If Morbid Angel, Death, Obituary and Deicide are the ‘Big Four’ of death metal, it’d be nice to think that Nile are like the Machine Heads of that sub-genre. Sounds weird but think about – strong influences from the ’80s movement but also very popular for bringing something different to the table, eg. more blast beats, Ancient Egyptian mysticism. With all the political upheaval in Egypt over the past few weeks, we thought it’d be a great time to go and catch some Middle Eastern-flavoured death metal.
Six things we learned from Nile’s London show:
- Most promoters would shit the bed if over half the bands in their package tour got stuck on the road. Not if you’re chaps at Aeon Promotions and the two bands that do make it are Melechesh and Nile – it still ended up being an extreme metal dream team.
- If you’re as awesome as Melechesh and haven’t played these shores in a good few years you know the crowd are going to be pretty pleased to see you. Especially if your guitarist (Moloch) comes out dressed as a ninja. What you might not expect is unashamed windmilling up to six rows back at half past eight on a Sunday evening. Nice work.
- If any other band were headlining we’d have been worried for them. Watching Melechesh was like having your face bludgeoned by an Aramaic machete whilst someone prodded your feet with burning incense candles. Really though, it did actually smell of incense in there.
- Remember the ’80s? Big hair, spandex and pointy guitars right? Well obviously the guitars were not pointy enough for Karl Sanders, who played his signature KXK WarriorV. You could have someone’s eye out with that mate #srsly
- George Kollias is one of the best drummers in metal. No doubt. Any band that has such a talented musician as their rhythmic backbone are guaranteed to pummel the shit out of the crowd every time. Add Karl Sanders and Dallas Toler-Wade weaving through intricate Phrygian melodies and intense down-tuned riffs and Nile are truly on form yet again.
- When you think “Death Metal”, you probably don’t think “Thin Lizzy”. So when Nile walked out for their encore, it was a tad baffling to hear the instantly recognisable chords to ‘Emerald’. Seeing a room full of die-hard metalheads staring in a state of perplexity at Karl Sanders playin’ the blues was quite spectacular.
Just to prove that we’re not completely London-centric all the time, we have watered down the Big Smokiness of this review by finishing off with Matt Thomas‘ fine, fine photos all the way from Liverpool. Come on down, Matthew!