Dec 13, 2011

Nile 'Worship The Animal' review

NILE
'Worship The Animal 
(1994 - The Lost Recordings)'
 (Goomba Music)

As the first track "La Chant Du Cygre" kicks in, I'm treated to a few shocks right off the bat. A groove, melodic vocals and no blast-beating...

Now correct me if I'm wrong here, but as a non NILE enthusiast all I've ever heard from them is the likes of "Sacrifice Unto Sebek" and "Lashed To The Slave Stick" etc. Brutal walls of noise bathed in aggression, story telling lyrics and non stop blasting. In fact, I'd go as far to say that in my very limited knowledge of NILE, if I wouldn't of picked up this album and hit the play button, NILE would forever go down as "That crazy noise making band who blasts all the time". Now don't get me wrong, from a technical point of view etc NILE are a band of machines, but musically it never really seemed to click with me because I'm coming from a background of Pantera / Metallica.

Track 2 - "Worship The Animal" has rolled into my headphones. After the first almost Black Sabbath-esque riff it blasts into a slow heavy groove. Something I just really cannot explain. NILE...and space? Something magic is on this album.

Vocally the growling is aggressive if not a little lax in the execution. Should I take into account that this is 1994? Well then I think of Meshuggah and Pantera and think... not really. The melodic vocals aren't exactly top notch but they are good enough to get the job done and offer me a broader sense of reason to keep listening.

The last riff of "Worship The Animal" is very "5 Minutes Alone." (Comparing Nile to Pantera I hear you say? Check this album out,trust me)

Track 3 - "Nepenthe" drones through my headphones with a mood so thick it falls perfectly into the same street as "Seasons In The Abyss".

It quickly moves on from the slow dooming riffage to something much more jarring. The melodic vocals kick back in and again, Sanders is no singer, but it keeps me interested enough to press on.

The blasting starts, but it works. It feels appropriate in it's placement and accents the riff perfectly. It doesn't feel like Hammoura is blasting because he ran out of ideas.

After hearing the solos presented to me, I personally feel like they give off a sloppy mess feel to the tracks, which could of been avoided would Sanders of practiced a little more.

7:31 into "Nepenthe" we're treated to an almost orchestral / operatic type style with Sanders voice, he's growing on me. I feel like I shouldn't really be making exceptions. But his voice works for NILE, just plain and simple. It works.

Track 4 - "Surrounded by Fright" kicks in. Is this REALLY NILE? The sense of melody in the vocals has REALLY taken a level up and it reminds me of the feel you get from Haji's Kitchen's debut album. The song is pretty much all melodically sung and to be honest with you. I'm impressed. This reminds me of something vocally, that's it! Alice in Chains. Pantera and Alice in Chains being compared with Nile? I know... but seriously. Just seriously... around 3:30 into the track it takes a step up to a clearly Slayer influenced riff. "War Ensemble" comes to mind.

4:28 kicks in like a mule and I was expecting them to carry off the groove for a little longer, but the fact I'm even getting thoughts like this while listening to NILE is pretty awesome. The riff undercoats a solo which seems to be a lot more conscious of it's existence than the faster shredding ones. This solo has some character, some feel etc. The riff immediately after the solo is very southern. More Damageplan than Pantera but still, that should give you an idea.

I'm feeling pretty impressed with this early NILE stuff.

Track 5 - "Mecca" starts with drums beating out like a heart, then escalates into something more pacey. When it kicks in around 2 minutes in, this is so Alice in Chains / early Haji's Kitchen it's unreal. Musically it's a little more aggressive than the Alice counterpart but vocally you can relate in my opinion.

Hearing Sanders voice here just makes me think why the fuck didn't they keep this style? They'd be in my top 10 bands by now if they had.

It's a massive disappointment to hear how Nile sound now compared to this for me. This is like taking Iron Maiden and replacing Bruce with Corpsegrinder. Alright... maybe not THAT crazy, but still. I think they've lost something special comparing them to this.  

There are a few points on this album where the vocals move more into a demonic chant / talk, and it sounds cool. It's mixing a few different voices together and blending them into a ball of demonic communication.

6 minutes in I'm looking at the 9 minute mark and actually starting to miss the fact that this album is coming to a close. 5 tracks aren't much for an old "hidden tracks" record. But by God is this worth picking up. Looks like we found a gold mine here.

Production: 7 (It's good enough, but far from incredible)
Creativity: 8 (Blending Death Metal with Alice in Chains? Decent in my books)
Groove: 8 (It's got the groove in my opinion, makes you wanna move your head and pull stupid faces)

Overall: 8 
Surprising listen which will last me for a long time. Nile have gained respect from me for this. Well done boys!

(Joseph Parry)

 Nile

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