Rivers of Nihil – Where Owls Know My Name

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Release Date: 03/16/18

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Reading, PA’s Rivers of Nihil’s latest and greatest is an album I simply did not see coming. I was expecting good things considering the tracks put out before the album’s release, but the variety and thought that went into these tracks have shot Rivers of Nihil to the upper echelon of modern metal.

There are a shocking number of musical elements that come together here to provide for an exceptionally unified whole. From the awesome Prog keyboard solo in “Subtle Change…,” to the numerous jazzy interludes, to the saxophone parts spread thoughtfully throughout the album, to the tasteful use of clean vocals, and even the unexpected ambient opening moments of the album. The overall progressive nature of the album is something to behold in itself – the album is by turns quiet, with varying instrumentation, loud and aggressive, with some impressively brutal vocals that are surprisingly somewhat legible, uncommon for the genre, and just all over the musical spectrum in the best kind of way.

There are moments of electronic/industrial influence, jazz fusion, rapid-fire double bass drum, blast beats, airy atmospheric guitars – all of it tastefully done. These disparate elements add to the project without making it seem disjointed. It is a cohesive project that remains consistent all the way through and will easily go down as one of the finest releases of the year, and in the metal realm, one of the best of the decade, even. Rivers of Nihil have proven we should expect nothing but great things going forward.

Highlights: “Subtle Change(Including the Forest of Transition and Dissatisfaction Dance)” to me is the perfect summation of what this album is all about. “The Silent Life” is one of the aforementioned tracks that made me super excited for this release, so that’s well worth a special mention as well.
Rating: 4.25/5
Purchase: Bandcamp
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