Text and Interview by Chris Hu FB Instagram
Photos courtesy of Gosia Budig (Thanks a lot)
Nile are finally back in Europe for a headliner tour together with the mighty Krisiun. An evening for Death Metal connoisseurs filled with razor sharp riffs, lighting fast blastbeats and tales of ancient egypt awaits.
The concert was located a bit outside of Berlin in a building consisting out of rehearsal rooms for 200 bands. A really cool and unique place which set the perfect stage for the approaching Death Metal thunderstorm.
The evening started for me with a little surprise: The melodic death metal outfit In Element from Argentina entered the stage all dressed up and masked like they wanted to party at the KitKatClub afterwards. Their energetic performance was fun to watch and there very modern musical style included electronic elements and even auto-tuned singing parts. Not easy to listen to for a diehard Death Metal fan but a nice proof that Metal is such a creative genre. My highlight from the set was definitely the cover version of Phil Collins "In the air tonight". All in all a fun way to start the evening and the very good sound raised my anticipation.
And I was not disappointed when brazilian Death Metal veterans Krisiun hit the stage. A band which needs no introduction, after 32 years of history and 12 albums on the discography. Welcomed with loud chants of “Krisiun, Krisiun, Krisiun” they opened their set with Kings of killing from their second full-length Apocalyptic Revelation and really lived up to the name. What a furious and brutal performance! “Are you ready for fucking death metal?” bass player and singer Alex Camargo asked. Hell yes we were. With crystal clear sound the fired a whole arsenal of deadly metal weapons into the excited crowd. Hits like Blood of Lions, Combustion inferno or Scourge of the enthroned fueled the mosh and circle pits. One could fully feel the deadly precision and the unholy energy of Death Metal in its pure form. The super fast guitar soli of Moyses Kolesne, the machine gun like drumming of his brother Max and last but not least the mighty guttural vocal performance of Alex showed that Krisiun has nothing unlearned and gives full honors to there technical demanding songs. The crowed honoured it with unending Krisun chants between the songs and the very likable announcements of Alex, thanking the fans for there continuing support. “Without you guys showing up there is no show” very true words especially in this uncertain times of inflation and geopolitical crisis. And it was good to see that the scene in Berlin is very supportive, the space was packed good. So after this amazing performance my appetite for the legendary Nile grew even higher.
After some ambient oriental songs the lights finally dimmed setting the stage up for the headlining band Nile. With Scott Eames as a stand-in for Brian Kingsland who just takes family time for his newborn sun and the new base player Julian Guillen a fresh line up is formed. And they clearly show that they take no prisoners from the beginning, opening their setlist with the mighty Sacrifice unto Sebek from Annihilation of the Wicked. A true blast which directly opens the mosh pit and starts serious headbanging action across the whole crowd. Unfortunately there were some problems with the drum sound which luckily got fixed at around half the set. But in the face of the energetic performance and the hit filled setlist it was easy to get over the small technical issues. The second song Defiling the Gates of Ishtar from Black Seeds of Vengeance hit even harder and took my completely to the mystical realm of ancient Egypt. The performance of the new Lineup was just insanely good, bandchief Karl Sanders and guitar veteran Scott nailing the shredding soli and with George Kollias they have the probably best Death Metal drummer in the world. His performance was out of this world, playing the most complex and fast rhythm patterns. With half closed eyes he seemed like a painter who is in trance creating his most beautiful pictures. And the newest member Julian did a superb job on the base, posing and growling like he never did something else. Amazing because this was only his second show with Nile. I also was very impressed by Scotts versatile and stunning vocal performance: He pulls of the deepest growels and highest screams with such ease while nailing the guitar perfomance at the same time. I have to say that I really like this fresh appearance of the band, Karl really knows how to deliver. And the setlist delivers aswell: With oldtime classics like The Howling of the Jin, Lashed to the slavestick but also newer material like Call to destruction and Long Shadows of Dread from the latest album every Nile fan finds something to enjoy. “I was asked today by somebody if we would play something from in their darkend shrines and I said hell yes!” Karls announces Sarcophagus and refers to our interview which I really liked. And the atmospheric and epic song makes my mind wander again. Nile really creates a dense atmosphere tonight which creates a nice contrast to the fierceness and brutality of the lightning fast song parts. Of course they close the set with the almighty Black seeds of Vengeance, the last chance to bang the heads out and we used it. The Egyptian gods were pleased an looked benevolent at Berlin this night. So if you have the chance go and catch Nile and Krisiun on this tour, they will play in Europe until December and it is really worth the visit.
