Nile
Black Seeds of Vengeance


4.5
superb

Review

by FiniteUniverse USER (5 Reviews)
March 26th, 2013 | 12 replies | 633 views


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: As the album that would help define Nile's sound in subsequent years, Black Seeds of Vengeance is an essential album for fans of the band, and of course 'exotic' death metal in general.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

After the success of Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka, Nile set out to expand the scope of their particular brand of death metal with their sophomore effort. By extending the average song length, and highlighting the increased technicality, Black Seeds of Vengeance allowed the band to fulfill the promise made by their first entry.

After the brief introduction of 'Invocation of the Gate of Aat-Ankh-es-en-Amenti,' whose title may take one more time to pronounce than the track's duration, the first proper song erupts with ample aplomb. 'Black Seeds of Vengeance' establishes the template for much of the album, with intricate and interweaving guitar riffs supported by Derek Roddy's frantic yet precise drumming; all in the framework of a dynamic and carefully crafted song structure. Here, the keyboards and chants are integrated more seamlessly into the mix, and while they at times sacrifice some of the spontaneity from 'Catacombs, it creates a decidedly 'larger' soundscape when the songs reach their climaxes, and are all the more 'epic' and satisfying for it.

That is not to say that the songs lack variation, either. Passages of clean, acoustic guitar and of course more exotic instruments that are staples of Nile's discography are utilized at key points. Additionally, the compositions of individual tracks aren't really identical, even if they seem to blur together upon first listen. 'The Black Flame' and its wonderfully 'doomy' opening and closing riffs are markedly distinct from the furry and pomp of the hysterically titled, 'Masturbating the War God.' The songs on 'Black Seeds are not as anthemic as those on Nile's more recent releases, but each track contains details and other production-related nuances that separate them (such as the pained shrieks on Nas Akhu Khan She En Asbiu), culminating in the album's absolute highlight, 'To Dream of Ur'; the first Nile track to come close to the ten minute mark, and interestingly the only one on the album to feature Pete Hammoura on drums.

The production on this disc, on the other hand, is a mixed bag. There is a respectable amount of bottom-end, and the grit lends a certain atmosphere (think of the guitars as a sandstorm chipping away at ancient stone, and you'll get the picture), but it also lacks clarity when the band goes in overdrive, and they do so often. It may be due to the increased complexity on this album, but for whatever reason the mix doesn't work quite as effectively as it did on the similarly produced 'Catacombs. Still, it does not detract from the overall experience too severely.

This album marked a number of 'firsts' for Nile; it is the first to feature guitarist and vocalist Dallas Toler-Wade, who does only backing vocals here, but contributes notably to the added complexity of the songs' compositions, and it is also the first time Karl Sanders took the time to indulge fans their curiosity about the songs' historical and symbolic references. The liner notes are a joy to read for those inclined, and are written with the kind of enthusiasm and authority one would expect from someone with a degree in Egyptology, though Sanders has denied having one.

In many ways, Black Seeds of Vengeance is the blueprint for many of Nile's subsequent releases; a formula that would later be perfected on their next album, In Their Darkened Shrines. It is simultaneously epic and brutal, and always entertaining, yet thoughtful. It is an essential Nile record, and not to be dismissed.


user ratings (318)
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other reviews of this album
Jacquibim CONTRIBUTOR (3.5)
An imperfect but critical release for these now death metal giants....


Comments:Add a Comment 
FiniteUniverse
March 25th 2013



21 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My first review for this site not related to black metal. Comments and criticisms welcome!

demigod!
March 25th 2013



40970 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

decent album, but not my favourite from Nile

VanSchuldiner
March 25th 2013



659 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice rev pos'd ...good album

FiniteUniverse
March 25th 2013



21 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Not a fan, Sonic?

NapalmCrusader
March 25th 2013



1737 Comments


Never heard this one. I'm a big fan of anhilation of the wicked and those whom the gods detest. Probably will check this later.

demigod!
March 25th 2013



40970 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

check out Darkened Shrines, it's my fav

Eclecticist
March 25th 2013



3863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea this is a really great album

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
March 26th 2013



11389 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pos'd cuz it's a Nile review, was well written also.

Digging: Howls of Ebb - Vigils of the 3rd Eye

FiniteUniverse
March 26th 2013



21 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the positive comments

shepaintedfire
March 26th 2013



63 Comments


Good review but album is zzz

FiniteUniverse
March 27th 2013



21 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's not as popular as their later albums, but several of the songs from this album are still mainstays at their concerts, and for good reason. Seeing a crowd of metalheads cry out 'black seeds of vengeance' is pretty entertaining in and of itself.

Egarran
January 7th 2014



165 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I like most of Nile's songs, but Defiling the Gates of Ishtar is probably my favourite.



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