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Friday, June 22, 2012

Nile - At The Gate Of Sethu review

Year : 2012
Genre : Exotic Death Metal
Label : Nuclear Blast Records
Origin : United States
Rating : 8.0 / 10

Nile's At The Gate Of Sethu emerges as a prominent variant on the same type-, same direction of rabid death metal delivery than that declared quite efficiently by Mexico's sacrificial Eztlacuani, as this disc, too, chooses to feature brisk/brief ambient overtones and interludes in the fabric. I'm aware that on paper, this disc is a technical death metal release, but I do not share this notion, because the spin does not sound to be in a hurry to satisfy the related-, extremely high steep criteria systems, managing to emerge as a ballsy exotic death affair nevertheless. Read on to find out more about this elegant LP that has nothing at all to do with the fractal complexity of top tier tech death warfare, trust me.

As a largely orthodox death spin, the disc shows some initial capacity to serve the ears out with more eloquent content of intricacy than the soundscape you'd anticipate at face value, yet more than a half of this disc weighs in as the sturdily constructed orthodox variant of the parent genre, with limited urges present in it to deviate from the central agenda of death, which primarily is to kill on spot.

Granted, the final track, "The Changing Of The Iniquitous" shows a stupendous, largely mid-tempo form with a constant flow of coherent happenings - just wait a while, and do not judge it by its deranged, but funny Quasimodo start - and carefully selected atmospheric sounds, and the riffcraft is top tier herein, too. But not in the spirit of intricate death, it is more like the spirit of ultra-heavy exotic groove metal, and I have nothing against this artistic decision.

As I have been - I think - suggesting, it is the disc's first and second third that contains the more hefty music, which is not to say that the later portion of it - the final third - would be less efficiently constructed - it just reeks a different, kind of tamer and slower character. The guitar solo in track 3 kicks ass, yet, the backdrop is more like a thrash song while the solo lasts - no caveat regarding this. From the 3rd track on, a certain propensity to spill some elegant groove on the death builds is similarly notable, and I tend to state that this pseudo-melodic shift does good justice to the overall flow. This is notable in track number 4, "When My Wrath Is Done", a song that takes the liberty to fail to give a shit regarding what your expectations of it might be, and, while I maintain that it is NOT technical death in the ears of a full blown snob, it surely is music that is very interesting and the track is a highlight for me - even though it is not a mature song at all. It is experimentation that have worked out fortunately, and including it in such form is highly acceptable, of course.

Track number 6, "The Gods Who Light Up The Sky At The Gate Of Sethu" sounds to me like pretty ballsy thrash metal. I would have been happy to hear key elements of this song on the latest Kreator album to date.

Track 7 is probably the most aggressive moment of the build, and, following the ambient interlude of track 8, the package embraces the prehistoric caveman death/groove hybridmetal style with "Tribunal Of The Dead", exhibiting a more pronounced interest in the groove than in the blast effin beat. But you will have some of that, too - just not as the main attraction, which promises something already, in a sense. I love the final, crushing orchestras in this song, along with the brief polyrhythms that serve as a precursor to it. Second to last track, "Supreme Humanism Of Melagolamia" sounds to me like a track supremely influenced by Chuck Schuldiner's classic: "Flattening Of Emotions".

The LP has the - in my opinion - somewhat usual and even likable DM tendency to let CERTAIN segments of its individual entries bleed into each other as result of their 1. vastly similar base-character, and 2. vastly similar methodologies utilized to offer variation in those particular segments. I'm thinking blast beats, primarily. Wow, I'm a steaming pile of meat, and you are hitting me still. Cool story, bra.

The main circumstance which I think prevents the package from weighing in as a legitimate technical death metal contribution, is the frequent quasi-disconnectedness of the high frequency detail from the background, while the mid-frequency oftentimes is pretty eloquent - but it is notable that the band members did not want to put in THAT much work all the time. Like the neoclassical surge of mid-frequency notes in the opening track. What I hear, is pretty legit exotic death metal, which, like a pinball, is nudged around between quiet errr quite exciting parts and totally acceptable, exigent  variations on good old death. Sometimes, tedious repetitions also are incorporated, but not too much of that is observable, thank God & Co. A recommended exotic death listen.

Rating : 8.0 / 10

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  1. At The Gate of Sethu. There is only one Gate. Says so right on the cover.

    Excellent, well-written, comprehensive review, though. Thanks!

  2. @lifewithoutpain : Thank you for the correction. Adjusted the title and text accordingly. Glad you find the review useful!

  3. yep recommended record.

    maybe you'l be interested with this interview with Dallas Tole-Wade from Nile :


click on video to access in HD