If you had seen me at work last night you probably would have noticed some discreet headbanging and air guitaring going on. Why? Because I was immersed in the unrelenting punishment that is Nile's sixth full length album, Those Whom The Gods Detest. The South Carolinians have once again brought us an album filled with pummeling drumming, ominous vocals, astonishing guitar work, and that distinctive Egyptian flair that has made Nile one of the most unique and unrelenting death metal bands out there today.
The songwriting here is Nile's best yet. The combination of brutal riffing, mind crushing solos and those mystical Egyptian passages spell out an album of punishing terror that far surpasses any of their previous work. The drumming once again is an absolute onslaught of fury and more than complements the wild guitar work. The vocals add a distinct layer of oppression and evil, especially during the chanting in songs like the title track and the album's opener, "Kafir!" All of these elements combine to produce an unforgettable work of death metal mayhem.
The atmosphere is one of oppression, terror, evil and mysticism. Tracks such as "Hittite Dung Incantation" and "Permitting the Noble Dead To Descend To The Underworld" are straightforward brutal/technical death metal, yet are solid and unforgiving. Others, such as the 8-minute title track and "4th Arra of Dagon" are much more complex, showcasing Karl Sanders & co's ability to craft truly impressive and immersive musical landscapes. "Yezd Desert Ghul Ritual In The Abandoned Towers Of Silence" is an atmopsheric break from the brutality that is still as captivating and well done as the rest of the music on the album. Every track here is memorable and well written and the production job is top notch. Everything stands out here with
Those Whom The Gods Detest is an exciting album that joins Cannibal Corpse's Evisceration Plague and Ekron Cult's Queen Of The Luxury as the best death metal of 2009. The brutality rarely ceases and despite the near constant double bass, blast beasts and wicked solos the album never gets boring. Let this be another lesson to new death metal bands: it is very possible have brutality without sacrificing great, memorable songwriting and Nile have proved it yet again. This is without a doubt Nile's greatest moment and you are doing a favor for yourself if you decide to give it a lesson.
Verdict: Epic Win [9/10]