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Nile Unearths Heavy New Album (Review)

Nile-What-Should-Not-Be-Unearthed-Artwork

Nile’s newest album “What Should Not be Unearthed” opens up like a blast of fire melting the face off a demon. They’re back heavier and faster than ever. This is quite a feat considering that Technical Death Metal has been on the way out recently. And many Death Metal bands have gone towards a more progressive or groove driven direction; which is understandable, because it’s often hard to be even heavier than what already exists, especially after Death Metal has been a genre for 20+ years.

But Nile delivers a fist full of death metal that punches you in the face with its heavy riffs, dynamic tempos, and liquid hot solos. Some of the riffs are familiar, but there are definitely some clever new licks thrown in. And of course, this album brings together what Nile fans love – fast, death metal riffs mixed with middle eastern instrumentals and scales.

KARL SANDERS DISCUSSES HIS INTENTIONS AND OPINION OF NEWEST ALBUM

In an interview with Metal Wani, Karl Sanders (Nile’s Vocalist and Guitarist) said he wanted to take a different direction than their last album, “At The Gates of Sethu.” Sethu was a very clean and technical album, written for studio perfection. But as Karl says, this newest album was all about the fans, and giving them what they want. It was also more about feeling than technicality. “Is it heavy, does it emotionally move me?”

Many interviews and reviews have already dealt with the technicalities of the music. In short, I will say in this album there are more mid-range growls than the low growls of the past (I can actually understand the lyrics!). The guitars and bass are also turned up a bit higher in volume than previous albums. As George Kollias (the drummer) is quoted as saying, “I can’t hear my fucking drums!” (Metal Wani). In terms of skill level, the song “What Should Not Be Unearthed” was apparently one of the hardest songs George Kollias has played in his life.

But what I’d like to delve into is the meaning behind the music – the vibe – the soul of the album so to speak. Topically, this is about things that shouldn’t be unearthed (yeah I know, the title says that, duh!)

The following was said about the artwork: The story behind the title goes deeply beneath everything we have already known, and we may not be ready to face.  With the art I excavated the theories of an elder ancient civilization which could give the origin to ancient Egypt. That’s why you can find a new ingredient in the band imagery, pointing at some higher obscure intelligence, eroding and covered with time. (Nuclear Blast)

So there is definitely this theme of an eerie, and an ancient spirit being accidentally unleashed like some horror movie mummy.

But what no interview has discussed is the modern middle eastern implications as well.

CALL TO DESTRUCTION – OPENING ALBUM TRACK

The video for “Call to Destruction” very deliberately shows video footage of terrorist groups (like The Islamic State) destroying ancient relics. The lyrics very obviously point to this.

Call to destruction of the symbols of paganism
Grand monuments of idolatry
We must tear down these blasphemous edifices of heathenism

We must annihilate all that is pre Islamic
We must complete what the ‘Amr ibn al-‘As could not
We must tear down these relics of infidelity

Great and mighty works of blasphemy
Mountains of ancient heresy
Sacrilege encased in stone
From thousands of years before the Prophet…

So there is no mistaking that this is a theme (at least for that song). 

Nile doesn’t just discuss the ancient Middle East, they also discuss the modern Middle East as well sometimes. For instance, in the “Those Whom The Gods” detest album, there was the song Kafir, which is the word for “heretic” or “unbeliever” in Islam.

So now it’s time for my conjecture (JUST MY OPINION, NOTHING OFFICIAL): I think the Islamic State’s destruction of ancient relics is relevant to many of the themes of other songs in the album. That may have been unintentional or intentional on their part (I don’t know). I just saw a theme: a theme in terms of unearthing or destroying relics of ancient history that should remain untouched. And the actions of IS/ISIS fit into that theme. “Rape of the Black Earth” discusses destroying entire blocs of history, objects that have not been disturbed for millennia, and temples of the Gods defiled. “Age of Famine” also references unheard of atrocities, noble women becoming slave and whores, and children being dashed against walls, and people turning against each other…hmm that sounds familiar to what’s in the news.

Now am I saying this is what this album is all about? No I am not. Karl himself said this wasn’t a concept album.

Or maybe the whole album was really just Karl describing his hatred of unearthing the precious Earth metals that create cell phones (see interview).(Or maybe that’s a joke…)

The last song is “To Walk Forth from the Flames Unscathed.” So perhaps this is somewhat of a hopeful ending to an album with several songs about the destruction and violation of ancient history.

Evil to Cast out Evil is a killer track. Check that out to get a further taste of the delicious mayhem that is Nile’s newest album.

EVIL TO CAST OUT EVIL


RELEVANT LINKS

Official Nile Site

Get new album here

2015 Europe Tour

2016 Tour Dates

Happy Belated Birthday to Rob Halford of Judas Priest

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Happy belated birthday to Rob Halford of Judas Priest. On August 25th, sixty four years ago, the ground opened up and the heavens shook. On that day a leather rebel was born who rocked the world of Heavy Metal for the better part of 42 years. There are none who can match his talent and dynamic range, he screams like a banshee, creating chromium plated heavy metal that is faster than a speeding bullet and louder than an atom bomb. All hail the Halford!

Don’t forget to take your daily PAIN KILLER!!!

Showcasing the Dark Art of Blackrose

Blackrose (Lisanne) is an alternative model based in the Netherlands who has been doing shoots since 2011. She enjoys doing dark themes. Music, movies and games are some of her biggest inspirations.

