NILE is currently on tour supporting their latest album What Should Not Be Unearthed and thanks to the boss man I was lucky enough to catch the Deep Ellum date on February 8 at Trees Dallas. Among the supporting bands were CESSPOOL OF CORRUPTION, ASTYANAX, and KALIYA. The only one I was really unfamiliar with was ASTYANAX, as I had already listened to the others many times. This show was VIOLENT, and that is an understatement. It was death metal galore that night, there wasn’t a single boring moment at this one. It was brutal, and it was definitely one of my favorite performances so far.
The first band up was locals CESSPOOL OF CORRUPTION, featuring my good friend Brennan Shackelford on drums. I was excited for them, it would be my first time seeing them live. When the curtains opened for the first time the atmosphere didn’t die down until the end of their set. They came on with no introduction and immediately starting blasting away, and within 30 seconds I was already impressed. The band was so solid, everything about them was impressive. The stringwork, the drums, the vocals, all of it was awesome. The crowd was pretty small at this point, but they were also pretty into it. CESSPOOL OF CORRUPTION is awesome, awesome technical death metal. They are definitely a band worth seeing. Big thumbs up.
ASTYANAX was the next group to perform. The crowd had shown up for the most part when they came on. I had a really good vibe after CESSPOOL, and when these guys came on it just got better. They opened with a fast song and it was really groovy at the same time, but when the vocals came in I was completely absorbed. This guy’s gutturals were freakin’ deep and powerful, it was no less than amazing. The band was really into it, they were a fun group to experience. At one point they were anxious to get the crowd going, and their frontman said “The last three standing in the pit get a large T-shirt!” The crowd really got going after that. Everyone in the pit was so into the songs, it was a great time. Yours truly even ended up walking away with one of the shirts, hahaha.
KALIYA was up next. I was ready for this performance, I had seen them once before and I KNEW they would put on a good set. When they came on everyone in the room got involved. They started angrily; it was fast as hell too. People were running everywhere, pushing around, having a real good time. I love this band for how pissed off their music sounds, they are real old school death metal. I also loved how the crowd lit up when they came on. I could tell everyone listening loved it. Loud, fast, and aggressive, what more could you ask for from a metal performance? KALIYA remains one of my favorite Dallas-area bands, and this show was proof that they deserve all the appreciation and support they get.
Finally after them the almighty NILE played! They entered slow with an eerie-sounding intro, and it was so teasing. When Karl Sanders started singing all hell broke loose. They were blasting-loud and so angry sounding, I lost it when they came on. I had really looked forward to seeing Nile and this moment was a dream come true. They played a couple old-school tunes like “Ithyphallic” and “Defiling The Gates of Ishtar”; the break into the little egyptian hymn during “Ishtar” was so hypnotizing live, it was amazing. They also played a few songs off the new album like “Call to Destruction” and the title track, “What Should Not Be Unearthed.”
The whole set was extremely impressive. Their performance was so fun, and I was really into it. Drummer George Kollias was crazy fast, that’s what I had mostly known NILE for, and saying he’s fast doesn’t even begin to describe it. The guitar work and Sanders’ vocals were so evil. Every song went by quickly, but at the same time they were all so solid. I loved their performance so much, and I will definitely see them next time they come back.
This show was freakin’ amazing. I loved all the performances to a great extent, they all played really well. Of course I was there for NILE, but all the local bands did a wonderful job. This show is definitely near the top of my list of favorites, it was perfect. Any death metal fan would have loved this gig. There was a great mix of technical, old school, and just brutal death metal. I would love to relive this entire night. If you missed NILE on this U.S. run you should, and will, question your sanity for a long time.
LIVE WORDS: TANKARD SMITH
LIVE PHOTOS: FRANK ZABER/IMAGES FROM THE DARK