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Nile is a Technical Death Metal band from South Carolina, USA, founded in 1993. They have a Egyptian theme (hence the name), and many of their lyrics deal with Ancient Egyptian history and mythology. They also use themes of Lovecraftian horror.


  • Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka (1998)
  • Black Seeds of Vengeance (2000)
  • In Their Darkened Shrines (2002)
  • Annihilation of the Wicked (2005)
  • Ithyphallic (2007)
  • Those Whom the Gods Detest (2009)
  • At the Gate of Sethu (2012)


  • Audience Participation Song: A lot of their songs, most prominently "Black Seeds of Vengeance," and "4th Arra of Dagon," where, during the outro chants of the songs, the band will often step away from the microphones and chant along with the crowd.
  • Beneath the Earth: "Von Unaussprechlichen Kulten" features lyrics about this.
  • Came Back Wrong: "The Essential Salts" describes how to turn a dead body into the eponymous salts and bring the dead person back to life. Unfortunately the salts sometimes get contaminated, resulting in "something that is part man and part whatever gnawed his corpse".
  • Epic Rocking : Songs like Unas Slayer of the Gods, Annihilation of the Wicked, and Even the Gods Must Die, which is quite unheard of in death metal.
    • Ahem. The four-track, 18 minute title suite from In Their Darkened Shrines.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell : This is how some parts of the afterlife where seen by the Egyptians, the song "The Burning Pits of the Duat" being a nice expression of it.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The song Kafir has a rather amusingly blasphemous play on the Muslim prayer:

 "There is no god but God! There is no god but God!"

"THERE IS NO GOD but the one true God! THERE IS NO GOD but the hidden God!"

    • And in case the above lines weren't clear enough, next up is


  • Gorn: Like many death metal bands, their lyrics sometimes feature very graphic descriptions of death, mutilation and the torture-filled afterlife.
    • Which makes it extra creepier because they actually did that back then.
    • The song Masturbating The War God takes the two words that form this trope and mix them to their logical conclusion, featuring captive women of conquest being impaled upon the "massive stone member" of the aforementioned God statue, along with some other details that won't be repeated here.
    • The song "Ithyphallic" also has highly gorn lyrics, specifically "anoint my phallus with the blood of the fallen"
      • Ithyphallic even means to have the penis erect.
    • The song "Cast Down The Heretic" feature some pretty nasty lyrics as well, involving smashing of vertebrae, vomit, dismemberment, and the immolation of internal organs.
    • The song "SSS Haa Set Yoth" mentions "violent sexual atrocities of which none dare speak" being perpetrated by nightmarish reptilian Precursors.
  • I'm a Humanitarian : The narrator of "The Black Hand of Set"
    • Eat Of The Dead
    • "Unas Slayer of the Gods" is an almost word-for-word transcription of the "cannibalism texts" of Pharaoh Unas' tomb, wherein the graphic depiction of him murdering and consuming the entrails of the gods is found.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The band's original demo tape, which was more Thrash Metal-oriented, has been out of print for over a decade and Karl says there are no plans to re-release it. You can still probably find it on a file-sharing site somewhere, though.
    • And then it was rereleased in 2011.
  • Long Title: Let's see...
    • Black Seeds of Vengeance has "Libation Unto the Shades Who Lurk in the Shadows of the Temple of Anhur".
    • In Annihilation of the Wicked, there's "Dusk Falls Upon the Temple of the Serpent on the Mount of Sunrise".
    • Ithyphallic brings us "Papyrus Containing the Spell to Preserve Its Possessor Against Attacks From He Who Is in the Water".
    • And in Those Whom the Gods Detest, there's "Permitting the Noble Dead to Descend to the Underworld", followed by "Yezd Desert Ghul Ritual in the Abandoned Towers of Silence".
      • The worst offender, so far, is the track 6 of AotW. Are you ready? Here goes: "Chapter of Obeisance Before Giving Breath to the Inert One in the Presence of the Crescent Shaped Horns".
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: While most of their songs hover around 10, some of their more overtly Middle Eastern songs can get quite low on the scale.
  • No Export for You: The song "SSS Haa Set Yoth" currently can be found on the Japanese version of Annihilation of the Wicked and nowhere else.
  • Ominous Egyptian Chanting: "Khetti... Satha... Shemsu..."
  • One of Us: In the liner notes for Those Whom the Gods Detest, Karl mentions the Nazi Zombie levels from Call of Duty. Apparently the zombies behave similarly to the title creatures in "Utterances of the Crawling Dead".
    • Also, on his second solo album, there is a song called A Most Effective Exorcism against Azagthoth and his Emissaries, which features a drum sample from the Gerudo Desert theme song from The Legend of Zelda:Twilight Princess.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent : And how!
    • The best example of this trope is Annihilation of the Wicked:

 His Servants,

Hideous Reptiles of Terrifying Aspect.

Whose Work is Nothing Less than the Annihilation of the Wicked.

On Their Blocks,

They Cut into Pieces the Flesh of the Dead,

Singing Hymns of Torture and Mutilation to Their Master.

Accompanied by the Wailings and Anguish of the Damned.

  • Sadly Mythtaken: Notably averted, Karl Sanders actually has a deep knowledge in Egyptian and Mesopotamian mythology, actually going so far as to tell the meaning behind the songs in the booklets.
  • Shout-Out : The H.P. Lovecraft circle receives homage from this band in many of their songs, Karl Sanders himself shows his interest by talking about the references of the Myths in Nile's albums.
  • Shown Their Work : Karl Sanders' knowledge of mythology and history is so extensive that he has had to clarify on numerous occasions that he is not an actual Egyptologist, and that if people wish to find out more about the subject matters of the songs he writes, while he is happy to answer in some cases, one would be best served by a few trips to a well stocked library.
  • Time Abyss : Some of the creatures refered in the songs (eg: SSS Haa Set Yoth) seems to have been alive (or whatever equivalent it is in their nature) since even before man appeared on Earth:

 Lurking Among Us Hidden in Obscurity, Descended from the Dawn of the Ages...

  • Unperson: The song "Black Seeds of Vengeance" features the lyrics:

 "We shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under the sky!"

    • "Cast Down The Heretic" is this as well, basically depicting the Amen-Ra priesthood executing Akhenaten in the gorniest way possible and then obliterating all evidence of his rule and religion.
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