Keep supporting Death Metal!
Full Setlist of Nile:
Sacrifice Unto Sebek
Defiling the Gates of Ishtar
Call to Destruction
Long Shadows of Dread
In the Name of Amun
Lashed to the Slave Stick
The Howling of the Jinn
Vile Nilotic Rites
4 th Arra of Dagon (second half)
Black Seeds of Vengeance
And I also had the great honor to talk with Karl Sanders before the show enjoy the read:
It is the second show of the tour, how is it to be back on the road after all this pandemic years?
Well it feels like business as usual it is good to be working.
Good to hear! And how was the festival season, was there a different energy in the crowd compared to the times before the pandemic?
You know it feels the same to me. I try not to think about the pandemic. It kind of fucked all of us. Look at the price of what it takes to live now, it’s insane. So I try not to think about this shit. To me it feels like going to visit family. You still love them they are still the same people if you don’t see them for two years or three years. When you see them again it feels right. That is what it feels like connecting with the audience again. Metal communities they are family, it is a brotherhood, a sisterhood.
Can you tell us something about your solo project what does this style of music mean to you?
It is very easy to tell if it is a Nile song or from the sideproject. Nile is brutal death metal and the side project is for relaxing, these are two total different things to me, I never get these two confused.
Will there be a chance to see you on a solo tour?
Probably not for a couple of reasons. It would be insanely expensive to try to reproduce that record. You would have to match the musicians playing all kinds of crazy ass instruments. If I had a Hans Zimmer budget ok, we are on, we can do it! But I don’t think that Karl Sanders will get a Hans Zimmer budget. Its just not gonna happen.
What are the influences in the solo project?
There are lots of other influences. With Nile it is definitely egyptian. You know ancient myths. But with the solo project its not that it is a totally different concept about a power taking over after mankinds demise so that is a whole different thing. That could be anything special so I feel a bit like Tolkien when he was creating his universe. I mixed up influences from everywhere doesn’t matter where.
Lets come back to Nile and the egyptian influence. What fascinates you about ancient Egypt and will there be a point when all stories are told or is it a source of endless inspiration?
They are still digging stuff up in Egypt. Every other month you see this discovery and that discovery. Are all the stories told? No! We are maybe not even close. There is thousands of years of egyptian history to draw from. We just scratched the surface a little bit. You know it is a culture that did exist for quite a long time and we are still talking about it. People are still studying it. It kind of speaks to me how civilizations develop: they rise they fall they die out. People keep going even if we don’t even understand where we actually came from or what came before us. We still keep going. We lost complete touch with anything past 4000 or 5000 years. We don’t actually know. And the study of humankind shows that they have been humans for hundreds of thousand of years and sometimes they dig up stuff that is millions of years old. We have been around for quite a while. I think probably there is a whole bunch of times that mankind has risen up and fucked up and nobody knows anything anymore. So we keep doing the same shit over and over again. I don’t think we gonna last another thousand years. Impossibly. I think that is why we even have Death Metal at all. Death Metal as a music shouldn’t really exist.
Because it is a music which is an antithesis of music. I mean it is music. The metal that we play particularly Nile it is musical. But it is also anti-music, it breaks the rules, smashing stuff. The themes of violence and destruction, why do we even have this music? If it is not a sign of the end times. It does make sense but it would be better if it didn’t.
