With four critically acclaimed albums, a few EPs and several world tours under their belt, NILE has raised the bar for extreme metal bands musically, lyrically and conceptually. Their withering live performances are nothing short of legendary. Through force of will and dedication to their craft, NILE is one of death metal’s brightest hopes for the new millennium.
The band’s long-awaited new album, Annihilation of the Wicked marks the long-awaited return of one of extreme metal's most revered bands and teems with the blasting extremity and epic arrangements that have become NILE trademarks. Swarming guitars unleash razor sharp hooks, relentless drum blasts push human limits of endurance, and vicious vocals deliver strike after strike in a more concise, precise and balanced attack than ever before. The drive of Annihilation of the Wicked slows only to build to dizzying heights of excitement or pace the onslaught with a more-measured intensity. World-class production courtesy of Neil Kernon (JUDAS PRIEST, NEVERMORE) showcases NILE's savagery and subtleties alike on what is their most commanding statement of intent yet.
Formed in 1993 by Karl Sanders (guitar/vocals), Chief Spires (bass/vocals), and Pete Hammoura (drums), NILE wasted little time combining their interest in Egyptian history, culture and lore with the ferocity of modern death metal. Using a symphonic approach to songwriting and arrangement, NILE unleashed an uncompromising attack that fused unique, technical death metal with organic Middle Eastern tones. Their unique lyrical approach was inspired by Sanders’ interpretation of ancient Egyptian inscriptions, temple carvings, papyri, hieroglyphics and tomb paintings depicting ancient battles, rituals and religious ceremonies.
Each following year brought a new recording, which marked a large step forward in their musical evolution. Things really began to gel in 1996 when, after recording and shopping three new songs, they landed a deal with upstart label Visceral Productions and began recording their debut full-length in addition to adding second guitarist Dallas Toler-Wade.
However, the deal would not last as Visceral folded in late 1997. Relapse Records swiftly stepped into the picture and, after hearing the record and witnessing the band’s live show, a deal was struck and the two prepared for the release of NILE’s debut full-length 'Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka.'
'Amongst The Catacombs of Nephren-Ka' was a monumental testimony of power that took the metal world by storm. Vicious guitar riffs lashed out among tremendous drum blasts, frenzied guitar solos and a savage three-vocalist onslaught. Adorning their brutal attack with exotic instrumentation, symphonic Middle Eastern passages and haunting chants NILE formed an all-out assault of the likes not heard before. 'Amongst...' was an adventurous and awesome effort and praise for their accomplishment soon followed.
NILE commenced a grueling 18-month world tour shortly upon the records release: one that would see them crisscross the states numerous times before being invited to accompany MORBID ANGEL on their world tour. So driven by passion and hell bent to deliver on Sanders’ promise to “play every single note as if it were going to be our last [and] give every bit of strength we have within us every time we play,” NILE converted thousands of new fans to their distinctive sound. By the time the tour ended with their jaw-dropping European debut at Dynamo ‘99 and subsequent European Tour, NILE were already being touted as one of metal’s most ambitious and fastest rising stars. At some point in time after the touring ended Pete Hammoura tore his shoulder. Tony Laureno (ex-ANGELCORPSE) was chosen as his replacement.
Upon their return home in August ‘99, Sanders and co. began work assembling and arranging the pieces and ideas that had been brewing since ‘97 (when the band completed recording '...Nephren-Ka'). Encouraged by the enthusiastic worldwide reception that the band’s exploration of Egyptian and Middle Eastern culture and exotic sounds received, and driven by the need, in Sanders’ words “...to create a massive record, a kind of masterpiece,” they began laying the groundwork for an epic sophomore effort.
The writing did not come easy. So ambitious and lofty were their ideas that it became an obsession that took up all their waking moments. Sanders spent every night composing, arranging, re-arranging and piecing together all the movements like a symphony orchestra. The lyrics alone took him almost a year as he sought to integrate them seamlessly with the music “making the combination of both form one unified piece, with each serving the other and working together to achieve the same thing.” The wildly technical composition "Multitude of Foes" also took Toler-Wade a year to work out.
The band entered their second home -- Columbia, SC’s Soundlab Studios -- in late Spring 2000 with long-time producer Bob Moore to attempt to capture its then most sprawling, ambitious work to date. 'Black Seeds of Vengeance' not only sidestepped the dreaded sophomore slump, but it realized the fruits of NILE’s intense and arduous songwriting labors.
