In Their Darkened Shrines United States Of AmericaCountry Of Origin: United States Of America
Nile - In Their Darkened Shrines

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MB Rating: 9.2
[1 Vote(s)]

User Rating: 7.5
[356 Vote(s)]
The Blessed Dead
Execration Text
Sarcophagus Video
Kheftiu Asar Butchiu
Unas Slayer Of The Gods
Churning The Maelstrom
I Whisper In The Ear Of The Dead
Wind Of Horus
In Their Darkened Shrines: I Hall Of Saurian Entombment, II Invocation To Seditious Heresy, III Destruction Of The Temple Of The Enemies Of Ra, IV Ruins

Type: Full-Length
Release Date: August 20th, 2002
Label: Relapse Records
Categories: Death, Technical
7.5 out of 10 / 356 vote(s)

MetalBite Review by Allan on 8/17/2002
In the year 2000, Nile’s sophomore effort “Black Seeds of Vengeance” woke up the slumbering death metal scene with their revitalizing insight into the music. It caught the attention of fans and critics alike, and they were instantly put upon a pedestal to be worshipped by some, and cast down up by very few others. Nile was put into a position in which they must construct a third album that would live up to the high expectations set by not only themselves, but the demand of the listeners. Even with line-up changes Nile managed to stay level headed about their situation and their efforts resulted in “In Their Darkened Shrines”. It just so happens that Nile’s third album surpassed those demands and turned out to be what is the best album of their career.

‘The Blessed Dead’ kicks off the album, followed by ‘Execration’ for what are two songs that the experienced Nile fan is no stranger too. The difference between these classic Nile songs and material that predates “In Their Darkened Shrines” is that Nile has improved. The performance by the band itself is nothing short of amazing, the atmosphere is more complete, the emotions are flooding the listeners ears quicker than ever, and the intentions of Nile are far more clear than ever before.

The great thing about Nile though, as shown best during “Black Seeds of Vengeance”, is that they were interested in traveling into lengthy song arrangements, and more importantly the slower, more atmospheric side of things. ‘Stones of Sorrow’ and ‘To Dream of Ur’ were two witnesses to this fact, and on “In Their Darkened Shrines” the band resurrects the style of those songs into different areas all over the album. Shortly into the album we’re introduced to ‘Sarcophagus’. It sweeps along like sand over the desert hills with its crushing rhythms and slithering tempo, clouding you in a depressive cloud of unmerciful guitars, subtle synths, and intense drumming. This experience is implored upon once again by the nearly twelve-minute death metal opus ‘Unas, Slayer of the Gods’. It’s truly a shining moment in Nile’s lifespan, and easily one of the best songs that they’ve ever conspired. Drifting out of your speakers at first with calming acoustic guitar, Nile indulge themselves in an epic musical landscape with drumming that’s all over the board and rhythms that drive down heavily. Leave it to Nile to bring in a segment wrought with tribal drumming like thunder from the sky and war horns cutting through the dense air like a knife, like a warning to a town that they’re under attack. Then, like a deer caught in a car’s headlights you’re unsuspectingly lost in a whirlwind of guitar solos that are just as monolithic as the rest of the song. Nile’s travels into the tombs of atmospheric death metal have earned them the rights to say they’ve accomplished yet another feat.

As a band Nile have drastically improved in their song writing. They don’t rely on chanting that goes on for minutes or samples that can be found on their previous outings to inflict their atmosphere, emotions, and mood. On “In Their Darkened Shrines”, the actual material itself is what creates that Egyptian feel. Both the rhythm and leads on the four-part title track instantly fill the mind with thoughts of enchanted hallways of golden brick that make up tombs full of ancient lore and mystique. The drumming and horns on the first part, ‘Hall of Saurian Entombment’, create a visionary make-up of townsfolk being enslaved to a point where they are driven to near collapse. Part II ‘Invocation to Seditious Heresy’ leads on with aggressive death metal that is without the synths or horns on overdrive, yet still manages to keep that unique feel flowing solely from the drumming and guitars. The last two parts (‘Destruction of the Temple of the Enemies of Ra’, ‘Ruins’) take wind the album down, particularly ‘Ruins’, which acts as a tribe celebrating their domination of an enemy deep into the night.

Bottom Line: “In Their Darkened Shrines” is without a doubt Nile’s finest hour yet. Any recognition Nile will undoubtedly receive as they have in the past has truly been earned here, not just drawn in because of novelty. Nile has succeeded in everyway that they could have and “In Their Darkened Shrines” is a testament to that.

Categorical Rating Breakdown

Musicianship: 9
Atmosphere: 9.5
Production: 9.5
Originality: 9
Overall: 9

Rating: 9.2 out of 10