Nile formed in their hometown of Greenville in 1993. With their self-proclaimed trademark of "Ithyphallic metal," Karl Sanders (guitar/vocals), Chief Spires (bass/vocals), and Pete Hammoura (drums) debuted with their Festivals of Atonement EP in 1995, leading Nile to a southwestern tour in support of other big metal acts such as Obituary, Deicide, and Broken Hope.
Visceral Productions was responsible for releasing Nile's EP Ramses Bringer of War in 1997, and was going to release their first album Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka, if they had not gone out of business later that year. However, Relapse Records was open to releasing it in early 1998, giving Nile a wider distribution and a chance to hit the road with Incantation and Morbid Angel.
The follow-up, Black Seeds of Vengeance, was released in late 2000. Prior to this release, Pete Hammoura left the band due to injuries sustained while touring for The Catacombs. He tore his rotator cuff and could not recover the use of his arm fully in time to undertake the physical stress of a touring death metal band. He did not want to leave and thought a few more months of rehabilitation could get him up to speed. However, since the band thought he was holding them back, it was agreed that he leave.