ALBUM REVIEW: At the Gate of Sethu by Nile

There’s always the excitement over a new album that can cause the listener to go “this is the best album this group has done in years!” So, having been a Nile fan for years, I’m going to have to restrain my impulse from giving in those feelings. I have to listen to this album objectively for the sake of the review. I must give my impressions honestly and without bias. So, that said…. this is the best album this group has done in years!
There isn’t much new for Nile on this album. Instead, they took their already technical brutal style and kicked it up several notches. Somehow they were able to infuse their death metal with even more energy than previous releases. The vocals in particular drive the album more in the past. The deep growls are there, but they have added more rage-filled, almost shouting vocals this time. The guitars and drums are technical as always, yet aren’t so overpowering in their technicality that they detract from the songwriting. Karl Sanders also threw in traditional Egyptian instruments to add texture to the overall feel of the album, providing that extra “ancient” feel.

Nile has said in interview that their music has always had a meditative quality to their music. It is true that in the past their songs would go so fast that they would be a blur, ending up in a slower effect. This time, there is none of that. The songs that are meant to sound fast sound fast, and the parts that aren’t (particularly the Egyptian-sounding instrumentals) have a slower feel. That seems to be the most outstanding feature of this album. The group knows how to use their songwriting skills to create always the desired effect. This time the effect is a huge-sounding death metal album to wake up even the mummified. (See what I did there?)

The album gets horns up as high as possible.


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