Nader Sadek - The Serapeum review

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Band: Nader Sadek
Album: The Serapeum
Release date: November 2020

01. The Serapeum: Black Osiris
02. ReSarcophagus
03. The Serapeum: Polluted Waters
04. The Serapeum [live]

Nader Sadek is back with 22 minutes of new music… or is he?

I encountered Nader Sadek, the collaborative project envisioned by the Egyptian musician and artist whose name the band shares, back in 2011 with the impressive In The Flesh, featuring the likes of Steve Tucker, Blasphemer, Flo Mounier and more, and delivering death metal of the kind of quality you would hope for with such talent involved. This was followed by another solid release, the EP The Malefic: Chapter III (if anyone knows where Chapters I and II are, let me know), featuring Blasphemer and Mounier again, but with Cattle Decapitation's Travis Ryan taking on vocal duties to unsurprisingly great effect. After this, there have been no releases from the project, and the only time I saw the name pop up were online posts about (generally very poorly received) live performances, presumably featuring an entirely different roster of musicians. So when we received the promo for The Serapeum, a 4-track EP offered as a taster before the release of the project's sophomore full-length album Malefic in 2021, I was intrigued.

However, after claiming the promo and reading the attached info sheet, I was immediately deflated; yes, there were 4 songs here, but 3 of them are alternate/live versions of the title track, and the fourth ("ReSarcophagus") is a 30-second dark ambient piece, so effectively the 4-track EP is just one song with different arrangements. On the plus side, the song was again created with the help of impressive death metal talent; this time around, Nile mastermind Karl Sanders and former Nile drummer Derek Roddy were involved in writing and recording (Sanders must be loving the Egyptian collaborations happening recently, between this and Scarab), along with Perversion member Mahumud Gecekusu. Did Nader Sadek pull off another fruitful collaboration?

Regarding the different versions, "The Serapeum: Black Osiris" and the closing live version are almost the same structurally, and the live recording quality is good, so you can take your pick as to whether you prefer a studio or live version of the song (members/ex-members of Benighted, Pestilence, Nephelium and Bandwhore round out the live band behind Sadek); alternatively, "The Serapeum: Polluted Waters" has a different intro (couple of mins of ambience that diverges from the briefer clean guitar leading into the other versions), and perhaps a slightly extended outro. If you feel like having only one version of "The Serapeum" (and really, why wouldn't you), I'd recommend "Polluted Waters". Beyond this, all there's left to do is to comment on the song - and yes, it's a really rather solid death metal track. From the trudging intro (I'm no Nile expert, but I got "Even The Gods Must Die" vibes here), through the ripping, frenetic riffs that pack groove and punch, shredding guitar solos, and slow, atmospheric, grandstand outro, it's 6 minutes of quality Egyptian-themed death metal that compares favourably to a lot of Nile's more recent work.

So what does this review prove? First, that even when I'm reviewing a release as insubstantial as this, I'm more than capable of exceeding the 500-word recommended word limit. Second, that despite the negativity towards live performances in recent years, Nader Sadek is capable of assembling a studio line-up that can deliver real high-quality death metal, raising my expectations a tad for the allegedly upcoming full-length record. And third, that you can get a front page review even if you've only got one song, as long as you package it in a way that fools me into saying I'll review it.


Written on 19.11.2020 by Hey chief let's talk why not


Comments: 5   Visited by: 60 users
19.11.2020 - 14:05
Isn't this the dude who made the new Inquisition video?

I'll pass.
Father: How can a picture of a field be sad without a sad person looking sad in the field?
Young Woman: That's an interesting problem. Yeah, I struggle with that.
19.11.2020 - 14:07
Written by RaduP on 19.11.2020 at 14:05

Isn't this the dude who made the new Inquisition video?

I'll pass.

Not sure, but I think he's made Morbid Angel videos (probably due to the connections with Steve Tucker from In The Flesh)

The music's actually solid; the EP with Travis Ryan on vocals is really interesting and I still revisit In The Flesh once in a blue moon, fairly standard death metal but done very well
20.11.2020 - 01:09
Written by musclassia on 19.11.2020 at 14:07

Not sure, but I think he's made Morbid Angel videos

The only video by this guy I've ever seen was his one for "Garden of Disdain" off the new album, and man... It was bad. It looked like they just used paper-mache and had 10 dollars to buy fruit roll ups for the costume.
20.11.2020 - 01:59
I remember this guy. His debut album was a breath of fresh air considering it was released the same year Morbid Angel gave us Illud Divinum Insanus. I shall check this too soon.

Written by RaduP on 19.11.2020 at 14:05

I'll pass.

Never trust a junkie.
20.11.2020 - 23:57
Troy Killjoy
It took a while to get there, but you had me at "Even the Gods Must Die". What a fantastic track. If this even touches close to that level, I'll be satisfied.
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