Label: Relapse Records
Imagine. You’re sixteen years old, buying Kerrang! because it includes features on bands like Ash and Placebo; but you’re also dipping your toes in to nu-metal, and exploring things heavier than what the radio offers. Thanks to the wonders of Napster, nothing feels off-limits. So, when said magazine is raving about the new album by a band called Nile, that it says is one of the best things released these year – well, of course you check it out. And it’s nothing like you have ever heard before, and blows your mind. Black Seeds of Vengeance was my first introduction to death metal, and an album that still sounds superb.
The first half of the album, in particular, is one of my favourite blasts of death metal to this day. From the short introduction; to the crushing title track; the epic grandeur of ‘Defiling the Gates of Ishtar’; the haunting ‘The Black Flame’; the absurdity of calling a song ‘Masturbating the War God’ – it was overwhelming at 16, and still verges upon being so all these years later. I don’t think any of my friends understood what I was in such music, but Black Seeds of Vengeance was a pivotal album for Nile, and a hugely important one for me.