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Metal/Prog Metal Concert Reviews

Nile

Live at House of Blues, Chicago, April 27,2005

Review by Mike Korn

These disciples of the pharaohs have a very strong following themselves, and it was clear some were here to see them rather than King Diamond. One bald tattooed guy by us was constantly growling and grunting during their set in an attempt to out-guttural Karl Sanders. Nile's attack was pulverizing, low-tuned death metal designed to smash bones. The fast stuff was pretty much a blur, but slower dirges like the awesome "Sarcophagus" packed a truly brutal wallop. The band now features a two pronged vocal approach, with Dallas Toller-Wade handling the majority of the vocals, and former lead singer Sanders offering his supremely gruesome growls only now and then. The band blasted through well-known tracks like "Chapter For Turning Into a Snake"and the dramatic "Rameses, Bringer of War", but they also gave us some sneak peaks at their upcoming record "Annihilation of the Wicked". "Cast Down the Heretic" was a furious high-speed hell-ride while "Lashed to the Slave Stick" showed more of the Egyptian influence. The most impressive ditty, though, was "Annihilation of the Wicked" itself, which was a very lengthy song full of time and tempo changes - a real epic!
Nile features two relatively new players. Drummer George Kollias admirably fills in for his predecessors, hitting with the same extreme double bass ferocity, while 19 year old bassist Joe Payne thrashes and whirls his head like a demon possessed. He is second only to Cannibal Corpse's George Fischer in that aspect. I must say, though, that Karl Sanders' lead guitar solos sounded kind of flabby and nowhere near as sharp as they do on record. Nevertheless, the band got a rousing response following their final track "Black Seeds of Vengeance", which had the faithful singing along.

Michael Heitzman
       
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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