It's still unclear to me why John Vesano is no longer the bassist/vocalist for Nile. Just look at him! (in "Execration Text" and "Black Seeds of Vengeance" videos) He is a beast of a man. If I were in a death metal band I would want to keep that guy no matter what the cost.
Before Vesano there was a guy called Chief Spires but I don't know what he looked like. That's a pretty cool name though. Strangely enough after John Vesano left (after completing the "Annihilation of the Wicked" album) Nile's songs became a lot more catchier.
The melodies are a lot more stronger on their last album, "Ithyphallic". It also helped that Karl Sanders and Dallas Toler-Wade weren't focused on the drumming side, as they left that up to their drummer (George Kollias). That is pretty logical to me. If a guitarist, who in most circumstances wouldn't know how to drum in the first place, wrote the drumming parts would it be anywhere near as creative as it would be if the drummer wrote his own part? Just listen to a song like "Eat of the Dead" from their last album, compared to a similar type of song from the previous album "Von Unaussprechlichen Kulten". Both are great songs, but Eat of the Dead has so many little subtleties in its drumming (try air-drumming to it) that you know only the genius of a proper drummer could come up with that.
I've been listening to Nile lately, partly because Karl Sanders' new solo album "Saurian Exorcisms" is coming out next week and I've already pre-ordered it. His last solo album "Saurian Meditations" is excellent, it took a while to really grow on me but now every time I listen to it only gets better and better. It's almost like a soundtrack to a forbidden movie. I think the best two songs are "Of The Sleep Of Ishtar" and "Contemplations Of The Endless Abyss", the latter being relevant to my interest of avant-garde soundscapes that creep me out.
OK now I have to go and find all these youtube videos..