'Black Seeds of Vengeance' was a relentless, scathing death metal assault that built off the energy and atmosphere of 'Amongst...’ It presented NILE’s sound and fury in a slightly streamlined, yet even more epic and colorful light. Violent passages of hyper-grinding fury exploded from ominous, deathly tranquility as the words and music painted vivid tales of battle, conquest, domination, subjugation and war. Intricate symphonic passages comprised of African choirs and such diverse instrumentation as tablas, tempuras, sitars, gongs, kettle drums, Tibetan Doom horns and acoustic guitars all added to the grandiose, cinematic feel.
Once again NILE hit the road and over the next year, in support slots and as the headliner, the band proved they had no equal in the live arena. Stages near and far were decimated. NILE’s unrelenting style left little in its wake.
The album’s impact on the death metal scene was huge. Not only was the “old guard” forced to take notice, but fans and critics alike were stunned by the sheer audacity of NILE’s accomplishment. Their hard work culminated with 'Black Seeds of Vengeance' being voted Album of the Year by Terrorizer Magazine. The band had little time to bask in the critical acclaim as internal problems resulted in the departure of Chief Spires. After a lengthy search Jon Vesano (ex-DARK MOON) was chosen to replace Spires.
Re-energized, NILE plunged headfirst into their most ambitious project yet. Working with Bob Moore once again, their long-awaited new full-length 'In Their Darkened Shrines' took NILE’s astute songwriting and invention to dizzying new heights. 'In Their Darkened Shrines' fused the band's trademark Middle Eastern trappings, symphonic bent, speed and intensity into one of the most epic death metal albums conceived. Volatile passages burst into beautiful regal arrangements and weighty riffs segued into majestic acoustic passages on such tracks as "Execration Text," "Unas Slayer of the Gods," "Wind of Horus" and the magnificent four-part tour-de-force, "In Their Darkened Shrines."
After spending such a long time in the studio, the band were eager to once again hit the road to show the world that they were a musical force unlike any other. Presented by Revolver Magazine, NILE headlined a summer 2002 tour that featured ORIGIN, HATE ETERNAL and ARCH ENEMY. The success of their first tour in support of 'In Their Darkened Shrines' led to a second tour, dubbed the Art of Noise Tour that was called “one of the strongest and most creative metal club tour packages in recent memory.” NILE cut a swath through much of the U.S. with NAPALM DEATH, VOIVOD and STRAPPING YOUNG LAD in tow.
After a brief respite through the holidays and spring of 2003, NILE was added to the DANZIG-headlined Blackest of the Black Festival mini-tour. Other support acts were OPETH, SUPERJOINT RITUAL, BEHEMOTH and LACUNA COIL. Once finished with the mini-tour, NILE traveled to Europe to play the Gods of Metal Festival and the Fields of Rock Festival, which featured such hard rock luminaries as METALLICA, LIMP BIZKIT, MARILYN MANSON and DISTURBED. This was quickly followed by NILE’s first headlining tour of Japan.
During the late summer NILE completed work on two videos from 'In Their Darkened Shrines': a concept video for the track "Sarcophagus" and a performance video for "Execration Text." Not long after this, NILE announced their third U.S. tour to support 'In Their Darkened Shrines.' Art of Noise II criss-crossed the U.S. and featured KREATOR, VADER, AMON AMARTH and GOATWHORE in support. Later in the year NILE devastated crowds in Greece and the United Kingdom before taking part in the annual European X-Mas Festival tour package with DEICIDE, DESTRUCTION, AMON AMARTH and others.
With the release of Annihilation of the Wicked, NILE has proven themselves peerless in the modern day extreme metal world. Inarguably their strongest and most creative work to date, Annihilation sets the stage for NILE to once again bring their searing live show to stages the world over. The addition of drumming sensation George Kollias to the existing NILE base of Karl Sanders and Dallas Toler-Wade strengthens an already stellar lineup of musicians. A pre-release U.S. co-headlining tour with KING DIAMOND will allow fans a glimpse at what Annihilation of the Wicked has in store and the band will remain on the road for the duration of 2005, proving night in and night out that every accolade heaped upon them is more than justified. Prepare.
2007 is an extremely busy year for Nile, as they are set to release their fifth full-length album, "Ithyphallic" along with securing a prominent spot on this summer's Ozzfest tour. A career spanning retrospective, "Legacy of the Catacombs" containing a collection of band and fan favorites along with a bonus DVD is also set for release in 2007 via Relapse Records.