A massive sound came resonating a mere 2 hours away from The Circle Pit HQ, so obviously we had to take notice. Rivers of Nihil came flowing in without mercy, originally in 2010 with “Hierarchy” and again in 2011 with “Temporality Unbound”. This is an impressive, young Death Metal band emerging from from the countryside of Pennsylvania and they’re here to drown you in Death Metal again. 2013 saw the band’s signing to metal label juggernaut, Metal Blade Records. On top of this, the band dropped their debut full-length, “The Conscious Seed of Light”, which we’ll be reviewing today.
It begins with the darkened, hypnotic tremolo of the intro “Terrestria I: Thaw” before blasting the way open. It’s evident right away this band packs a punch. A damn heavy punch. This is especially true of the band’s first single / first full track on the record, “Rain Eater”. Released a few months before the release, it served the purpose of being an opener / single perfectly. It accomplishes this by giving the listener a general idea of what’s to come next. But just like with every generalization, there’s much more behind it. And Rivers of Nihil doesn’t disappoint.
Much of the album is composed of slow to mid-paced devastation with extreme blast beats thrown in the mix. Scraping life off the hind of their boot, Rivers of Nihil leaves no room for mercy. It’s like listening to an old school Death Metal band updated for a modern metal sound. Bands like Nile, Morbid Angel, Origin, Decapitated, Decrepit Birth, and Behemoth come to mind while listening. However, the band manages to mix things up in a number of ways. Tracks like “Place of Serpents”, “Birth of the Omnisavior”, “Mechanical Trees”, and “Airless” really manage to stand out amongst the pack. Blast them \m/
I do have a few minor criticisms of this record. As just mentioned, a good bit of it is derivative, though it is derived from awesome sources! It’s not a bad thing, it would just be awesome to see a band of this caliber span out a bit more. I see much potential here. Beyond that, yeah, minor flaws pop up here and there as with most music, but it’s nothing to really look down upon. I would make a few objective statements in regard to “The Conscious Seed of Light” though. First off, if you’re impatient or allergic to heaviness, this album is not for you. Plain and simple. As stated before, much of the album is composed of devastation. Slow, deadly, devastation. Therefore, it may end up feeling redundant to some on a case to case basis.
All in all, this is a great effort from a great band. Especially considering it’s their debut full-length. Rivers of Nihil have made their mark with “The Conscious Seed of Light” and it should be interesting to see where they go from here. It’s recommended you sample the goods above. And if you enjoy the heaviness, take a click here and buy yourself something nice. Stay metal \m/