Round about the time Varg Vikernes took things a touch
too serious and stabbed Mayhem member Euronymous
to death, black metal lost its youthful whimsy. The promises of
Odin unfulfilled, the Vikings abandoned the cause in favor of
sweet, sweet garage rock. Shortly after, in South Carolina of
all places, Nile formed a new outfit that converted the
Nordic ferocity to a new (actually older) direction. Hence the
onset of Egyptian Death Metal. Sure, the demons that oppose Ra
sound just like the ones touted by Thor or Beelzebub. But if you
think Nile is merely a variation on a theme, you're living in
Gothically symphonic at points, In Their Darkened Shrines
utilizes classic Metal techniques with the long-forgotten tradition
of flavor. Unearthly vocals, inhuman drumming and impossibly
blistering guitar lend praise to Osiris. Nile has a fine grasp
of dynamics that keep everything from blurring out of control.
And while the lyrics are as decipherable as the hieroglyphs,
the extensively footnoted liner notes are like a fascinating
thesis. The mythology behind the songs is a work unto itself.
"The mummified remains of the sacrificial whores/of the
cannibalistic serpent cults of thirty centuries/ with black
incantation and foul necromantic art/ propitiated with the blood
of the living." Be well assured this sampling is easily
representative of the quality of the entire body of work. The
musical tapestry is convincingly accurate. It wouldn't be surprising
if these nihilists had researched eastern music as much as history.
And once this flawless production is heard, it's no longer surprising
that Napalm Death is opening for them!
It's nice to see a lofty undertaking like this actually live
up to its goals. Nice also, that archaeologists and dirt-heads
can finally agree on something. Those of us whose exposure to
Egypt starts at Raiders Of The Lost Ark, and ends with The Scorpion
King have a lot to learn from these purveyors of epic eastern
metal. Nile has done their homework, and are plenty prepared to
educate you non-believers.
On a scale of Omar Sharif roles: one being Che Guevera,
and ten being Czar Nicholas, In Their Darkened Shrines
gets an eight - Khalil Gibran.
01. The Blessed Dead
02. Execration Text
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
II. Invocation to Seditious Heresy
III. Destruction of the Temple of the Enemies of Ra
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