#959: What South Carolina death metal band takes its name from a river in Africa?

Q #1,956: This death metal band is from South Carolina, and takes its name from a river in northeast Africa.

A.

Nile is the technical death metal brainchild of guitarist/vocalist Karl Sanders. Where some bands develop concept albums, or work with musical or lyrical themes for specific work, Nile embraces Ancient Egyptian and Eastern culture through their entire catalog. As Wayne Campbell would say, “Then it’s not just a clever name.”

Aside from their unique lyrical and musical take on the subject matter found in their albums, Nile employ multiple vocalists within the band. Both guitarists, Sanders and Dallas Toler-Wade handle lead vocals, as have many of the bassists who have been in the fold over the years. This lends itself to multiple vocal textures and a layered heaviness that one could argue serves to better enhance the material. Some very successful bands have exploited the ability of multiple vocalists, including KISS, the Beatles, and Dying Fetus.

Another integral piece to Nile’s pummeling technical elements is the drumming. It’s exceedingly difficult to take the extreme metal world by storm if the drumming isn’t up to par, and Nile have had more than a few members behind the kit who have helped to raise the bar up to new heights. Currently engaged in battle with the band’s maniacal guitar riffing and lead work is Greek drummer George Kollias. Kollias released an instructional DVD back in 2008, aptly entitled ‘Intense Metal Drumming.’ He is also the first drummer in Nile’s history to perform on all drum tracks on more than one album. Original drummer Pete Hammoura only made it onto one track on the band’s second full length album, the rest of which was completed on a session basis by the legendary Derek Roddy. Roddy had already worked with Divine Empire and Malevolent Creation at the time, and would join Hate Eternal shortly after his work with Nile.

Coming in hot on the lightning fast heels of Derek Roddy was another fairly well known monster by the name of Tony Laureano. Laureano has worked with a host of bands that include Dimmu Borgir, Malevolent Creation, God Dethroned, 1349, and has even sat behind the kit for All That Remains, and most recently Megadeth. When you have drummers like this to compliment your wildest guitar fantasies, it is no wonder that Nile are able to paint a sonic landscape worthy of the darkest pharaoh’s tomb.

Nile’s latest album, ‘What Should Not Be Unearthed’ was released nearly a year ago, on August 28th, 2015. Their lyric video for the opening track, ‘Call to Destruction‘ is accompanied by a legal disclaimer, stressing to the viewer that neither Nile nor its label Nuclear Blast condone or endorse any political or religious agenda within its imagery pulled from recent newsreel footage. Despite the inverted point of view from the lyricist, one would hope that any Nile fan worth their salt would never believe the band to revere the destruction of ancient historical artifacts.

P.S. “Nile was one of the first death metal bands to have a theme, it being Egypt. Most people know them now as the band that insane drummer George Kollias was in.” Jacob Frebe (@jfrebe)

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