Pyramid Songs

Nile is the sole practitioner of "Ithyphallic Metal." Grab a dictionary.

That one of the most inventive and consistent metal bands of the 1990s hails from that very neck of the South reeks of poetic justice today. When Nile started back in 1993 in Greensberg, South Carolina, the seeds that would become the new metal underground were just starting to sprout. You need to look no further than Nile's Relapse label mates. The decade-old, Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, independent has been one of the leaders in adventurous metal, cranking out noise barrages from Finnish prog-metal alchemists Amorphis, as well as breathtaking displays of technical skill from the likes of the jaw-dropping Dillinger Escape Plan and the stoned psychedelic clouds exhaled by Bongzilla. Any way you slice it, this ain't Texxas Jam hair-farming.

"I think the origin of that is that you have musicians who like a variety of things," Sanders says. "Like with those guys in Dillinger, they like a lot of jazz and thrash and a lot of other things as well, so their music has more in it. There's more things informing it than there was for metal bands about a decade ago. That may not seem too difficult an explanation of why metal is the way it is now, but I think that it's made up of guys who have a wider range of experience."

And despite a growing legion of fans outgrowing the nü tactics of Limp Slipkorn et al., these metal men aren't going to be plastered all over MTV anytime soon. "I think death metal will always be an underground thing," Sanders says. "You'll never see it in the mainstream. And that's why you're going to find metal bands in vans driving around the country, not getting a lot of money, doing things the hard way, just doing it because it's what they like doing. And I think that's the way it's supposed to be. I don't think metal's supposed to be 'N Sync-huge. I mean, if it does become that popular, that's great. But if it doesn't, that's fine, too. Because most of the bands that you find doing metal nowadays do it because they enjoy it. And that's good for the scene."

The Avengers: Nile is, from left, Pete Hammoura, Chief Spires, Karl Sanders and Dallas Toler-Wade.
Alex Solca
The Avengers: Nile is, from left, Pete Hammoura, Chief Spires, Karl Sanders and Dallas Toler-Wade.


July 13
Dreamworld Music Complex in Arlington

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