It could be said that Nile has been on autopilot since 2002's In Their Darkened Shrines, but if you've picked apart each of their releases like I have, you'll notice subtle differences here and there. In my opinion, 2005's Annihilation of the Wicked is the definitive Nile album. It has impossibly complex drumming, monstrous riffs, and the tasteful Middle-Eastern flourishes that you can bank on hearing. I wasn't as keen on 2007's Ithyphallic. It was missing something, but these scholarly South Carolinians sound inspired on Those Whom the Gods Detest, an enriched follow-up bent on possessing its listeners.
The album opens with a fulminant depth charge called "Kafir." This track introduces the use of exotic chanting, an ingredient that mixes well with Nile's gerontogeous trappings. I think my grandfather was diagnosed with "gerontogeous trappings" once. Hmm. Actually, that sounds like a Nile songtitle. The second tune is called "Hititte Dung Incantation." Heh. It's a speedy tomb-crusher that could have wound up on Shrines. The slower, groovier tracks are the real crowd-pleasers. I'm speaking mainly of "Utterances of the Crawling Dead" and "Arra of Dagon."
There are no instant classics here like "Cast Down the Heretic," but that's because Gods is a grower. I didn't feel as though I could properly review it until I listened to at least 6-7 times. Be patient with the lead harmonies and the involved arrangements. They will eventually infect your intestines. Compared to its predecessor, this record has more color to it. Again, I can't pinpoint why exactly I was let down by Ithyphallic, but I know that this is the superior dish of colossal death metal.
Those Whom the Gods Detest isn't going to sway any non-believers, but if you've been digging what Nile has been doing in recent years, it's worth checking out. This album is proof that South Carolina has more to offer than peaches and fireworks.