1998, Music

Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka (1998) by Nile

One of the things that I worry about with Death Metal (or Black Metal, for that matter) is that I am going to be confronted by 35-60 minutes of the same style of music and that doesn’t really float my boat. I just don’t want to listen to so many tracks where the style of music doesn’t change (unless it’s done very well).

So I am very pleased that Nile seems to think that Death Metal needed some livening up with sounds from other genres! There is a heavy dose of “Middle Eastern” music here but there are also touches of (pseudo) Medieval/Gothic music as well. (Also: Holst. Though I fine that the least interesting part of the stew given that they’re not the first rock band to take inspiration from The Planets.)

The result is an album that manages to be extremely brutal and pummeling, like the best death metal, but also shockingly musically diverse for a genre not known for its diversity. If more Death Metal is like this, I really have to listen to more Death Metal. And I certainly think I will be finding my way to other Nile albums sooner rather than later, as this is a metal band I can get behind.

Great stuff.


  1. “Smashing the Antiu” 2:18
  2. “Barra Edinazzu” 2:47
  3. “Kudurru Maqlu” (Instrumental) 1:05
  4. “Serpent Headed Mask” 2:18
  5. “Ramses Bringer of War” 4:45
  6. “Stones of Sorrow” 4:17
  7. “Die rache krieg lied der Assyriche” 3:13
  8. “The Howling of the Jinn” 2:34
  9. “Pestilence and Iniquity” 1:54
  10. “Opening of the Mouth” 3:39
  11. “Beneath Eternal Oceans of Sand” 4:17
  • Karl Sanders – lead vocals, guitar
  • Chief Spires – vocals, bass guitar
  • Pete Hammoura – vocals, drums

Additional musicians

  • Drilbu Dungkar – Thigh bone flutes, Turkish gongs
  • Mahala Kapala – Damaru human skull drums
  • Mudflap – Additional vocals on “Die rache krieg lied der Assyriche”
  • Penga Grande – Additional vocals on “Die rache krieg lied der Assyriche”
  • Gyuto Drupka – Choirs

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