NILE - Black Seeds of Vengeance (RELAPSE - LP 2000)
“Black Seeds of Vengeance” is often recognized as Nile’s best album ever. Is it really? Yes, I have to say that it is one of their best records for sure.
Originally released in the year 2000, “Black Seeds of Vengeance” brought an obvious progression in the style of the band. Of course as a follower to “Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka” it keeps many integral elements of Nile music intact – such as dense, brutal and technical riffage, unique combination of different kinds of beastly growls and inclusion of epic parts with some orchestral elements, Tibetan chants and use of some traditional Mid East instruments. And of course with “Black Seeds of Vengeance” Nile went even further into the concept and the world of Ancient Egypt – and what I love about this record is that from now on Karl Sanders started to use descriptions for every track, explaining us not only its meaning and lyrical content, but also the sources where he was taking some ideas, old transcriptions and general knowledge. This is something fascinating and reading these liner notes (which Nile continued doing on all their future albums) is highly interesting. You know, lyrics are one thing, but knowing their meaning in such difficult subject like Ancient Egypt and old cultures, where higher knowledge is required, is essential, especially if we deal with band like Nile.
The basis of Nile music was still the same. What did change was the song structuring and songs / album length. Nile extended the length and “Black Seeds of Vengeance” is something like ten minutes longer than its predecessor and (most of the) songs are not so short anymore. When you will listen to this record you will surely notice that the riffage are even tighter and more brutal. It all really sounds like a furious demonstration of brutality and is almost close to cross the line of ridiculousness sometimes, giving you an image of unreadable, chaotic wall of brutal noise. It is obvious then that you need to listen to this album with special attention. Only this way you’ll be able to catch all these technical details and ideas. Complexity will not be a problem if you will hear the riffs, instead of hearing a wall of noise.
Luckily “Black Seeds of Vengeance” also contains many hooks, interludes or epic, slower parts, so it’s not one dimensional and boring brutal death metal. Already in the first song, which is the title track, you’ll get surprised when after three minutes of relentless cannonade of vicious riffage a killer slow part breaks the intensity and I am sure that everyone then starts to growl “Black Seeds of Vengeance!!!!!!!!”. Similar patterns have been used also for “Defiling the Gates of Ishtar” and “Masturbation the War God” – and they do sound amazing. And this is why we all love Nile, because it has these special motifs that differ them from other brutal death metal bands. On this album all slower parts / songs sound extremely good and I can especially mention “To Dream of Ur”. It does sound dark and eerie, epic and monumental. I have to say that the ending part of “Black Seeds of Vengeance” is my favourite, because it strays from the blasting, thick brutal death metal and the music became more spiritual, mystical and ritualistic. It just sounds super amazing.
Well, the whole album is fantastic. It may not be my favourite Nile record, but I easily put in my top four. Essential stuff for death metal maniacs, even those who usually don’t like technical and brutal stuff.
Standout tracks: “To Dream of Ur”, “Black Seeds of Vengeance”, “The Black Flame”
Final rate: 80/100