Ever wonder what a Nile album would sound like without the crushing guitars, mind-blowing drum parts, and raging death metal vocals? Well, it would probably sound like Saurian Meditation, the debut solo album from Nile guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Karl Sanders. You see, Karl's got a huge fascination with Egyptian history and mythology, which basically is the backbone of Nile's music. Here on Saurian Meditation, Sanders strips away all the metal and gives the listener a very Middle Eastern flavored platter of mystical and lulling sounds, mostly instrumental save for some gentle melodic vocals and spoken word narration. It's all very hypnotic and highly progressive stuff, with Karl playing acoustic and electric guitar (gorgeous acoustic guitar I might add) Baglama Saz, E. Bow, guitar synth, keyboards, and bass, with Mike Breazeale handing the vocals and Pete Hammoura on drums & percussion.
There are moments on this CD that if you close your eyes you might feel like you are in downtown Egypt amidst a crowded marketplace, or in an ancient temple with bellydancers moving about while acoustic guitars, chants, and tribal percussion permeates the air. The music is as chilling as it is relaxing, with Sanders proving to be a highly accomplished acoustic player (we already know he can rip on electric) and the myriad of different instruments adding a very mystical and progressive quality to each and every song.
So if you are not a fan of extreme metal, but are intrigued by some of the things you have heard about Nile, take a listen to Saurian Meditation. On this CD you will get to hear in a full -blown capacity some of the little ideas that Nile thrown into their pulverizing metal cauldron, minus the volume and aggression.
1. Awaiting the Vultures
2. Of the Sleep of Ishtar
3. Luring the Doom Serpent
4. Contemplations of the Endless Abyss
5. The Elder God Shrine
6. Temple of Lunar Ascension
7. Dreaming Through the Eyes of Serpents
8. Whence No Traveler Returns
9. The Forbidden Path Across the Chasm of Self-Realization
10. Beckon the Sick Winds of Pestilence