Nile - Black Seeds of Vengeance Relapse - 2000 By Rodrigo Black Seeds of Vengeance is Niles second full-length album and everything that was great from the last album, Amongst the Catacombs of the Nephren-Ka, is improved! The Eastern musical influences are now totally woven into the music, providing a fresh approach to death metal. The band even uses Middle Eastern instruments in parts of the album. But what makes this album better than the last is that it has more atmosphere. Many of the songs, while remaining brutal and crushing, contain chants, choirs, and gongs that make the album stronger. The lyrics once again deal with Egyptian themes and there are some songs that are sung entirely in "original Egyptian phonetic phrasings". The back of the booklet has extensive liner notes explaining each of the songs and that just makes the whole experience of this album even better. The band is composed of Chief Spires (bass, vocals), Karl Sanders (guitars, vocals), Dallas Toler-Wade (guitars, vocals) and Pete Hammoura (drums, percussion). The album starts with a short instrumental song, "Invocation of the Gate of Aat-Ankh-es-en-Amentiand", and then it kicks off into the title track of the album, "Black Seeds of Vengeance". This song is absolutely crushing. It has driving and powerful double bass drumming. The guitars are fast, heavy and crunchy and just unrelenting. A cool part of the song is when the band chants the title of the song and in the background there are choir chants. Excellent drumming and guitar riffing complement this section of the song. Another song in the same vein is "Masturbating the War God". This song puts Nile at its best. Once again the drumming is superb and the guitars are razor sharp with fast solos and leads. At about the: 58 mark of the song, the drums go into a real cool beat for about 10 seconds that is just awesome! "To Dream of Ur" is a very moody epic song. It is slow paced but it picks up the speed and tempo at times during the song. Scott Wilson provides the lead vocals for this song and his sings in a slow growl that really adds to the overall mood of the song. This song shows the maturity in the writing process for Nile. Another slower mid-tempo song is "The Black Flame". The intro is slow and the lyrics during the intro are recited in a grunting fashion. It then picks up to the regular Nile crushing speed and slows down at the end to the pace of the beginning. The songs "Nas Akhu Khan She En Asbiu" and "Khetti Satha Shemsu" are completely sung in Egyptian, which is very fascinating. Other standout songs include "Defiling the Gates of Ishtar" and "The Nameless City Of The Accursed" which is inspired by an HP Lovecraft story. With this album Nile has positioned themselves as one of the leaders in the death metal scene. The ability to interweave death metal music with Eastern-style music and themes makes it an excellent achievement. For those of you who want something completely fresh in the death metal scene you have to check out Nile!