Not Unearthed – Karl Sanders of Nile

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“It’s a weird sensation that I’m not completely stressed and fed up and ready to kill people!” declares a chirpy and distinctly non-murderous Karl Sanders as he prepares for the unleashing of the eighth Nile opus magnificus, What Should Not Be Unearthed (Nuclear Blast).

The album recording process affects different musicians in all manner of ways, from the studio genius whose improvisation and spur of the moment innovation leads to artistic magic, to those who feel swallowed by the pressure of self-doubts, of knowing they are committing something to a permanent statement; recording is a process that can reduce even the most hardened of souls to intense frustration, self-doubt and, perhaps, genocidal responses.

“I feel much less insane this time around” continues Sanders. “Our producer Neil (Kernon) is a Londoner, but he’s a Nazi at heart! He has this belief that if you press people you can push them to discover new found creative levels of energy, but this time around it was really chilled. He wasn’t down here with us in South Carolina, he stayed in Chicago and we were uploading files to him and it was a very relaxed process. There were no levels of insanity.”

To what level of “prepared” does one of the premier technical Death Metal bands out there get to prior to hitting record?

“Generally we try to work everything out in pre-production, and then work on it in rehearsal. But it always happens that, as we’re actually recording it, the song continues to evolve, because when you hear it back in its more finished form you can get a different perspective on it. 

“It’s certainly a lower stress level (recording digitally) because you can go back as many times as you need until you like it. Back in the old days you had to fucking play it.

“Conversely, I recently, last couple of years, have really become fond of music made before the computer age, like Al Green or Earth Wind and Fire; amazing bands that had to lay it down right there, together. You had to get your shit together then. It was an entirely higher level of preparation and consistency that you had to deliver.” 

With the very precise, technical playing, with lots of picking, a flurry of finger movements within every set of bars, there has to be less freedom in what you’re all playing; it has to have that military precision to sound right. “You’re absolutely right, my friend. There does seem to be less freedom, which is sometimes frustrating, because you want to be able to hear the musical idea so you have to stay very much on course with very little freedom to improvise. I know that it drives death metal drummers crazy as they often have to be very careful about what they do and what they don’t do. It’s maddening.”

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Sanders is an engaging, erudite and a touch eccentric an individual, relaxing with a morning coffee and sitting on a severely beastly album. Despite being vaunted and hailed from their visceral debut Amongst The Catacombs of Nephren-Ka (Relapse) – which we’ll get to in part 2 of this feature –Sanders clearly cares deeply about his band maintaining and exceeding standards, and this from a band that has several genuine classics in their canon, and come into What Should Not Be Unearthed off the back of a very strong album. Most bands have a drop off after album three or four, At The Gates of Sethu came fifteen years deep…

“We’re very motivated and we’re relentless on ourselves. I gotta say, people’s perception of our level depends on who you’re asking. I would agree, the last record was super surgical, (there was) a level of clean-ness about that record here-to-for unprecedented, though Neil would call that a double redundancy, there were some people that really didn’t like that record, but that doesn’t detract from the fact we put a lot of fucking work into that fucking thing. And that’s really where our focus stays, on what we’re working on now, the rest is too much to worry about.”

Sanders has a chuckle before continuing. “You can drive yourself insane trying to worry about the permutations and consequences. Man, you just got to make music and shut up, as Frank Zappa says.” 

When Nile started, print reviews, fan letters and sales were about the only way to gauge how you were doing and what people thought of your band. Nowadays it takes seconds to Google yourself. It must be very hard not to get caught up and to get that balance right of what people want and expect, but to stay true to yourself and keep doing your thing too, and to stop what fans (or otherwise) are saying about your craft from seeping in…

“I’d say it seeps in a lot,” comes the knowing laugh. “Some of the more drastic fluctuations in my mindset and mental health over the last 2 decades are directly because of that.” Yet, as a celebrated band leader of a band with thousands of fans and supporters, why is it the negative that impacts? “It’s so easy to see the feedback and there’s a natural artistic thing where you do care what your fans have to say, you do care how they feel about what you do, it’s so natural and human.