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smokinggun


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New Huntress Song – “Flesh”

“Flesh” is the newest song to be released by Huntress. The song comes from their album “Static,” which is scheduled to be released on September 25th. Vocalist Jill Janus (who has been awesome enough to talk with me on more than one occasion) has said that Static channels the “crone” aspect of The Goddess (in terms of the whole Maiden/Mother/Crone archetype). And from what I can see, it’s gonna be a dirty, lusty, nasty old crone indeed.

The song itself is about a female serial killer who transforms into a demon seamstress and preys upon women. She desires their flesh for fashion (like a demonic, lesbian, Buffalo Bill if you will).

Musically, it’s a fun, catchy, hard rock song.

Starbound Beast was such a killer album that it’s really going to be hard for them to top it, but I’m still looking forward to seeing what they can do nevertheless.

Get the details on the Static Album

How Did the Ancient Norse Feel About Loki?

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(Image Source. Note, it’s very hard to find non-marvel images of Loki)

The Norse trickster Loki has become a hot topic in the last few years. In addition to appearing as the bad guy in the Avengers movie, he was also the theme of the most recent Amon Amarth album, “Deceiver of The Gods” (2013).

His popularity in the media has brought up much debate about “who he was really.” Even in the pagan community (which is already fairly small), there is an even smaller number of people who consider themselves devotees of Loki (Lokeans). They honor him as a patron of change, trickery and chaos. This has been somewhat of a source of contention in the Heathen community, because many Heathens see Loki as the antithesis of everything the Ancient Norse stood for. It doesn’t help that he’s the one fated to fight the Aesir on the day of Ragnarok.

If people today want to worship Loki, I certainly don’t have a problem with it. But I can see how a Lokean honoring Loki at a Heathen gathering may be somewhat like declaring oneself a Cowboy’s fan in a Washington D.C. Sports Bar.


MOST SCHOLARS AGREE THAT LOKI WAS NEVER WORSHIPED AS A GOD

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While many people today may see Loki as a “God of trickery or mischief,” the fact remains that most scholars believe that in ancient, pre-christian times, Loki was never worshiped as a God.


SO WHO WAS LOKI?

Loki, son of a jötunn, was a sort of interloper who hung out with the Aesir, sometimes causing mischief and other times helping out (usually as a way to clean up the mess he caused).

In modern times many people interpret Loki as an “evil character.” But the ancient Norse did not have black and white, Judeo-Christian ideals of “good and evil,” like we do today.

Instead there were standards of behavior for how one ought to act in the community. Ideally, people were supposed act with honor and courage, which is the opposite of how Loki acted. Loki in turn was a figure of cowardice and duplicity. Yet he wasn’t entirely terrible, because he was allowed to coexist with the Aesir until he was responsible for getting Baldur (The God of light and beauty) stuck in the Underworld. Then that was when his trickery went too far.

However, despite his trickery, he did help the struggling Gods get Asgard built, by contracting a giant to do the job. The giant asked for the sun, the moon and the Goddess Freya in payment. While the Gods were not too sure about this arrangement, Loki insisted that the giant would never get the work finished in time. When the giant came close to finishing the job, Loki turned himself into a mare and seduced the giant’s stallion, which prevented the giant from getting the job done in time.

There was another situation where Loki helped Thor find his missing hammer in a comedic escapade, where Loki convinces Thor to cross dress and pretend to be a bride at a wedding.

However, Loki’s role as an antagonist cannot be white washed, considering that he will eventually fight against the Aesir during Ragnarok.


LOKI AND ODIN: BLOOD BROTHERS

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(Image Source)

Yet despite Loki’s mischief, the fact remains that Odin and Loki were blood brothers – a very serious bond deeper than any other. Perhaps this is because Odin saw Loki as being useful, when a job required brains and negotiating, rather than brawn. I have even heard interesting theories that there was a deeper motivation behind Loki’s mischief than people think (I emphasize the word theories here). As mentioned earlier, Loki was responsible for keeping Baldur trapped in the Underworld. However, in the aftermath of Ragnarok, Baldur emerged from the Underworld to return to the land of the living where he and his brother Höðr would rule the new earth together with Thor’s sons. Had Baldur not been trapped in the Underworld, he may have died in Ragnarok. So was there a method behind Loki’s madness? Who knows…

But perhaps the point of Loki was that the Norse saw the world in a much more nuanced way than we do today. The world wasn’t simply a place of good and evil. The world was a place where courage and bravery were ideal, but even so – sometimes there were situations that called for a little trickery, trickery that yielded results that were good, bad and highly comedic.


AMON AMARTH – FATHER OF THE WOLF

Images of Irish Goddesses

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Although I’m sure not everyone imagines Irish Goddesses in the way that Simon E Davies does, I still wanted to take the time to point out his excellent art. Sometimes it pays to have a visual of the Gods and Goddesses, in order to make them more familiar.

LEARN MORE

Danu

Boann

Banbha

Brigid

Ernmas

Aine

The Morrigan

Badb

Macha

Bé_Chuille

Clíodhna

Fand

Lustre – They Awoke To The Scent Of Spring

Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal

Country of Origin: Sweden

Themes: Nature, Darkness, Mysticism, Spirituality

Perhaps this is not the right time of year at all for this album, but I’ve been enjoying the Hel out of it. It is a dark, ambient but magical meander into the blossoming of spring. The sounds of nature in the background, such as the rain at the end of this album, really bring to life a certain time of year and the mindset that you can often have when spring is just around the corner. Yet in addition to being magical, it also has an eerie and haunting tone that reminds one of walking into the darkness of a primeval forest. Lustre is an amazing band in general, especially in terms of capturing the mood of nature and expressing it in only that which music can accurately describe.

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Lustre Black Metal and Dreamscapes

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