Hey there, tech fiends. It’s that time of the week again. Before we dive into today’s focus, here’s the usual weekly reminder that if you’re looking for even more sick bands to hear, all prior editions of this series can be perused here.
For longtime fans of tech-death, Nile often feels like the Cannibal Corpse of this style. They always deliver a consistent product that sticks to their established core sound, meanwhile, their focus on unhinged brutality has yet to wane with age, and it seems most everyone has a different favorite album by them. This Friday, November 1st, the band will release their 9th full-length, Vile Nilotic Rites, through Nuclear Blast Records. After spinning it a lot, I’m excited to share that the band sounds just as vital and focused as ever here. No small feat after being an active band focused on the extreme end of metal for over 25 years at this point.
I know the band isn’t keen to highlight whatever happened with Dallas Toler-Wade leaving after twenty years in the band but its undoubtedly true he had a big impact on the group. Writing, co-writing, or contributing to a considerable number of their songs since joining after most of Black Seeds of Vengeance which dropped in 2000 was written. His first contribution to the group was a song written before joining, “Multitude of Foes”, which made the cut for Black Seeds of Vengeance and remains one of my favorite Nile songs. Other supreme fan favorites like “Lashed to the Slave Stick” from Annihilation of the Wicked were also among those he crafted in his extended tenure with Nile. I feel all of that is worth mentioning because a lot of people were curious as to what a new Nile release might bring with a fresh line-up shift on the guitar front.
This late in their career, adding a more solidly tech-death guitarist in Brian Kingsland of Enthean is an interesting move. I’m sure it gave the group a renewed spark and fresh energy when it came to creating Vile Nilotic Rites. I’ve been a fan of Enthean for a few years as well so this was an exciting development I was eager to hear what came of it. Given Brian’s background, making the first single “Long Shadows of Dread” was an excellent choice. This is one of their in-your-face cuts that rarely relents, aided by supplemental extra shred layered passages which certainly stick out and puts a smile on my face.
The influx of what you might call more “traditional” tech-death lead-work taking a larger role here beyond their patented frenetic riff style is certainly the most identifiable shift here when compared to prior works. Even so, when the band goes all-in on crushing heaviness spliced with nasty grooves, or focus on their more Egyptian instrumentation and extended run-time epic fare, those are my favorite songs and sections as they are on any Nile release really. However, fear not, this album still has plenty of full-throttle insanity soon to become fan-favorites like the utterly demented mid-album wrecking ball, “Snake Pit Mating Frenzy”.
So, where does that put Vile Nilotic Rites within the context of their deep discography and highly influential place in the world of tech-death and hyper-active modern death metal that isn’t quite tech-death per se? I’d say it’s another strong effort which proves once more that Nile remains among the elite for technical death metal on the brutal, relentlessly fast, and epic side of things.
It’s probably obvious by now, as a big fan of Nile, unless this was somehow a phoned in and very weak offering, most people like me who already love the band will quite enjoy all 54 minutes of Vile Nilotic Rites. You can check out the two early singles released so far which are embedded below. I’m sure a full stream prior to its release this Friday will pop up at some point. If you haven’t checked out their last few releases for whatever reason, give Vile Nilotic Rites a few spins at a minimum, it’s damn good.