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Nile - 'Those Whom The Gods Detest'

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Nile - Those Whom The Gods Detest

Nile - Those Whom The Gods Detest

Nuclear Blast Records

The Bottom Line

Contender for best death metal album of 2009.
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  • Technical mastery from lead guitarists Karl Sanders and Dallas Toler-Wade.
  • George Kollias' drumming and incessant blastbeats.
  • Best vocal performances to date on a Nile record.


  • None.


  • Released November 3, 2009 on Nuclear Blast Records.
  • Nile was formed in South Carolina in 1993.
  • Produced by Neil Kernon, who also produced 2007's Ithyphallic.

Guide Review - Nile - 'Those Whom The Gods Detest'

Nile albums are guaranteed to include two components: unrivaled technical death metal mastery and a thesaurus of indecipherable Egyptian mumbo-jumbo. Don’t mind that guitar maestros Karl Sanders and Dallas Toler-Wade seem to spend their off hours sorting through arcane archaeology textbooks; the rest of their time is spent writing some of the best death metal available.

Those Whom The Gods Detest is a career landmark packed with mind-boggling guitar riffs and solos, nonstop speed, George Kollias’ inimitable drumming and a sense of urgency some claimed was missing from their last effort. Death metal bands take note – Nile is back with a vengeance, much like Boris Karloff in the old Universal Mummy pictures.

Frontman Karl Sanders says anger and rejection were parts of this album, and it shows. “The concept is that all of us who play and listen to metal are the people that the gods hate. So [the new album] is a unified rejection of the gods - any god, every god,” Sanders says. “Not any one in particular, but all of 'em." If the album is meant to be a rejection of gods then it’s certain to unify metalheads in praise.

Nile's last album Ithyphallic divided fans. Some thought the band was calling it in. Others (this critic included) thought it was a strong performance. Both sides can agree that this album is way past anything on the predecessor. It takes the best elements of classics like Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka and Annihilation of the Wicked then goes a level further. The solos are breathtaking, the vocal performances are the best ever on a Nile album and Middle Eastern instruments add depth and texture.

Nile can even write a powerful song about crap – in this case the hilariously titled “Hittite Dung Invocation.” “Utterances of The Crawling Dead” is a tech-death extravaganza with pummeling riffs, soaring solos and aggression. Check out the speedy picking that opens “Permitting The Noble Dead To Ascend to The Underworld.” Don’t mind that many of the song titles are tongue-twisters; Nile could be singing commercial jingles and this music would still be searing.

When listening to Those Whom The Gods Detest you realize why Sanders and Toler-Wade are always making “bet you can’t play this” web videos and Kollias sells drum DVDs that probably push ambitious percussionists into hari-kari. They are in a class of their own. If you like technical death metal and are strapped for cash because of the recession get this album and bag the rest – everyone else is going to be playing catch up.

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