But otherwise it is also great to have this kind of music.
I totally agree with that.
Ok lets talk more about Niles music. This year marks 3 album anniversaries, especially 20 years of In their darkended Shrines. Does it have a special meaning to you in the retrospektive?
It is kind of special. It was the cumulation of that early period of Nile. The original ideas were taken as far as you could take that conception of what Nile should be. After we have done it we were kind of like it is time to do something else. That is why Annihilation of the wicked was different.
Yeah I think it is much more direct. And when I think about Whisper in the ear of the dead it is completely different.
Yes it is inverse, it is from underneath somehow. It is not direct at all. I listened to it today it came on Spotify and I was like ok lets give it a listen. And I was thinking this is like music of the dead.
Will we hear some material of In their darkened shrines tonight?
I think Sacophargus is always on the list. We will play Unas on this tour but I think we wont get enough time tonight. But we rehearsed the shit out of it.
There is a new record in the making. Can you tell us something about the progress and what we can expect from the record?
Well we 11 songs on the board so far. I have a board at home were we keep track of our progress and there are 11 songs on it right now. So we are pretty happy. We’re gonna try to start recording drums right after this tour. We got thrown off our time schedule because we had to replace the base player. And then the guy we got he just washed out. So we got another guy. We trained him and then he washed out. We got a third guy and he is here tonight. So we spent a lot of time training base players. I’m tired of it. There was another couple of songs I wanted to write but this base player training consumed months of my life. So I’m to get this over and get back to work on the record. This one will be a very metal record. Particularly in like the drumming. George is on fire right now. He has been playing and playing like a madman and after playing guitar we got new blood in the band. It is very exciting and I think we got a smoking fucking hot record. We have to go and do it. We got the songs it is just time to record it.
So lets come back a little bit to touring. Are there any cities you are really looking forward to see?
Well you know now you mention it. Iam looking forward to seeing some of this cities except the font is so small I cant fucking read it. (He shows me the tour pass) I cant tell you were we play I have to ask someone where are we tomorrow cause I cant read that. Can you read it, where are we tomorrow.
In Bochum, then a place in Belgium and after that London.
Wow so we got a couple of days to get our act together for London.
Is there something special about London?
I think that in the grand scheme of things there is a handful of shows that make or brake you on planet earth. London, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Los Angeles. In Berlin there is no capacity to fail. If you play great it is a great show. But nobody is gonna crucify you in the press. If you arent great people will go like hey what the fuck is wrong with you, we expect a good show. We see only the best shit here in Berlin, come on! Every night in the week in Berlin there are good shows so you gotta be good. But it is not like a center of journalistic scrutiny like London or New York. So if you play a bad show in London the whole world fucking knows about it because this is just the way it works. You could be great in Berlin and it will matter to Berliners.
Maybe some last questions: How do you spend your free time on tour?
I practice all day. I got my practice amp, my table, my water, Fanta maybe there you go. That is my tour. You know I’m here to do a job. If I take that job and accept the responsibility of it I should do justice to it. I feel like the audience deserves it. I thought about it many times. If you live in lets say Osnabrück. We don’t play Osnabrück on every tour. It is usually a great show but we don’t play Osnabrück every year. It will be maybe 4 years or 5 years before we are back in Osnabrück again. And I cant even tell if we play it on this tour because I cant read the fucking dates but my point beeing that might be the only chance for a fan in Osnabrück to see you for the next five fucking years unless they will get in their car and drive for hours to another city. So it might be for me just another day on the job but to the people who pay for the ticktets and come to the show it matters. Whatever you do fucking matters. I take that shit seriously.
Alright, so I am done with my questions. Do you might want to add something for the fans?
We are very happy to be here, very grateful that the fans have given this band a long life. And we’re gonna kick ass for the fans.
These are nice closing words, thank you very much!
Thanks a lot to Napalm Records