Nile
At the Gate of Sethu


3.0
good

Review

by Jacquibim CONTRIBUTOR (57 Reviews)
June 27th, 2012 | 96 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

For over a decade now, Nile have been pushing the limits of their distinctive sound. While the quality of their discography shows that may not be a bad thing, when you consider that their latest offering is essentially “In Their Darkened Shrines pt.5”, you begin to wonder how much a band can extract from a particular formula before it becomes redundant. As a squad of exceptionally skilled musicians stuck in an artistic rut, they’re required to set the bar so high for themselves that topping their previous efforts seems like an almost insurmountable task. With their monolithic 2009 offering “Those Whom The God’s Detest” now considered by many to be Nile’s yardstick, “At The Gates of Sethu” faces an uphill struggle to stand on its own as another worthwhile inclusion to Nile’s catalogue.

But despite the weight of the death metal world on their shoulders, Nile have still produced a top notch album, filled with blistering riffs, pummelling blast beats and otherworldly brutal vocals. At first, the listener is immersed by the sound of crackling fire, indecipherable whispers, blood-curdling screams and Nile’s ever-prevalent middle-eastern melodies before everything gently fades into obscurity. Promptly setting the tempo to about 240bpm, Nile proceed to batter the now mesmerised listener with a flurry of complex riff patterns and a petrifying vocal duo courtesy of Sanders and Toler-Wade. For the first three tracks, these guys are relentless in their pursuit of sheer brutality, not letting up for fourteen and half minutes, leaving you in a state of delirium. “Slaves of Xul” serves the purpose of breaking up the onslaught and leading into the album’s centrepiece, the eponymous “Gods Who Light Up the Sky At the Gate of Sethu”. Silly name aside, the track is a testament to Nile’s technical and song writing capabilities, featuring a multitude of frenetic, scalular riffs and breakneck tempo shifts.

However, despite all the technical flair, it can’t compensate for some rather glaring flaws, with the production is the most obvious one. On previous albums you were immersed in a wall of sound, but here, (for the sake of clarity I assume?) the guitar tone is incredibly thin. While the riffs and drum patterns are now more decipherable than ever, the watered down sound engineering does take a lot of bite out of the would be stronger moments on this album. Strangely, this album also entirely lacks Nile’s signature 8+ minute epics like we are usually accustomed to. The longest track on the album is the closer which clocks in at a relatively puny 7 minutes and 5 seconds, the second longest track doesn’t even top 6 minutes for that matter. Whether this is Nile listening to the polarised opinions on their longer, some would say “boring” tracks, I don’t know. All I know is some of the longer and slower songs on their previous albums did well in adding variety to their music and certainly worked better than scattering a few brief transitional pieces throughout.

Regardless, “At The Gates of Sethu” is another commendable effort from the band. George Kollias continues to impress behind the kit and Karl and Dallas still wield their guitars with surgical precision. While “At The Gate of Sethu” doesn’t soar to the heights that “Annihilation of The Wicked” or “Those Whom The God’s Detest” did, it still demonstrates that Nile are still a formidable force in the field of tech-death, nearly 20 years after their inception.



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user ratings (222)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
kvltwalter (3.5)
Death Metal's kings of Egyptology enthusiastically shred and worship Osiris...again....

Subrick (2)
At the Gate of Monotony...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
June 27th 2012


14707 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Second review, hope you like it.

Digging: Off Minor - The Heat Death of the Universe

Da11thMytrillSphere
June 27th 2012


546 Comments


Album seems very good but worse than annihilation of the wicked and their last effort

jayfatha
June 27th 2012


2882 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Is this streaming somewhere?

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
June 27th 2012


14707 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@Da11thMytrillSphere - Basically yeah, it's still brilliant, but you're asking a bit too much of them
if you expect them to top their previous best, every single time.

Anthracks
June 27th 2012


3758 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great album. up their with the best of their discography. which is pretty much all of it. Nile are a lot more consistent than people give them credit for

Digging: Radio Moscow - Magical Dirt

KILL
June 27th 2012


71957 Comments


lol

Digging: Exodus - Blood In, Blood Out

Sound
June 27th 2012


3903 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

sucks 2/5

also its not karl sanders on lead vocals - hes doing the additional grunts. its the regressing vocals of dallas toler-wade

YUJOS
June 27th 2012


940 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I really hate the production in the new album. But nevertheless another good Nile album.

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III - Saturnian Poetry

YUJOS
June 27th 2012


940 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Also good review man!

TheNotrap
June 27th 2012


8108 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album's pretty solid, have pos.

Digging: Threshold - For The Journey

Anthracks
June 27th 2012


3758 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

1) sanders' vocals on this are much more akin to those found in a lot of OSDM (which people wank over almost unanimously - in parts its very similar to the vocals found in incantation and their clones...at others morbid angel and more "thrashy" dm)

2) the production is really not that bad at all. once you listen to it a few times it's pretty much indistinguishable from the last album (which no one really had any production complaints about, that i noticed)

just a case of someone saying something and people hopping on because they're too indolent to form their own opinion

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
June 27th 2012


14707 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

As I already said throughout the entirety of the first two paragraphs, as a stand alone album it's
excellent, as a Nile album it's merely another addition to their discography.

Iamthe Nightstars
June 27th 2012


2282 Comments


I feel like besides the instrumentation, this was a step backwards from TWTGD

MO
June 27th 2012


18857 Comments


"Nile are a lot more consistent than people give them credit for"

when you have a drummer like kollias any band can be consistent, the man's a fucking machine

Sound
June 27th 2012


3903 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

...yet he couldn't save this from being their weakest offering to date. It's kinda frustrating because all their albums before this ruled :/

Anthracks
June 27th 2012


3758 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

its more of the same really. dont see how a fan would dislike it, but whatever.

MMX
June 27th 2012


4829 Comments


I enjoyed Those Whom the Gods Detest and I'm probably going to like this a lot based on Anthracks comments


Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
June 27th 2012


14707 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sound, are we listening to the same album? If you liked all of Nile's previous releases it's almost a given you should like this one. Might I ask what was so bad about it?

Sound
June 27th 2012


3903 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@Anthracks - Yes more of the same but still a step in the wrong direction. Except for the Egyptian-themed style and the crazy drumming, they more or less abandoned what Nile fans love and kind of expect: The otherworldly low and distinctive vocals (especially from Toler-Wade) and the low-end riffing.


@Jacquibim - read the above^^



Anthracks
June 27th 2012


3758 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i dont see a difference in the riffing at all? much of the vocals are very low on this album, too. dunno what you're listening to



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