“But it’s a multiple edged sword because there’s a madness at the end of that path, and I’ve been down it a few times and I can say it is dangerous to your wellbeing to give too much of a fuck about what other people are saying.” 

 

What Should Not Be Unearthed is out on August 28 via Nuclear Blast. To order, click here.

 

STEVE TOVEY

Video: Nile – Call To Destruction Lyric Video, Pre-Orders Live Today

Nile band 2015 photo credit Nuclear Blast Records

Nile band 2015 photo credit Nuclear Blast Records

Death metal legends Nile has released a lyric video for the lead track from their upcoming new album What Should Not Be Unearthed (Nuclear Blast). You can watch the lyric video at this link or see it below:


What Should Not Be Unearthed track listing:
1. Call To Destruction
2. Negating The Abominable Coils Of Apep
3. Liber Stellae Rubeae
4. In The Name Of Amun
5. What Should Not Be Unearthed
6. Evil To Cast Out Evil
7. Age Of Famine
8. Ushabti Reanimator
9. Rape Of The Black Earth
10. To Walk Forth From Flames Unscathed

 

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Karl Sanders comments on the new album:

The goal for the new record was sheer epic brutality. The focus this time around is on brutal Heavy Metal riffing and songwriting;kind of like of an Annihilation Of The Wicked approach but very streamlined to achieve maximum destructive impact. So we believe that we have a truly crushing disc to bring to metal fans. Although Unearthed is still full of the kind of undeniable musicianship people have come to expect from us over the years, it’s the songs themselves that will hit listeners over the head this time around.”

 

What Should Be Not Unearthed releases August 28th. ‘Call To Destruction’ can be ordered as a single here. Following the release of the album the band will embark on a short headline tour of Europe with Suffocation.

Nile UK tour dates, with Suffocation:

Aug 29: Massivefest – Warszawa, PL

Aug 30: Klub Alibi – Wroclaw, PL

Aug 31: K17 – Berlin, DE

Sept 01: Tivoli – Bremen, DE

Sept 02: Garage – Saarbrucken, DE

Sept 03: Backstage – Munich, DE

Sept 04: Meh Stuff Metal Festival – Hüttikon, CH

Sept 05: Base de loisirs de Vaires-Torcy – Torcy, FR

Sept 06: The Hub – Plymouth. UK
Sept 07: Sound Control – Manchester, UK
Sept 08: The Dome – London, UK
Sept 09: The Marble Factory – Bristol, UK

https://www.ents24.com/uk/tour-dates/nile-us

 

Albert Mudrian – Choosing Death: The Improbable History of Death Metal & Grindcore (Reissue)

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Released twelve years ago, Albert Mudrian’s anthology of Death Metal has stood the test of time; an engaging read taking you on a loose zig-zag through the birth and, um, death of Death Metal. Unveiled through the eyes of its’ progenitors, there is method to the tale that begins in England, moves to Tampa, takes in Entombed and Scandinavia and reserves a special mention for the oft overlooked Dutch input of Gorefest and Pestilence.

Undertaking a task as complicated as trying to find the true source of the Nile (Karl Sanders – badoom tish!), Mudrian begins his tale by trying to uncover the birth of what became known as Death Metal, settling on Napalm Death and their 1985 era hybrid (Siege meets Discharge meets Celtic Frost) of hardcore punk, thrash and a desire to be harder, faster, sicker than everyone else. The book then focuses on the influence of their Scum release (Earache) on other vital artists, like Morbid Angel (via Pete Sandoval, then in Terrorizer) and the incestuous, small nature of the scene where, due to tape trading and pen palling, most of Death Metal’s predominant protagonists all knew and inspired each other.

As the tales unfurl, you find yourself swept up and wanting to revisiting all the classic albums that are mentioned – Possessed ‘s Seven Churches (Combat), Pestilence Consvming Impvlse (Roadrunner), Massacre From Beyond (the story of Massacre’s signing to Earache being another fun aside revealed in the book) and Master Master (Displeased) forming part of my own soundtrack while reading.

