with this record for the most elitist death metal performance that wasn’t boring or even maybe contrived.

After a brief intro, the first proper song, “Cast Down The Heretic” blasts a fucking hole in your skull. “Sacrifice Unto Sebek”, the single from this album, oddly reduces the pace a bit, before we get the first of three 9-minute epics, “User Maat Re”, which is mind boggling in scope and duration. There’s always time for more ultra-elitist Egyptian tunage – “Chapter Of Obeisance Before Giving Breath To The Inert One In The Presence Of The Crescent Shaped Horns” (lol) – before “Lashed To The Slave Stick” comes in. This track is one of my favourite death metal songs of all time. The album closes off with two more (approx) 9-minute epics, making Annihilation… a long but ultimately satisfying trip into a world of unstoppable death metal force.