Rivers of Nihil has been an underrated force in death metal in the modern age. Their last album “Monarchy” was a modern day death metal masterpiece with sweet artwork to boot. What makes the Pennsylvania natives stand out more and more is their lack of concern what people think of their music. R.O.N is out to make very obscure music in a fairly repetitive genre. What makes “Where Owls Know My Name” a top release in my eyes very early in 2018 is their increased willingness to experiment……leading off, heavy use of saxophone throughout the album. Yeah…..a big instrument in Jazz music used in death metal. Tacky, right? Not even close! It’s used perfectly to omit the greatest mood changes throughout the songs on the album. Background instrument? No way, man. We’re talking about up close and personal….saxophone leads!
What else does their latest album also offer? Jake Dieffenbach sings on “Where Owls Know My Name” as well! The band’s first two albums were primarily growled, but the band threw some great curveballs for their third full length. Andy from Black Crown Initiate (another grossly underrated progressive death metal band) sang lead vocals on the title track, as well. This also marks the band’s new drummer Jared Klein as his first album he’s recorded with the band. Guitarist Brody shines on this album as bright as the sun itself…..it’s awfully tough to put his efforts into words.
There’s also some occasional trumpets and acoustic guitars scattered throughout the album as well……..and even some keyboard/synthesizer parts as well. Don’t let all of these experimental ideas and non traditional death metal elements turn anyone away. The album is still plenty heavy for any metalhead no way has the band ditched its death metal roots. The album has flawless production, as well. I swear it checks every single box off on what was expected, and then some.
The latest band photo was shot near a river….. No really, it was.
Rivers of Nihil delivers quite possibly the coolest and most complete album of 2018. I can’t say how happy I am the great coverage this album has gotten so far….this band has flown far under the radar for so long its about time people have woken up. The album art is freaking amazing as well. I love unusual and creepy covers. There’s also some occasional electronics which weren’t prevalent before. “Where Owls Know My Name” is just perfect on every level……there is absolutely no weaknesses. The worst part of the album is when its over…..good thing there’s the repeat option.