8. Nile -Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka (1998)
Death metal was drowning in sh*t creek when Relapse Records released Nile‘s astonishing debut in 1998, and a struggling scene instantly found itself revitalised and reinvigorated.
Here was a band that took the core of death metal, the blast-beats, the growls, the requisite speed and ferocity and not only reproduced it better than everyone else but also introduced influences rarely heard in the genre .
With short, carefully structured songs incorporating all manner of Egyptian themes and instruments, Nile instantly had a sound of their own. Deftly balancing guttural growls with flutes, percussion, effective chanting and an epic atmosphere that bordered on the biblical, the blasting and the Egyptian symbolism were juxtaposed perfectly.
While Nile would arguably go on to record better albums, Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka remains a pivotal release and one that further widened death metal’s often self-imposed confines.