The re-issue picks things up as the roots of recovery were just sprouting through the top soil at the tail end of the 90’s, highlighting the rise of a new DM general in Nile. After touching on the diversification of Death Metal of this millennium, including the mind-sucking brilliance of Portal and their focus on eldritch, dark atmospheres, Mudrian covers the popularity of technical Death Metal (a section that introduced me to Necrophagist and Obscura as you can’t help but be enthused to check all the recommends as you go) over the last decade. The tome now concludes by covering the return to the scene of the apex predators with Carcass, At The Gates, Death (DTA) and others reforming to reap the benefits of their respective legacies and the rewards of the now lucrative and high profile festival market, and to satisfy an urge that, in the case of Bill Steer, they didn’t even know they had. If you read the original, the added content is an agreeable appendix.

Peppered with short anecdotes, but above all an informative and enjoyable potted history of Death Metal, all imparted with the enthusiastic love that a doting parent has for a child, Choosing Death is an affectionate, if whistlestop, walk through of the story of Death Metal to date. In the authors’ own words, he is “Just  a fan. Just like you.” He just happens to be a damn good writer who has written The Improbable History of Death Metal & Grindcore. And updated it.

Buy the book here:

 

8.5/10 

STEVE TOVEY

Nile Releasing What Should Not Be Unearthed In Late Summer Via Nuclear Blast

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Nile is currently in the studio completing mixing of their upcoming album What Should Not Be Unearthed. The record was produced by the band and mixed by Neil Kernon, and will be released late summer via Nuclear Blast Records.

Mastermind Karl Sanders states:

“All of us in Nile are happy to announce our newest album What Should Not Be Unearthed. It’s our 8th official album, and this time we believe we have a truly crushing disc to bring to metal fans. The focus this time around is on brutally heavy metal riffing and songwriting; kind of like of an Annihilation Of The Wicked approach but very streamlined to achieve maximum destructive impact. Our last record, At The Gates Of Sethu, was super surgically clean and very “musicianship oriented” whereas the new disc is a polar opposite; Unearthed is aimed straight at utter metal heaviness and memorable songwriting. Although Unearthed is still full of the kind of undeniable musicianship people have come to expect from Nile over the years, it’s the songs themselves that will hit listeners over the head this time around. These songs will be a blast to play live, and we are stoked at the opportunity to bring these songs to metal fans everywhere. See you on tour!”

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Nervecell Streaming “Amok Doctrine”

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Nervecell is streaming “Amok Doctrine,” off their newly released album Psychogenocide, out now via Unique Leader Records here.

Produced and engineered by guitarist Rami H. Mustafa at Spellbind Studio in Dubai, UAE with drums engineered by Joe Haley at Red Planet Studios in Hobart, Australia, then mixed and mastered by Wojtek and Slawek Wieslawscy at Hertz Studios (Behemoth, Vader, Decapitated) in Bialystok, Poland, Psychogenocide boasts Psycroptic’s David Haley on session drums as well a guest vocal appearance from Nile’s Karl Sanders on “Shunq (To The Despaired…King Of Darkness).”

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Nervecell Reissue Psychogenocide via Unique Leader

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Dubai death/thrashers Nervecell will reissue Psychogenocide via Unique Leader in early 2015. The album was produced and engineered by Rami H. Mustafa at Spellbind Studio in Dubai, with drums engineered by Joe Haley at Red Planet Studios in Australia, and mixed and mastered by Wojtek and Slawek Wieslawscy at Hertz Studios (Behemoth, Vader, Decapitated) I Bialystok, Poland.

Watch the video for “Shunq (To The Despaired…King Of Darkness)”, featuring Karl Sanders of Nile on guest vocals here..

The band have released new tour dates below.

NERVECELL Psychogenocide European Tour 2014 Part II:
Nov 15: Crash Of Demolition Festival – Dresden, DE
Nov 21: Met-Bar – Lenzburg, CH
Nov 22: Metal Infection XV – Karlsruhe, DE
Nov 24 :Backstage – Munich, DE
Nov 29: Jam Night Festival – Marchtrenk, AT

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