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Nile 

Annihilation of the Wicked (Relapse)

Check out this song title from the latest Nile record: "Chapter of Obeisance Before Giving Breath to the Inert One in the Presence of Crescent Shaped Horns." A head-scratcher it may be (it refers to some ancient book of Egyptian magic), but it perfectly encapsulates what the band is all about -- taking everything past its logical limit, making everything epic in scope. C'mon, we've all heard of concept albums -- but how about concept bands? Nile is Epic Egyptian-Themed Death Metal. And while that's about as ridiculous as it sounds, the band has definitely carved out a niche with four completely stunning albums that solidify it as one of the greatest metal bands ever. Could Nile's shtick get old? Possibly, but it's not like they're going to set their tales in outer space or cover Aztec society instead. There may not be anything new under Ra's sun on Annihilation of the Wicked, but there's nothing to suggest that this band won't keep churning out intelligent music for years to come. Nile's river valley remains fertile.

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More by Guy Gray

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