When it comes to technical ability, Nile has barge-loads. Drummer Tony Laureano still finds a way to add subtle percussion flourishes even while whipping out dead-on blast beats. Dallas Toller-Wade and Karl Sanders's guitars are tastefully brutal, full of their trademark Middle Eastern tones and solos that never bore. Embracing sonic variety, Nile doesn't flinch at using acoustic guitars or computers, and their three-singer vocal assault is relentless. The crisp production of their newest album, In Their Darkened Shrines, is surprisingly warm, and the record is replete with dazzling song structures -- "Unas, Slayer of the Gods," stretches well over eleven minutes with several hieroglyphically complex parts. Everything about Nile is epic, even the content of their songs. And that's primarily where the shtick comes in: Nile has an obsession with ancient Egypt that one would only expect from academics, not metal dudes. Whether it's a mini-dissertation on H.P. Lovecraft or a history cycle of a forgotten Egyptian war god, they deliver erudite lyrics that tower well above puerile tales of chainsaw massacre or ritual killings.