Chuck Schuldiner Project

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Rivers Of Nihil - Where Owls Know My Name

Man, this was not the step I expected from Rivers Of Nihil on this latest record. Sure, there second offering, Monarchy was a hell of a lot proggier, but Where Owls Know My Name is a bold step even further in that direction. Even from the first, ambient opening track, it's clear that Rivers Of Nihil are doing something a little different this time around, and the masterful execution of the record has me scraping my jaw off the floor. Any way you want to slice it, these guys are one of the worlds most exciting death metal bands.

So yes - there are death metal moments throughout Where Owls Know My Name and it's clear why these guys are where they are. Simultaneously though you find guitars and saxophones trading licks and longer songs than ever seen before from the band. It gives the group a lot more space to explore and sees them pushing all sorts of unique ideas. While this band may be far removed from the group I initially fell in love with as a high schooler, I gotta say, there is something really fascinating about their development that has had me coming back to this record ever since it appeared in my inbox, it's got a stunning sense of breadth.

This is an album that simply sounds massive and which reminds us time and time again what this music was always meant to be about. Where Owls Know My Name is an exciting exploration for a band with a ton of raw talent and a deep understanding of songwriting. There are many layers to unpack here and the braininess and brawn of this album reflects all that is good in death metal right now. Rivers Of Nihil force you to take weird and mystical sonic journeys, but no matter how dense they are they are almost always worth it.

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