Nile – What Should Not Be Unearthed

Rating: 3.5/5
Label: Nuclear Blast
Released: 2015
Buy album: Here!
Band website:

Nile finalLine-up:

Karl Sanders – guitars, vocals
Dallas Toler-Wade – guitars, vocals
George Kollias – drums


1. Call to Destruction
2. Negating The Abominable Coils Of Apep
3. Liber Stellae – Rubaeae
4. In The Name Of Amun
5. What Should Not Be Unearthed
6. Evil To Cast Out Evil
7. Age Of Famine
8. Ushabti Reanimator
9. Rape Of The Black Earth
10. To Walk Forth From Flames Unscathed



Ha, an album title like ‘What Should Not Be Unearthed’ just begs for lots of snide comments about how Nile shouldn’t have bothered, should have left it in the ground, that we should put it back there. Not that I think that’s what they were going for.  In fact I know it’s not because the biog tells me. It refers to the idea of digging up stuff that perhaps should have been left undisturbed and the implications of that. So maybe not so far away from the ha ha takes on it then.

Having pointed such jokes out though, I’ll say now that we won’t bother making such comments here. Instead we’ll say that Nile fans just go give it a listen because Nile are Nile and therefore you won’t be too bloody surprised by what it sounds like. Those who are less versed in Egyptian themed death metal, well there are seven other Nile albums before What Should Not Be Unearthed, so if you like what you hear you can gorge on ancient inspired, crazy technical metal for days to come. And, so accompanying quotes promise, Nile will be shocked if you’re not compelled to put your horns up.

‘Call To Destruction’ then. It’s like Nile just went “fuck it, let’s bring it all down on track one and go home.” From second one they throw absolutely everything at the listener, drums that almost blur into one, guitars and vocals going at max level. It’s a leveller of a song, that thankfully changes up the pace a little in its near six-minute runtime, so as not to leave you completely flattened out. Horns up then.

‘Ushabti Reanimator’ is a short Egyptian flavoured snippet. It’s ok but atmosphere is better built in the opening of ‘In The Name Of Amun’. It’s about half a step less intense in places, once the drums and guitars have taken a moment to wear themselves out, but it gets heeeaaavvyyy towards the end.

Look, there’s not much about What Should Not Be Unearthed to dislike. There’s not much to get excited about either. Sure, few are breaking new ground these days, and to be honest that’s not really what Nile are about. We’re not looking for them to go and do something crazy exactly (those tech skills are already heading that way anyway) but some of the basics seem to have dropped off.

Quite often songs descend into just being a load of riffs and blasting drums, as though structure is a loose or non-existent concept for them. And generally it’s George Kollias’ drums that take over everything, even on ‘Liber Stellae – Rubaeae’, which has some great technical guitar work. If there has to be a standout track it’s probably ‘To Walk Forth From Flames Unscathed’ because it doesn’t just bury everything under blasts as endless as grains of sand. It uses everything Nile has in its arsenal and it does it well. Others, like the title track and ‘Rape Of The Black Earth’, are by comparison still to be shaped into castles.

So, no Nile haven’t unearthed something that shouldn’t have been. Whether it’ll enjoy a long afterlife or be buried by time is another thing.

Review by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs