Released: 2007, Nuclear Blast
Reviewer: Kyle Schroer
I made a huge mistake. I never listened to Nile's last album, Annihilation of the Wicked. I didn't think they were still making good music after three albums. I loved the first two releases, but after In Their Darkened Shrines, I was getting a bit bored. The song lengths were becoming ridiculous and none of the riffs stayed in my brain. These critiques seem moot now, because ITHYPHALLIC is one hell of an album. All of the band's trademarks appear, but somehow with a reinvigorated sense of song-writing that holds my attention. The majority of the tracks stay below the five minute mark, probably one of the major reasons I enjoy this album so much. Karl, Dallas, and George change things up when necessary, perhaps understanding that dynamics are more important than self-indulgence.
Opening tack "As He Creates, So He Destroys" starts the album at full-speed and barely lets up during its four-minutes. At the 2:50 mark, the bands starts an awesome chorus that is slightly slower but memorable and heavy as hell. "What May Safely Be Written" is the second-longest track on the album, and the first to incorporate the Egyptian horns and instruments heard throughout the album. It incorporates a variety of speeds and riffs (check out that one around three minutes in!) that should please people that enjoy the various facets of the band. The band uses a great odd-time riff at the beginning of "Papyrus Containing the Spell to Preserver Its Possessor Against Attacks from He Who is in the Water". Yeah, that's the real title, showing that the band has not lost its (sometimes ridiculous) flair for mythology. The chorus for this track is another heavy hitter as well.
If you were like me and thought this band wasn't putting out anything worth listening to, make sure you check out ITHYPHALLIC, it's sure to be one of the best death metal releases this year and an excellent statement from a band that I thought peaked years ago.