Stretching the boundaries of their songwriting with several extended cuts on Those Whom The Gods Detest, Nile tightens up their sound to put the focus on the band’s chemistry. As was the case with Ithyphallic and Those Whom The Gods Detest, the trio of Karl Sanders, Dallas Toler-Wade and George Kollias handle most of the musical duties. They each put hefty work into making sure this album can’t be compared to the others in the band’s catalog, and that plays into how immediate these songs are in their execution.
It’s expected that Kollias will dominate his drum kit, but it’s Sanders and Toler-Wade that make the biggest strides since the last record. The guitars intertwine and coexist on the same plane of speed, though the solos receive special attention from the duo. “The Inevitable Degradation of Flesh” and “The Gods Who Light Up the Sky At The Gate Of Sethu” get recognition for exceeding anything they have done to date in that department.
Instrumental pieces, complete with clean percussion and authentic Egyptian instruments, have been a staple of every Nile album. At The Gate Of Sethu continues with this tradition, placing them in the middle of the album for mood enhancing. These influences are not just forced into the confines of a simple interlude or two. Acoustic guitars ring in “When My Wrath Is Done” with a light touch, and the prevalence of horns and female crooning close out “The Chaining Of The Iniquitous” in a bombastic manner.
When a person sees the band name Nile on an album, expectations are for a rowdy death metal experience, and At The Gate Of Sethu is far from a disappointment. These guys are writing songs with no regard to any current trends, not faltering from the path that got them to being one of the top acts in the genre.
Age has not slowed down any of the members, and the shorter song lengths and multiple interludes give the album a major boost of momentum. At The Gate Of Sethu is exactly what a fan expects from Nile; consistent material worth spinning on repeat.
(released July 3, 2012 on Nuclear Blast Records)