Cult of Luna
Voivod: Part 2
Voivod: Part 1
Dillinger Escape Plan
The Year In Metal
Dead to Fall
Tapping The Vein
High On Fire
Metal Meltdown IV
Metal/Hardcore Fest 2002
Century Media Records
My Dying Bride
The Year In Metal
Metal Blade Records
Maudlin of the Well
Thrash of the Titans
Dust To Dust
Six Feet Under
Metal/Hardcore Fest 2001
Metal Meltdown III
Pain of Salvation
Children Of Bodom
Cradle Of Filth
Lamb Of God
Garden of Shadows
March Metal Meltdown
Metal/Hardcore Fest 2000
Flotsam and Jetsam
"I have come to do violence, not [will I let] be done violence to thee. I am protecting thee." - The Papyrus Of Ani
Many bands claim to be unique, but there is honestly no band under the sun like South Carolina's Nile! Nile is not merely a two-dimensional run-of-the-mill Death Metal band; that is a statement left for the blind masses of cattle who consistently shell out their money on uninspired Pop 'hits', thus proving their mindlessness. Rather, Nile is music for the soul and the mind. What Hans Zimmer did with Gladiator, what Jerry Goldsmith did with Planet Of The Apes, what Basil Poledouris did with Conan The Barbarian, what John Williams did with Jaws (among other things) and what John Barry did with Moonraker, Nile has done with 'Black Seeds of Vengeance'. They have created a brilliant soundtrack with ethnic layerings & influences, chilling moods & atmospheres, and infused the element of fantasy into a very real realm. But this is not the soundtrack to a film; no, this is a score that resonates across 6,000 years of time warning infidels and uniting the oppressed devotees of Metal to take a stand for their True Metallic beliefs! Within this bold concept, Nile's unique take on ancient cultures also exhibits a larger, grander order to the cosmos that had existed 4,000 before Christ. And with the thousands of years of cultural influence at their disposal, the well of Nile's creativity will surely not run dry for quite a long time. The following testimonys by vocalist / guitarist Karl Sanders and guitarist Dallas Toler-Wade can attest to that! Behold the evolution of Tehuti.
Promethean Crusade: The last album seemed to spotlight 'what the band could do', displaying technique and style, and utilizing demo tracks, etc. The vibe I get from the new album seems to focus on a 'purpose'.
Yeah, I guess you could say we definitely had a purpose. We had some new strong ideas, the addition of Dallas within the writing. There was a sense of purpose, of pushing forward to achieve new goals.
PC: 'Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka' had a flow like a dark metal opera, but 'Black Seeds of Vengeance' has a vibe like an arcane ritual. Care to elaborate?
A lot of it is generated from ancient Egyptian texts (a good bit of which were religious in nature; some of them are magical in nature). I think we combined that with our methodology of making the words come alive within the music; having the music and lyrics work together to achieve the same purpose.
PC: How do you get in the mood to compose this kind of music, and how do you deem these musical passages fit to enhance the lyrical & emotional representation?
I would have to say it depends highly on the lyrics. They really inspire the feeling that comes across; that's just how our songwriting goes. The lyrics are extremely inspirational for this heavier style of playing. The visions that these lyrics present to you are where the basis for the music originates.
PC: Also, death metal seems to be an interesting avenue by which you display these anecdotes of ancient history & magical feelings in that death metal itself possesses a unique primal aura indigenous to the genre.
Extremely barbaric, yeah!
I also think Death Metal is quite capable of an extreme range of expression, especially when you allow for other types of instrumentation, like acoustic guitars and Middle-Eastern instruments. You can get such a vast range of dynamic that perhaps enables the death metal form to achieve the cinematic scope we're aiming for with the lyrics and the intent of the songs.
PC: How did you end up marrying the tones of Death Metal with Middle-Eastern folk music? Was that a goal from the beginning?
Well, that's the kind of stuff that gets listened to around here quite often. When you're listening to both musics all the time, somehow in your brain, the distinctions start to blur and you see the connection. For us, it's perfectly natural, because it's what we like and what we love to do.
PC: It was a sound that was hinted at within a Morbid Angel song here and there, but it had not been definitively explored until you guys came along.
Morbid Angel was definitely an influence or guidance tool during our early formations. We're into a lot of stuff, though, like Zeppelin, Rush and Sabbath. . . a lot of bigger, epic things that had those ancient ties. There are even some things that Slayer had done that hinted at that as well. It's all part of metal.
PC: You have a really good thing going with this mystical Egyptian theme (which has a culmination of about 10,000 years of history & influence), but do you foresee a time when your style may be looked upon as a gimmick and you'll want to explore other avenues of expression?
I've actually heard that criticism leveled at us, and they can say whatever they want! As long as the music is good, it's got our name on it, and we're proud to have our name on it. So we don't think it's a fucking gimmick! Those people can suck our dicks. . . whatever. We're still going to play our music, regardless if there are people who want to find fault with it. There's a saying that if you play some form of extreme metal, you' ve already made the determination that not everybody's going to like it to begin with.
