NILE (1993–PRESENT). Karl Sanders (vocals/guitar), Dallas Toter-Wade (guitar), Chief Spires (bass, replaced by John Vesano, Chris Lollis), Pete Hammoura (drums, replaced by Tony Laureano, George Collias).
Nile are an unusual band by black metal standards, incorporating not only the mythology of the Norse gods or of Satanism but also the mythology of ancient Egypt. Like many other bands in the black metal genre, they also mention early twentieth-century horror writer H. P. Lovecraft and his creation the Necronomicon as a starting point. The first record, Among the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka, is as fresh an America black metal record as any in the nineties.
Nile soon established themselves as different by their hard but intricate approach to the genre, incorporating Middle Eastern influences and sometimes authentic Egyptian instruments on some of their songs. This eclectic mix gave Nile the sound of a metal update of the classics sixties experimental world music/rock groups Kaleidoscope.
Karl Sanders is the undisputed leader, who created the band’s elaborate mythology. After the departure of longtime members Spires and Hammoura in 2001, the band was reconfigured. Sanders may be a mad genius, but he’s among the most technically adept working in American black metal and also one of the most interesting in terms of world—view and mythology. All of the first four records are highly praised by critics and newcomers should start with the early material.
Discography: Among the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka (Relapse, 1998); Black Seeds of Vengeance (Relapse, 2000); In the Beginning (Relapse, 2000); In Their Darkened Shrines (Relapse, 2002); In the Beginning (Hearthammer, 2003); Annihilation of the Wicked (Relapse, 2005); Treasures From the Catacombs (Relapse, 2007); Ithphalliac (Nuclear Blast, 2007); Legacy of the Catacombs (WEA/Relapse, 2007); Those Whom the Gods Detest (Nuclear Blast, 2009).