40. Nile - At The Gate Of Sethu
My first and last death metal album on the list, it's a testament to this band that they are still even present. The genre has gotten outlandishly derivative to me, and most of my old interests have dissolved. The few that remain have for reasons beyond my ability to explain coherently, but the closest I can get to reasoning is they are truly unique. In a genre so filled with repetition, Nile really stand out amongst their peers for the songwriting skills of Karl Sanders and crew. Being a sucker for anything Egyptian-leaning certainly plays in too, I'm sure. However even for all my apparent Nile love, this album was a bit of a disappointment at the end of the day. Without a doubt there are some killer track on the album, but as a whole this doesn't even come to being half as good as Those Whom The Gods Detest. This album lacks the tight songwriting its predecessor had, and the production doesn't sound as appealing to me. As a minor annoyance, that other singer doing whatever he does into the microphone is appalling as well. Thankfully it doesn't happen often, but when it does....I digress. All in all, definitely worth a listen for fans of the band. However I hope Karl ups his game on the next record. Until then, this will have to do.
P.S. - Though chances are it has nothing to do with the music, I am fascinated by my personal notation that whenever a band has incredible artwork, I am predisposed to believe the music will be just as incredible. 9 times out of 10 that tends to be the case too (after hearing the whole record of course). This is true for the opposite (bad artwork = bad album). By no means is this absolute, and there are plenty of outliers. But at least for me, this remains to be proven totally wrong. The reason I brought this up was this album has really stellar artwork, but ended up being an average album to me in the long run. As I just said, this doesn't happen too often.
"The Inevitable Degradation of Flesh" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djnhWU42_AY