Riff of the Moment: Nile – Eat of the Dead

Posted: November 8, 2013 in Riff of the moment
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This riff of the moment is brought to you by Nile, the most brutal and well researched death metal band on the planet. There are so many Nile riffs I could chuck into one of these posts, but there is one that, for me, stands above all that Karl Sanders has ever put through his custom 7 stringer.

‘Eat of the Dead’ is on Ithyphallic, one of Nile’s lesser appreciated records. Admittedly it was sandwiched between the jaw-dropping Annihilation of the Wicked (2005) and the career-defining sweeping epic that is Those Whom the Gods Detest, a review of which will be forthcoming. But it was another flawless slab of ancient, technical brutality, injected with vast swathes of ethnic instrumentation and meticulously researched tales of Egypt. Plus, with ‘Papyrus Containing the Spell to Preserve its Possessor Against Attacks from He Who is in the Water’, it probably has the Nile song with the best name. ‘What Can be Safely Written’ and ‘Even the Gods Must Die’ are essential Nile tracks. But it is ‘Eat of the Dead’ that has the key riff. It starts at 4:32, after a bruising middle section that enhances the speed of the song by 400%.

THAT riff, that’s what Metallica’s Creeping Death would have sounded like in reality. That is the sound of some Lovecraftian beast, inching its way across desert sands, devouring all in its darkness. It encompasses all which latter Nile has become; titanic, atonal, Eastern, heavier than Hell itself. The drums and unholy incantation help to make it better, but that ungodly riff carries the moment…

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