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Rivers of Nihil|Where Owls Know My Name

Where Owls Know My Name

Rivers of Nihil

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Who can say from which percentage of various influences a band loses its affiliations to this or that category? Up to now labelled as “death metal”, including on their own Facebook page, Rivers of Nihil took so many liberties on their third album that the fervent zealots of the genre are likely to be somewhat confused. But you have to remember that the late Chuck Schuldiner founded the band with (the aptly named) Death in a spirit of open-mindedness that extended from classical music to jazz and that, since, a lot of water has passed under the bridge crossed by Possessed, Opeth and so many others… You could thus ask yourself why the band from Reading, Pennsylvania, distances itself so much from those who came before it in the more adventurous subcategories of death metal (technical, melodic…). And the answer is more than obvious in each and every corner of this incredibly rich album.


Not only the musicians would allow themselves to do almost everything, but they do it with insolent ease and perfection. Aside from the essential codes from its original genre, they include elements that we didn’t have the pleasure to hear since the best of fusion, ambient or progressive rock from the 70s… We’ll look in vain for an error in the aerial guitar solos worthy of Gilmour or the delicate arpeggios from Brody Uttley and Jon Topore (Capricorn / Agoratopia, Hollow...), the vocal parts alternating between growl and ultra-melodic singing from Jake Dieffenbach (Where Owls Know My Name...), the vertiginous blast beats from Jared Klein (A Home, Old Nothing, Death is Real...), the jazzy bass lines from Adam Biggs (Subtle Change (Including the Forest of Transition and Dissatisfaction Dance), the interventions from the brass instruments starting as soon as the incredible The Silent Life (or even in Terrestria III: Wither...), not forgetting, almost everywhere, the silky synth pads, or the soaring of the violins and other perfectly calibrated tempo changes of tempo… You would have to go back to the beginnings of Dream Theater, a little more than 30 years ago, to find musicians who are so young but also possess a high level of skill and such a wide musical vocabulary, with a knowledge that goes beyond plain curiosity. And, like them, RON will probably make you want to go and listen to Pink Floyd, an assumed reference, but also to King Crimson, U.K. (with Allan Holdsworth), Soft Machine, Frank Zappa, Magma, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Devin Townsend and Porcupine Tree... Just for this laudable performance, they deserve true recognition. © Jean-Pierre Sabouret/Qobuz

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Where Owls Know My Name

Rivers of Nihil

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1
Cancer / Moonspeak
00:01:44

Rivers of Nihil, MainArtist - Metal Skull Music. Administered by BMG Rights LTD, MusicPublisher

(C) 2018 Metal Blade Records, Inc. (P) 2018 Metal Blade Records, Inc.

2
The Silent Life
00:06:34

Rivers of Nihil, MainArtist - Metal Skull Music. Administered by BMG Rights LTD, MusicPublisher

(C) 2018 Metal Blade Records, Inc. (P) 2018 Metal Blade Records, Inc.

3
A Home
00:05:19

Rivers of Nihil, MainArtist - Metal Skull Music. Administered by BMG Rights LTD, MusicPublisher

(C) 2018 Metal Blade Records, Inc. (P) 2018 Metal Blade Records, Inc.

4
Old Nothing
00:04:44

Rivers of Nihil, MainArtist - Metal Skull Music. Administered by BMG Rights LTD, MusicPublisher

(C) 2018 Metal Blade Records, Inc. (P) 2018 Metal Blade Records, Inc.

5
Subtle Change (Including the Forest of Transition and Dissatisfaction Dance)
00:08:34

Rivers of Nihil, MainArtist - Metal Skull Music. Administered by BMG Rights LTD, MusicPublisher

(C) 2018 Metal Blade Records, Inc. (P) 2018 Metal Blade Records, Inc.

6
Terrestria III: Wither
00:03:49

Rivers of Nihil, MainArtist - Metal Skull Music. Administered by BMG Rights LTD, MusicPublisher

(C) 2018 Metal Blade Records, Inc. (P) 2018 Metal Blade Records, Inc.

7
Hollow
00:05:13

Rivers of Nihil, MainArtist - Metal Skull Music. Administered by BMG Rights LTD, MusicPublisher

(C) 2018 Metal Blade Records, Inc. (P) 2018 Metal Blade Records, Inc.

8
Death is Real
00:06:09

Rivers of Nihil, MainArtist - Metal Skull Music. Administered by BMG Rights LTD, MusicPublisher

(C) 2018 Metal Blade Records, Inc. (P) 2018 Metal Blade Records, Inc.

9
Where Owls Know My Name
00:06:42

Rivers of Nihil, MainArtist - Metal Skull Music. Administered by BMG Rights LTD, MusicPublisher

(C) 2018 Metal Blade Records, Inc. (P) 2018 Metal Blade Records, Inc.

10
Capricorn / Agoratopia
00:07:50

Rivers of Nihil, MainArtist - Metal Skull Music. Administered by BMG Rights LTD, MusicPublisher

(C) 2018 Metal Blade Records, Inc. (P) 2018 Metal Blade Records, Inc.

Album Description

Who can say from which percentage of various influences a band loses its affiliations to this or that category? Up to now labelled as “death metal”, including on their own Facebook page, Rivers of Nihil took so many liberties on their third album that the fervent zealots of the genre are likely to be somewhat confused. But you have to remember that the late Chuck Schuldiner founded the band with (the aptly named) Death in a spirit of open-mindedness that extended from classical music to jazz and that, since, a lot of water has passed under the bridge crossed by Possessed, Opeth and so many others… You could thus ask yourself why the band from Reading, Pennsylvania, distances itself so much from those who came before it in the more adventurous subcategories of death metal (technical, melodic…). And the answer is more than obvious in each and every corner of this incredibly rich album.


Not only the musicians would allow themselves to do almost everything, but they do it with insolent ease and perfection. Aside from the essential codes from its original genre, they include elements that we didn’t have the pleasure to hear since the best of fusion, ambient or progressive rock from the 70s… We’ll look in vain for an error in the aerial guitar solos worthy of Gilmour or the delicate arpeggios from Brody Uttley and Jon Topore (Capricorn / Agoratopia, Hollow...), the vocal parts alternating between growl and ultra-melodic singing from Jake Dieffenbach (Where Owls Know My Name...), the vertiginous blast beats from Jared Klein (A Home, Old Nothing, Death is Real...), the jazzy bass lines from Adam Biggs (Subtle Change (Including the Forest of Transition and Dissatisfaction Dance), the interventions from the brass instruments starting as soon as the incredible The Silent Life (or even in Terrestria III: Wither...), not forgetting, almost everywhere, the silky synth pads, or the soaring of the violins and other perfectly calibrated tempo changes of tempo… You would have to go back to the beginnings of Dream Theater, a little more than 30 years ago, to find musicians who are so young but also possess a high level of skill and such a wide musical vocabulary, with a knowledge that goes beyond plain curiosity. And, like them, RON will probably make you want to go and listen to Pink Floyd, an assumed reference, but also to King Crimson, U.K. (with Allan Holdsworth), Soft Machine, Frank Zappa, Magma, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Devin Townsend and Porcupine Tree... Just for this laudable performance, they deserve true recognition. © Jean-Pierre Sabouret/Qobuz

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