Rivers of Nihil
Where Owls Know my Name

Well this album can definitely be called an “onion” album, meaning it has many layers, and I’ll be damned if each one of them are an absolute joy to explore.  Moving away a bit from the previous punishing sound of their last (phenomenal) LP, Monarchy, this 3rd output is an absolutely brilliant album from top to bottom.

Following a 2 minute intro, the first track “The Silent Life” starts out with an awesome chug riff backed by some tight double bass work (one of my absolute favorite elements of extreme metal), but then out of nowhere around the 3:30 mark, takes a prog turn with a very interestingly placed saxophone solo.  It’s one of the many pleasant surprises on this album.  It’s end on a blast beat-driven tear and a bit more of the saxophone (I must say I don’t think I’ve ever heard a blast beat over the top of a sax, but it’s a pretty damn cool idea).  “At Home” features a number of tempo changes to start off, before some clean singing around the 2:40 mark mixes things up yet again.  “Old Nothing” is a straight forward bruiser, with the drumming really shining on this one.

Honestly, I could write a novel going into the depths of each track, with the different elements and the phenomenal musicianship, but suffice to say they’re all just awesome in their execution.  The vocals fit perfectly, the drumming slays, and the guitar work could not be any better.  You get the prog elements, jazz fusion, straight up brutal death metal, clean singing and melodic elements.  It’s all here.  The one question I did have was what exactly drew them to decide on the name of the album, as it’s definitely a strange choice.  But that’s merely a curiosity and not a negative in the least bit.

The album as a whole comes in a just under an hour, and truly demands multiple listens to really dig into what’s going on here, as there’s a hell of a lot.  An absolute must listen, and my mid-year frontrunner for Album of the Year. 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kevin E
July 4th, 2018

Comments

  1. Commented by: Jay

    Man, this is pretty cool stuff, Kevin. Nice review. Really dig the preview track. Going to have to investigate further.


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