Nile
At the Gate of Sethu


2.0
poor

Review

by Subrick USER (36 Reviews)
June 30th, 2012 | 30 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: At the Gate of Monotony

Nile have been around for Anubis knows how long, and every time they put out a new album we as death metal fans always give listen and be wondered by the insane speed, the furious intensity, and the Egyptian influences, both lyrically and musically. Their previous album, Those Whom the Gods Detest, was in my top 10 albums of 2009. Songs like Kafir, 4th Arra of Dagon, and the absolutely epic title track rank among the best songs Nile has ever put out. Now three years later we're holding audience to yet another new album by the South Carolinians, and to be honest there's not a lot here that we haven't heard from this band in the past. There's a multitude of problems, from the rather ***ty production to the general feeling of "been there, heard that" throughout this album. Musically the album is sufficient, but in terms of memorability I don't think I'll be switching Cast Down the Heretic off for almost any song on here anytime soon.

One of the major problems I have with At the Gate of Sethu is that there's not a whole lot of new stuff here. As mentioned, there's a big old feeling of having heard pretty much every song here before, only on much consistently better records like Annihilation of the Wicked. Here and there there'll be something that pops out and makes you go "whoa, didn't see that coming", but for the most part I've heard most of these songs before, just on different records from Nile's past. The major reason for this is that Nile are a speed based band. I'm a big fan of fast extreme metal, but Nile's way of doing it can get very old very quickly. They thankfully do have a standard Nile doom metal epic though in the form of the album closer The Chaining of the Iniquitous. Tracks like When My Wrath is Done and The Gods Who Light Up the Sky at the Gate of Sethu (yeah, almost every song title on the album is a run on sentence) start off slow and crushing, but quickly devolve back into the same monotonous hyperblasting and the same monotonous guitar tweedling. Even worse is that a few songs don't even have proper endings; they just sort of stop dead in their tracks. Case in point, I had to go back and listen to the album again before writing this review because I genuinely did not remember one thing about it aside from The Fiends Who Come to Steal the Magick of the Deceased. Hell, the tracks that stick with me the most even after another full listen are the two Egyptian music interludes, which are absolutely breathtaking. Shame there aren't more of them on here.

The other major problem I have with the album is the production. Holy ***, this album sounds bad. The guitars do thankfully sound like guitars unlike some past records of Nile's, but they're still WAY too thin for my tastes. The drums are incredibly clicky and annoying, which is a shame because George Kollias's playing is probably the best part of the album. The bass is nonexistent, as is stupidly common in extreme metal productions today. While I applaud the production sound for not only having the guitars be audible among the musical cacophony as well as it not being compressed to hell, that's not saying much when the sound is as thin as it is. The individual musicians's performances on the record are superb, as one would expect from a band like Nile. Dallas Toller-Wade and Karl Sanders shred away on the guitars with skill and precision, and George Kollias once again shows why he's one of the best drummers in extreme metal today. It's a damn shame they couldn't write better material to compliment their skills though. The vocals on this album are, as many have pointed out on message boards and comment sections the internet over, very weird at times, and I like that. It's one of the few aspects of the album that didn't bore me to death. Both Dallas and Karl are very powerful vocalists, so you can always expect that aspect of a Nile record to be good no matter what the music is like.

Overall, this album is a giant bore. Aside from the vocals it doesn't really do much in the way of progressing Nile along the musical path. Sticking to one sound an entire career is not inherently a bad thing. Just look at Slayer and Cannibal Corpse. But whereas Cannibal Corpse has made slight variations to their sound over the years to keep listeners on their toes and attentive (and headbanging), Nile have made the same album again that they've made the last two or three times, only much less interesting than the last two or three albums before this one. And quite frankly, that to me is the sign of a band that is running out of steam. If you want some quality death metal that's been released this year, I recommend Torture by Cannibal Corpse, Global Flatline by Aborted, and the masterpiece of 2012 so far known as Monolith of Inhumanity by Cattle Decapitation. All are much more interesting than At the Gate of Sethu.



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user ratings (220)
Chart.
3.5
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other reviews of this album
kvltwalter (3.5)
Death Metal's kings of Egyptology enthusiastically shred and worship Osiris...again....

Jacquibim CONTRIBUTOR (3)
If it ain't broke, don't fix it....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Shiduba
June 30th 2012


424 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review, and yeah, this album doesn't really compare to TWTGD (I fucking love that album). The album isn't bad by any means but most of the time it just makes me want to listen to TWTGD (or any other awesome album of theirs) again. The songs are really not as memorable as Kafir or Permitting the Noble Dead or Sacrifice Unto Sebek and all those killer tracks. I agree that the production is way too thin.

This is a quality tech death album, but for Nile, I expected better.

Dimor
June 30th 2012


1758 Comments


Kinda agree with the review, im not that very pleased with this album. Its just not interesting enough.

ZedO
June 30th 2012


1096 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not so that bad, imo, but nonetheless great job! pos'd

MO
June 30th 2012


18696 Comments


albums ok

Dimor
June 30th 2012


1758 Comments


Id take Darkened Shrines or AOTW over this pretty much any day.

MO
June 30th 2012


18696 Comments


well yea, also catacombs

Dimor
June 30th 2012


1758 Comments


Yeh Catacombs is nice aswell. The production gets on my nerves in certain songs though

TheNotrap
June 30th 2012


8073 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album don't deserve this rating.

Digging: Lago - Tyranny

TBliss2
June 30th 2012


504 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Need to check this out, Im sure its not as bad as people are saying

KjSwantko
June 30th 2012


9277 Comments


Nice review, Pos'd. I haven't even checked this out because I hate clicky drums, thin guitars and compression.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2012


6114 Comments


thin guitars and compression

In a Karl Sanders interview, i read that all the gear used for guitar recording, was one guitar layer, cable and a Marshall amp.

According to Sanders, the purpose was to hear on the album exactly what will be played at live concerts.

Digging: Disasterhate - Sacrifice To Eclipse

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2012


18492 Comments


karl sanders is also hammered 24/7

Digging: Objekt - Cactus / Porcupine

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2012


6114 Comments


karl sanders is also hammered 24/7

haha are you his booze dealer or what?

Wolfhorde
June 30th 2012


13493 Comments


Annihilation Of The Wicked or gtfo.

booreno62
June 30th 2012


69 Comments


Summary aptly explains how I feel about every Nile song I've ever heard.

Ire
June 30th 2012


41780 Comments


123 riff

Anthracks
June 30th 2012


3744 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

riffs are great on this album as usual i think u neglected 2 mention that. nobody should be rating death metal for anything other than riff potency whats wrong wtih u

Digging: Perfume Genius - Too Bright

420yeah666yeah69no13
June 30th 2012


12 Comments


james cables favourite

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2012


14382 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's not as good as their last one, but by no means a bad album.

Digging: We Will Fail - Verstörung

Wizard
July 1st 2012


19410 Comments


Their previous album, Those Whom the Gods Detest, was in my top 10 albums of 2009. Songs like Kafir, 4th Arra of Dagon, and the absolutely epic title track rank among the best songs Nile has ever put out.

No offense dude, this contradicts your entire view on this album. This and all their other albums released within the past 10 years sounds exactly the same.

Good review otherwise, this was a shit album.

Digging: Khonsu - Traveller



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