Nile may very well be one of the most technically proficient bands in death metal. In addition, they have managed to grace the metal world with some masterpiece albums, most notably are “In Their Darkened Shrines” and “Black Seeds of Vengence.”
“Ithyphallic” is a solid death metal release and a good Nile album in general. However, it offers nothing new that the listener hasn’t already heard on any of Nile’s prior releases.
The positives. Once again, Nile manages to impress the listener with their talents as musicians. As mentioned early, each of the members approach a level of musicianship to which the label of “virtuoso” is appropriate. In addition, there are some pretty good songs on “Ithyphallic,” most notable being the opening track “What can be Safely Written.” Perhaps the best quality of the album is its production. One of the flaws of “Annilation of the Wicked” was the fact that the drums and (at times) vocals faded into the background as they were drowned out by the guitars. However, this is not the case on “Ithyphallic” as all of the instruments are fairly discernable.
The negatives. Well, “Ithyphallic” fails to offer anything new within Nile’s music, other than another addition onto an impressive discography. Basically, it sounds like so many of Nile’s prior releases. In and of itself, this is not a bad thing, but it gives the appearance that Nile may be becoming stagnant in their creativity and running out of ideas. As with most Nile releases, I feel that there are portions of the album which are slow and manage to drag out entirely too long, which make those portions of the album boring and uninteresting to listen too. Though fans of Nile are accustomed to this, and may enjoy the prolonged ambiant elements that add to the atmospheric nature of their albums, I find it to be tedious.
All in all, “Ithyphallic” is a pretty good album; however, it is not a masterpiece. I can recommend this album to fans of Nile, and I can definitely recommend it to fans of death metal who may be unfamiliar with Nile. Despite the fact that I do like “Ithyphallic”, I was not blown away by the release.