Karl Sanders

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Karl Sanders
Sanders at Party.San Metal Open Air 2017
Sanders at Party.San Metal Open Air 2017
Background information
Born (1963-06-05) June 5, 1963 (age 60)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
GenresTechnical death metal, death metal, thrash metal, folk, ambient, post-rock
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
Instrument(s)Guitar, vocals
Years activeLate 1980s – present
Member ofNile
Formerly ofMorriah

Karl Sanders (born June 5, 1963) is an American vocalist and guitarist, most widely known as the founding member of the ancient Egyptian-themed technical death metal band Nile.

Early life[edit]

Before creating Nile, Sanders was in a thrash metal band during the late 1980s called Morriah and played local shows with the young Morbid Angel and other US death metal bands.[1]

Other projects[edit]

Sanders began his own solo side project in 2004. Much of the music that he plays includes similar elements of his band Nile, however presented in an ambient/Egyptian folk format, rather than death metal. Sanders explained that "he got sick of hearing big loud death metal everyday after touring", and started writing quieter music to relax, and recorded them.[1]

His first solo full-length album, Saurian Meditation, was released in October 2004 under the Relapse record label. A second solo album, Saurian Exorcisms, was released in April 2009. In May 2022, he announced his third solo album, Saurian Apocalypse, would be released on July 22.[2]


Sanders performing with Nile

According to Sanders in the official Nile forum and in an article on MetalSucks,[3] the equipment he uses is:


  • Dean V Nile Custom
  • Dean 79 V
  • Dean ML
  • Dean VX
  • KxK Spear V
  • 1973 Fender Strat with Warmoth "Jackson" neck
  • Natural finish KxK Double-Neck V - Top neck fretless 11 string, bottom neck in drop A
  • Dark finish KxK Double-Neck V - Top neck in drop D, bottom neck in drop A (Was recently sold on eBay)[4]
  • KxK Seven string V
  • Godin Glissentar
  • Godin ACS Slim Solidbody Classical
  • Dean 12-string acoustic
  • Handmade Turkish bağlama saz


  • Seymour Duncan Invader (Main bridge pickup)
  • Seymour Duncan Distortion (Alternate bridge pickup)
  • Seymour Duncan Full Shred (Neck pickup)
  • Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates (Neck pickup)


  • SIT .070 .050 .038 .017 .012 .010



  • ENGL Invader (Current main amplifier)
  • Marshall JCM 2000 DSL 100 heads (Previous main amplifier, and backup for Engl)
  • Marshall 1960 a/b cabs with Celestion 65 watt Creamback speakers
  • Splawn Quickrod (Main amp used for recording At The Gates of Sethu)

Other equipment[edit]

  • Roland GP-8
  • Lexicon Digital Reverb
  • Roland GR-1 Guitar synth
  • Roland PK-5 Midi Pedals
  • Customized Dell Vostro *Sonar and Kontact software
  • M-audio Interface
  • Glyph Porta Drive
  • MOTU interface
  • Radial Tonebone Plexi Pedal
  • Radial Direct Boxes
  • Radial JD-7
  • Monster Cable

Guest appearances[edit]

Sanders guested on Behemoth's 2004 CD release, Demigod, playing a guitar solo on the track "XUL". He also performed a guitar solo at the end of the track "God of Our Own Divinity" by Morbid Angel, on their 2003 album Heretic, as well as a solo on the song "The Final War (Battle of Actium)" on Ex Deo's 2009 album Romulus.[5] Sanders also played on Grave's 2010 album Burial Ground on the tracks "Bloodtrail" and "Naafa". Sanders traveled to Dubai to collaborate on guest vocals for Nervecell's song "Shunq (To the Despaired... King of Darkness)" on their 2011 album Psychogenocide.[6] On Tourniquet's 2012 album Antiseptic Bloodbath, Sanders contributed a guitar solo to the track "Chamunda Temple Stampede". Sanders was also featured in episode one of Rusty Cooley's and Zachary Adkins' podcast "Guitar Autopsy" available on YouTube. In 2017 Sanders traveled to Egypt to collaborate with Nader Sadek, Derek Roddy, and Mahmud Gecekusu on The Serapeum EP[7] In 2018 Sanders did a guest solo on the song "Sacred War of Lawlessness" for Polish Blackened Death Metal Band Veld [8] Sanders provided lead guitars for THŪN's self-titled EP in 2021.[9][10]

Personal life[edit]

He has a son named Kael who appeared as a guest vocalist on Nile's 2019 album Vile Nilotic Rites.[citation needed]


Release date Album details Label Format
October 26, 2004 Saurian Meditation Relapse Records CD
April 14, 2009 Saurian Exorcisms The End Records CD
July 22, 2022 Saurian Apocalypse Napalm Records CD, vinyl, digital download, cassette

With Nile[edit]


  1. ^ a b Metalship (February 12, 2013). "Interview with Karl Sanders of Nile". Metalship.
  2. ^ Greg Kennelty (May 25, 2022). "KARL SANDERS Recruits Original NILE Drummer For First New Solo Album In 13 Years, Streams New Single". Metal Injection. Retrieved July 20, 2022.
  3. ^ "Rigged: Nile's Karl Sanders". MetalSucks. August 7, 2012.
  4. ^ "Karl Sanders Custom KxK Double Neck Guitar | eBay". Archived from the original on August 4, 2017.
  5. ^ Karl Sanders' Special Guest Appearance on new EX DEO album! Archived February 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine blogs.myspace.com. May 12, 2009. Retrieved on 2010-03-16.
  6. ^ aliblackdiamond (May 14, 2012). "NERVECELL Release New Video Featuring Karl Sanders Of Nile". Metal Shock Finland. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  7. ^ Pearce, Dutch (October 21, 2020). "Video Premiere: Nader Sadek – "The Serapeum (Polluted Waters)"". Decibel Magazine. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  8. ^ Iskander (May 10, 2018). "AN NCS PREMIERE: VELD – "GRAND DAY OF DEMISE"". No Clean Singing. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  9. ^ Reeder (May 18, 2021). "THŪN Releasing Debut Album In June; NILE's KARL SANDERS On Lead Guitar". Metal Addicts. Metal Addicts.net. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  10. ^ Super Metal. "Eat Lead and die Music". Super Metal.net. EAT LEAD AND DIE MUSIC. Retrieved March 31, 2022.

External links[edit]