Nile – What Should Not Be Unearthed

Nile
What Should Not Be Unearthed
Released August 28th 2015
Technical death metal
Released via Nuclear Blast

Nile - What Should Not Be Unearthed

Nile are just one of those bands who have miraculously passed me by. I’ve always known of them, and even more or less what their sound and content is all about. It’s just that the jigsaw pieces were never quite in the same place at the same moment, so this is one of those occasions where I get to make up for lost time and broaden my musical horizons in a very enjoyable way; the way of theologically horrific death metal!

Spin one, and it’s instant, visceral blast after visceral blast, direct to the face, and I instantly regret not having followed this band more closely in the past. It’s all about investigation and discovery, though, so back I go, through the sands of time, right back to the beginning. In truth …Unearthed 100% plays the older and more cultured brother to all of their previous releases; a natural progression point to be expected from a band of Nile‘s vintage. There’s an obvious easy confidence carrying this thunderous uproar that comes with settling into self-assurance in one’s abilities; not arrogance or cockiness, but a belligerent nonchalance, blazing through mind-bending intricacies with a comfort not previously displayed.

Yet behind every blinding flash of frenzied frettage is an undeniable musical intelligence. Too often bands which fall under the ‘technical death’ banner are only really any good for one thing – shredding. While anyone who claimed that Nile couldn’t give these musicians more than a run for their virtuoso money would be, quite rightly, decried as a fool, they are leagues and aeons away from being branded in the one-trick-pony trap. They seem to be at a stage where they are more happy than ever to slip into a thick riff, owning it entirely, and there’s plenty of the atmospheric character shown in previous works such as (the reportedly less-well-received) At The Gates Of Sethu.

Some of the best recordings in extreme music are those which you can listen to in quiet reflection, but which also grow arms and legs of engagement when the volume is cranked up to the point of a physical sensation of sound. This is definitely one such, and more, it is razor-sharp precision work, with youthful intent and intensity. In terms of quality, 2015 has been a somewhat golden age of metal so far. What Should Not Be Unearthed is simply the latest nail in the sarcophagus.

4.5/5

Paul Macmillan

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