Published Apr 09, 2018Pennsylvania-based progressive metallers Rivers of Nihil have thrown predictability to the wind on their third album. Melding artsy, meandering saxophone with crushing death metal, the band have come up with something unique, a startling gift that might be one of the most essential metal releases of this year.
It's like King Crimson have kicked down the door at a Behemoth concert, and are showing these kids how real chaos is done. Jazzy overtones soothe the fury of "The Silent Life," while rhythmic keyboard solos fly on "Subtle Change (Including the Forest of Transition and Dissatisfaction Dance)." But it's the Tool-like melodies of the title track that will have prog fans screaming for more.
Rivers of Nihil still write above-average death metal, but it's whenever they stray from this formula that their true potential is revealed. Jake Dieffenbach and Adam Biggs' vocal harmonies are a welcome addition, one that was missing from the band's previous releases. Combined with a huge range of influences (check out the industrial squall of "Terrestria III: Wither"), there's no telling where Rivers of Nihil could go from here. With Katatonia currently on hiatus, it's possible we could see big changes in the progressive metal realm. (Metal Blade)