Nile – In Their Darkened Shrines (2002)

Oh my fucking goodness gracious me (as my nan would say). I think I may have just found my favourite Nile record. I came onboard the goodship Nile (sailing towards the duat, or perhaps to Orion, if Robert Buaval is to be believed (probably not)) with the release of Annihilation Of The Wicked. That album blew my mind when I was a teenager – I really hadn’t heard anything like it, in regards to that combination of ultra-brutal guitars, drums and vocals. Y’know what I mean, right? That absurd blasting technicality that sounds like a complete car crash but then as you adjust to it you realise it is ridiculously brutal, mind-bogglingly precise. Every note is intentional. Anyway, that’s what I loved about Nile, I just didn’t find the records post-Annihilation to be as intriguing.

Roll around 15 years or so, and I’ve started going into the earlier Nile catalog, again, something that is interesting and admittedly very heavy and brutal, but my God, In Their Darkened Shrines is the perfect balance between the classic Nile sound and the sound that would “blow them up” with the release of Annihilation Of The Wicked. Like, this thing, is just, idk, fucking relentless. The sheer technicality of it, balanced out of wankery and into absurd brutality by unholy guitar tones and crisp, clear drum production – it is just to die for. This is metal turned up to 12 (fuck 11), firing on all cylinders and with all guns blazing (etc etc etc).

This is so good that I don’t want it to end, so I play it over and over. When it’s finished, I’m left there like Pharaoh Khufu’s granite sarcophagus: empty and cold. I’ll show myself out.