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NILE
NILE
Annihilation Of The Wicked
(Relapse Records)
52:04min

Three years after the release of their highly successful "In Their Darkened Shrines" album, followed by countless touring activities all around the globe, NILE has finally returned to the scene with a new full length record. And fans of the band will certainly be more than pleased again as "Annihilation Of The Wicked" basically turned out to be another quite typical NILE record (meant in a positive sense here). All of their beloved trademarks are still very much present: from the tasteful coverart, to the lyrical topics about the mysteries of ancient Egypt to their rather complex, yet very brutal Death Metal writing style. The reason why I still consider "Annihilation Of The Wicked" so much more impressive might be due to two major improvements. First of all, well-known producer Neil Kernon (JUDAS PRIEST, QUEENSRYCHE, NEVERMORE, CANNIBAL CORPSE etc.) took over Bob Moore's duties and obviously successfully impelled the band to finally reach a higher level! The production is crystal clear, very transparent, yet extremely powerful and always maintaining the relentless aggression and brutality of NILE's material! And second, probably as a result of this, the songwriting sounds a lot more controlled now, even though NILE totally stayed true to their wellknown writing formular. It's just that the more doomy aspects sound even heavier now, while the intensity of the highspeed material simply became... eh... even more intense. While especially their fast songs sounded a bit blurry in the past, you can hear every instrument perfectly now. And that is so enjoyable, considering that NILE is rampaging through the ten tracks precisely as a clockwork! The band sounds indeed more tight than ever before (including new recruited, 19 year old bass player Joe Payne!)! The only thing that unfortunately was reduced a little on "Annihilation Of The Wicked" is the atmospheric elements... Karl Sanders probably used the lion's share of those ideas for his solo album "Saurian Meditation". But don't worry, most of the songs work fine even without the Eastern sounding elements anyway. And an impressive songtitle like 'Chapter Of Obeisance Before Giving Breath To The Inert One In The Presence Of The Cresent Shaped Horns' would even make BAL-SAGOTH cry out in envy!

Frank Stöver

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