PC: I noticed that throughout Nile's music & history, the lyrics tend not to honor the technological advancements that the Egyptians gave to later civilizations, which has been popularized (glamorized) in history books and film for centuries. Rather you focus on the sub-cultures and religious zealots of the age. What type of meaning are we to gather from these lessons?
It would be too easy to deal with the common, better known aspects of Egyptology, but that doesn't hold much interest. The real curiosity for us lies in the obscure, lesser known & darker aspects of ancient Egypt. Why write a song about pyramids or mummies; what's that going to mean anyway? Who's going to care? We like digging up the little evil shit.
PC: It's also very interesting that you stress the primal nature of ancient civilizations while utilizing extremely technical musicianship, songwriting & production, as if you were bringing two completely different worlds together. . . like a musical Jurassic Park!
(laughs) Well, in the form of death metal, even if its tight, it stills has that element of barbarism to it. No matter how tight you may play, it still sounds like a bunch of barbarians.
PC: It's also interesting that within your music, sometimes it sounds like a celebration in tribute to the olden ways, whereas at other times you seem to glorify the violent, pent-up rage of those people. It brings to mind scenes from many popular films that display all Egyptians as eternally oppressed! Look at The Ten Commandments! Even modern films with Egyptian themes, like Stargate, exploit all Egyptians as lowly slaves. . . and they were on a different planet!
"Black Seeds of Vengeance" definitely has the vibe of trying to incite the oppressed masses to reap bloody vengeance. When we're chanting ". . . Black Seeds of Vengeance, Black Seeds of Vengeance. . . " and we close our eyes, we can see 10,000 oppressed Egyptians ready to rise up! Dude, our music is a tribute!
PC: Is there any particular reason you set the tone of the album with that song? Did it just seem right, as it was essentially a call to arms?
There were a lot of underlying motives there. Certainly, we've been working a long time in the underground, struggling & fighting incredible obstacles to play our music. We would also like to think there are a lot of other people, other metal fans who have stuck by metal through many hard times. Sometimes it really is difficult to stay a metal fan when you've got everyone else telling you that metal isn't cool & death metal is dead. Somebody's gotta stand up and say "Fuck You!! We are metal and we're going to stay metal!!" There is an element of uniting the brotherhood through this feeling.
PC: With regards to the mood & atmosphere of the album, I would have to say that "To Dream of Ur" is my favorite, because it's got a multitude of hypnotic qualities that subconsciously causes reflection. How did this piece come together, and how was this vibe accomplished?
Well, the vibe of the song was to let you know that we're all going to die someday. The earth itself could rip itself apart at any second.
PC: I didn't personally take this song in such a negative light. I took it to mean that one should hold his memories fondly, for that is all he truly possesses.
Right on, that's pretty close. We were keeping in mind all of these 6,000 - 7,000 year old monuments and ancient structures in Egypt & Mesopotamia; that mankind can achieve a whole lot of incredible things. People can work their whole lives, but once those people are dead & gone, their memories and the memories of them are gone. Maybe there are some small monuments and maybe their ghostly specters are haunting around, but they're gone. . . they're dead. Everything dies. . . maybe it amounts to something, and maybe its just dust in the wind.
PC: Is this also a philosophy of Nile's to 'make your mark' and accomplish something concrete while you're here, so that after you are gone, there will still be something here to remind people of you and stand the test of time?
You know, creating music in general is a way of achieving a small piece of immortality. Look at somebody like Mozart, he wasn't recognized at all until after he was dead. His stuff went way over people's heads when he was alive. As long as you mark things down on paper, put something on tape or carve it in stone, unless it has been completely eradicated, there will be something there that will remain after you are gone.
PC: I was just trying to find justification for your displays of negativity within the lyrics.
Sometimes you can only find the true positive meaning by establishing and identifying the truth of the negative. Without absolute dark, there is no cause for a concept of light. . . and vice versa. I don't find our lyrics negative. Any person who commits any act believes there is some positive reason for doing it; it's all part of the human experience. Things that people did probably glorified in them when they did them. The fact that we're writing about these very same acts 6,000 years later means that there was some significance to them.
PC: And thus you're giving them a piece of immortality as well.
Dude, come down to one of our shows. One of our t-shirts has a picture of a painting that was on Ramses tomb wall; that thing is 5,000 years old and is completely immortal! You've got kids walking around with a picture that is 5,000 years old! That's a fucking circle of immortality if I ever saw one!
review of Nile 'Black Seeds of Vengeance'
PROMETHEAN CRUSADE - Winter 2000
119 King St.
Pottstown, PA 19464 USA
phone (610) 326-3286
Interview: Mark Morton [
Editor: Brant Wintersteen [
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