Saturday, March 3, 2018

Rivers of Nihil "Where Owls Know My Name" Review

          Rivers of Nihil are back following the incredible 2015 release "Monarchy", with a new album and a much more lengthy title in "Wheres Know My Name". For anyone who has been following Rivers of Nihil since their inception, following the concept they've been pushing along, this album continues to raise the bar for what this band can do and what's possible in Death Metal.

          Much like with the previous two albums from Rivers of Nihil, "The Conscious Seed of Light" and "Monarchy", this album continues to follow the flow of seasons. "The Conscious Seed of Light" kicked everything off with Spring time, much like the band everything is essentially new, new life grows and shapes the world as we know it, following Spring we have "Monarchy" which symbolises Summer. Summer is an interesting one, it's a season that can shift from peaceful times to a destructive force and the album symbolised this perfectly. The big thing is "Monarchy" put the bands talent as a Technical Death Metal band in the forefront and got them a ton of recognition. Now, we are in the Fall season with "Where Owls Know My Name", Fall is a season progressing towards a much darker emotion and ultimately death and this gleams through in the dark and eerie atmosphere of the saxophone and keyboard parts playing and progressing the albums story.
          One of the biggest draws to me for "Where Owls Know My Name" is not only the fact that Rivers Of Nihil know how to take everything they perfected in their previous releases and continue to add to it, but outside of the eerie atmosphere they added with the inclusion of the keyboard and saxophone parts, they took a note from Melodic Death Metal. This is especially prevalent in the lead single "The Silent Life" as well as the more intricate and expansive "Single Change (Including the Forest of Transition)". The ladder of which is the longest track on the album, clocking in at 8:34, which is quite impressive considering it doesn't feel like a song that drags out at all. Mixed in with the melodic tone, Rivers of Nihil almost decide to take on a DragonForce approach just after the 2 minute mark, transitioning from an intense keyboard solo into guitar solo. From this point the songs tone shifts, becoming move more hectic and sporadic, with the intensity of the instruments pushing the narrative along and you become more and more engrossed by the song, it pulls away with another saxophone section only to lead into the most impressive and technically implemented solo on the album if not Rivers of Nihil's entire discography.
          Front to back, Rivers of Nihil have expanded on everything they've done in the past. "Where Owls Know My Name" is by far the strongest release Rivers of Nihil have released since their strong beginnings more than 5 years ago and there's really no better label for this Death Metal gem to be released through than the renowned Metal Blade Records. "Where Owls Know My Name" will be out March 16th, pick up the album as soon as you can and catch the band on tour with Death Metal tyrants Dying Fetus!

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