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Nile - In Their Darkened Shrines

01. The Blessed Dead
02. Execration Text
03. Sarcophagus
04. Kheftiu Asar Butchiu
05. Unas Slayer Of The Gods
06. Churning The Maelstrom
07. I Whisper In The Ear Of The Dead
08. Wind Of Horus
09. In Their Darkened Shrines I: Hall Of Saurian Entombment
10. In Their Darkened Shrines II: Invocation To Seditious Heresy
11. In Their Darkened Shrines III: Destruction Of The Temple Of The Enemies Of Ra
12. In Their Darkened Shrines IV: Ruins

What more can be said of Nile that hasn't been said already? They have the distinction of being one of the most creative, most original, most consistent, and most technically accomplished death metal bands to emerge in the past twenty years. Also, I think that they may be second only to Opeth in terms of how well they combine brutality with an epic, atmospheric feel. And In Their Darkened Shrines is, in my opinion, the band at their absolute best.

First off, the music itself. With Dallas Toler-Wade, the great Tony Laureano, and of course the mighty Karl Sanders, you can be sure that this album is an extremely accomplished piece of music. Most of the songs are highly technical, full of fast drumming, interesting, "Eastern sounding" guitar riffs, and insanely wicked guitar solos. In addition, there is the neat use of keyboards on several tracks, to assist their epic atmosphere. In Their Darkened Shrines has a great deal of diversity to it as well, that never makes it dull, or sound as if all the tracks just blend together. For example, there are fast, brutal tracks ("Kheftiu Asar Butchiu," "Wind Of Horus," "Execration Text"), a slow, heavy track ("Sarcophagus") and some long epic tracks as well ("Unas Slayer Of The Gods," "In Their Darkened Shrines"). This variety only further cements to me what a talented songwriter Karl Sanders is, and that he is not a musician who settles for mediocrity: he delivers in every way. The sound quality of the music is absolutely perfect, though the bass is somewhat buried in the mix, the only real problem I could see anyone having with the album.

The lyrics contribute to the epic, Egyptian-themed nature of the band, and sometimes feel as if they're telling a story (a quality I've always enjoyed and admired about Nile). Take the epic break to the end of "Unas Slayer Of The Gods," for example: "Unas hath taken possession of the hearts of the gods/Unas feedeth on their entrails/He hath gorged on their unuttered sacred words/He hath assimilated the wisdom of the gods/His existence is everlasting!!!" When this epic break finishes, by the way, the song heads back into a heavier, more intense passage... only further testament to the musical diversity on this album.

In short, this is Nile in their finest hour. In Their Darkened Shrines, while having some common musical features among its tracks, never gets boring at any point, and leaves you gasping for air once you've finished listening to it. There are no bad tracks whatsoever, although "Sarcophagus," "Wind Of Horus," "Kheftiu Asar Butchiu," "Unas Slayer Of The Gods," and "Hall Of Saurian Entombment" (the first part of "In Their Darkened Shrines") are my personal favorites. A masterpiece of an album, one of the best death metal albums of the past decade, and a crown jewel worthy of any serious death metal fan's collection.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 9

Band profile: Nile
Album: In Their Darkened Shrines


written by Apothecary | 28.07.2011

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by

Nile is actually a very original band, their music is a mix of Brutal Death Metal with Technical approaches, plus some melodic environments added here and there, few bands manage to make hybrids sound cool, Nile is one of those bands, now let me review one of their most popular albums, "In Their Darkened Shrines"

published 29.07.2005 | Comments (14)


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BeastOfMetal456 - 23.08.2011 at 04:10  
Good review, but the album's worth a 9.
Daniell - 23.08.2011 at 21:57  
A 7 you mean.
Apothecary - 23.08.2011 at 22:34  
Written by Daniell on 23.08.2011 at 21:57

A 7 you mean.

If I meant a 7, I would have put a 7.
Daniell - 24.08.2011 at 09:32  
I was my way of conveying my rating of this album in this forum thread.
Apothecary - 24.08.2011 at 16:47  
Written by Daniell on 24.08.2011 at 09:32

I was my way of conveying my rating of this album in this forum thread.

I know lol. It's all good bro, we all have our own opinions. Nile's just one of my favorite metal bands, so I guess you could say I maybe put a little bit of bias into this review. But on the other hand, they're a very great band, and this album shows off their originality and great songwriting quite well. So... yeah, basically everything I said in the review haha.
Diamonds - 08.11.2011 at 11:41  
Never got into Nile really. they were one of the earlier bands i listened to when starting off with my death metal interest and at the time, like Cryptopsy, were actually too heavy for me . which i laugh about now considering there are so many others i enjoy with worlds more brutality. so i can't really speak for this review i'll just have to look into it and who knows maybe it'll spark an interest in the band for me ? also, if you like the whole egyptian theme you should check out the band Bohéma. they're absolutley fantastic imo, their last release was one of my favourites of 2010.
Troy Killjoy - 08.11.2011 at 21:45  
Written by Diamonds on 08.11.2011 at 11:41
maybe it'll spark an interest in the band for me ?

It might spark an interest, although you probably won't consider it a perfect 10.

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