From what I’ve read online so far, it seems I’m the one left with the task of shouting that the emperor is naked. Seriously, are you guys getting paid to write such praises about any album released by a well-known band on a well-known label? The inconvenient truth is that “Vile Nilotic Rites” is a mediocre album, offering nothing Nile hasn’t offered before.
The press release is filled to the brim with how Nile looked for a different approach to songwriting, but what came out of it is nothing spectacular or new. What you get is another 55 minutes long dose of technical brutality sprinkled with Middle Eastern melodies and themes. For an astounding army of their fans it should be good enough. Still, I get the feeling that instead of buying a new record, they could just as easily listen to any of the previous ones again and get the same result. Actually, the only thing stuck in my mind after the album finished was a question whether they really stole that horn part in “Seven Horns of War” from Howard Shore and his “Uruk-Hai theme”. Sounds close enough.
What the Americans needed here was a whole lot more creativity when it comes to guitars. Just piling one brutal riff on top of another, just for the sake of brutality isn’t doing any good to the record. Solos, on the other hand, are done pretty good, though they seem a bit too plastic at times. That might be the fault of the production, but it still leaves a bad taste. The production is also a bit too good. Like we’re dealing with 21st century downtown Cairo, instead of ancient Thebes. What happened to sand and dust?
A fresh approach might just be what Nile needs and I can appreciate the effort described in the above mentioned promo sheet, but in the end “Vile Nilotic Rites” sounds too similar to a couple of previous albums. The line-up changes seem to be too recent, so that the actual impact of the new members might still be in the foreseeable future. Perhaps they were too busy trying to fit in with the already established Nile sound.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this album is not bad. If it was created by an unknown band it would even be considered a promising start. However, for a band with such a long lasting career it is a standstill. Dear Mr. Sanders, please let the new guys influence the sound a bit further.