Nile - Worship the Animal - 1994: The Lost Recordings
Goombah Music
Thrash/Death Metal
5 songs (35:46)
Release year: 2011
Nile, Goombah Music
Reviewed by Goat

Prior to their fantabulous death/grinding storm of Egyptian brutality that was Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-Ka, Nile’s first demo was a very different sort of beast. It’s largely gone unheard until now, but this re-release will be a real curio for fans of the band due to how different the material on it is to the Ithyphallic death metal we know and love them for. Instead, opening stomper Le Chant du Cygre is more like Testament crossed with Pantera, big grooving thrash riffs and throaty bellowed vocals from Spires moving into an interestingly chaotic solo section. It’s within the boundaries of recognition, however. The slow, grinding introduction to the title track is recognisably epic in the Nile style, and there are plenty of those crushing riffs that move your neck of your own accord, and it’s notable that Spires’ vocals get more growl-like as the demo continues.

For a demo, this is pretty great, if far from the technical maelstrom that we expect from the band nowadays. It’s clearly skilful in instrumental and songwriting terms, and just as clearly headed for ever-heavier and more brutal territory, the proto-grind of Nepenthe about exactly what you’d expect demo-era Nile to sound like. Even at that stage, the band indulges in lengthy, prog-tinged instrumental passages that help give their music its exotic atmosphere, switching to crushing headbangery exactly when needed. The only track that doesn’t really work is the slow, dragging Surrounded By Fright, Spires returning to the gruff thrash bellow and some suspiciously Slayer-y riffs before the track improves rather with a burst of doomy riffing. Finale Mecca is like a uber-heavied Alice In Chains, on the other hand, Spires nearly singing atop the epic riffing before it all turns speedy in a storm of thrash, some odd percussion adding spice later – it shouldn’t all work together, but it does.

Listening to Amongst The Catacombs... after this, it’s interesting to hear how the band cut their lengthy song ideas down and focused on the more extreme elements of their sound. Any major metal band’s earliest ideas are always worth hearing, and in Nile’s case this will be of especial interest to fans, as well as any others with a liking for thrash with its own ideas and inspirations. Metal history could have been very different if Nile didn’t go so deathly...

Killing Songs :
Le Chant du Cygre, Worship The Animal, Nepenthe, Mecca
Goat quoted no quote
Other albums by Nile that we have reviewed:
Nile - Vile Nilotic Rites reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
Nile - What Should Not Be Unearthed reviewed by Kynes and quoted 78 / 100
Nile - At the Gate of Sethu reviewed by Tony and quoted 86 / 100
Nile - Those Whom The Gods Detest reviewed by Goat and quoted 89 / 100
Nile - Black Seeds Of Vengeance reviewed by Goat and quoted 89 / 100
To see all 10 reviews click here
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