Rivers of Nihil, So Hideous, Black Crown Initiate, Torrential Downpour

Rivers of Nihil

Forget everything you think you know about Rivers of Nihil. The Reading, PA quintet announced themselves as one of the most promising and forward-thinking metal bands in the world today with their first two releases, The Conscious Seed of Light (2013) and Monarchy (2015). But on March 16th, 2018, they will shatter all expectations with their third full-length, Where Owls Know My Name.

Whereas Seed and Monarchy were thematically centered around spring and summer, respectively, Where Owls Know My Name represents the fall. And although that season is usually associated with death, for Rivers of Nihil, the autumn serves as a rebirth. Formed in 2009 by guitarist Brody Uttley, bassist/lyricist Adam Biggs, and vocalist Jake Dieffenbach, Rivers of Nihil quickly made a name for themselves in the death metal scene, attracting the attention of legendary DM titan Erik Rutan. Rutan, revered for his work as both a musician (Hate Eternal, Morbid Angel) and producer (Cannibal Corpse, Goatwhore), insisted on recording The Conscious Seed of Light. The results were, unsurprisingly, spectacular, with Heavy Blog Is Heavy going so far as to assert that the debut "rivals even the most legendary work of some of [Rivers of Nihil's] peers and influences." They continued along this trajectory with Monarchy, which Metal Injection praised as an "incredibly striking" demonstration of how "Rivers of Nihil have evolved into a monster."

The group further cemented their reputation as a young band to watch by annihilating audiences with their live show, which Metal Wani called "a mind numbing force of modern death metal with a vivid darkness in the sound." To date, Rivers of Nihil have toured with such heavy hitters as Whitechapel, Obituary, Darkest Hour, Misery Index, and Cryptopsy.

But Where Owls Know My Name represents a massive evolutionary leap for Rivers of Nihil, as different from its predecessors as Homo sapiens are from amoeba. The band - now rounded out by guitarist Jon Topore and drummer Jared Klein - has delivered an album which is often just as punishing as its predecessors while assimilating ingredients from musical genres as varied as electronica, jazz, alternative, folk, and the golden age of Shrapnel Records. The resulting music is indescribably progressive, a multifaceted soundscape that goes beyond the wildest dreams of even the group's most ardent admirers. All bets are off; listeners are simply not prepared for the magnum opus that is Where Owls Know My Name.

Says Brody Uttley of the offering:
"This record is Rivers of Nihil being exactly who we want to be. Many bands get stuck in a comfortable routine of releasing the same album over and over again. Constantly relying on the same familiar formula may work for some bands, but it does not work for us. Music is art, and art is ever-changing. Without change, there is no progress. Without progress, the very fire that powers art and expression will die. This record is the sound of where we come from, where we are, and where we are going."

Adds Adam Biggs:
"This time around, the lyrics feel a little more personal than on previous albums. The story picks up several millennia after the events of 'Monarchy', where one person still remains alive, chosen by the planet to be the sole intelligent witness of its ultimate fate. But 'Where Owls Know My Name' is less about overarching narrative than our previous albums. The scenario is just a backdrop for the more emotional material we tried to put forth this time around. Ultimately, this is an album about loss, getting older, and reaching a point where death becomes a much more present part of your life."

Where Owls Know My Name reunites Rivers of Nihil with Monarchy producer Carson Slovak, known for his work with a diverse array of bands, ranging from August Burns Red to The Last Ten Seconds of Life to Candlebox. It was recorded in 2017 at Pennsylvania's Atrium Audio, the studio Slovak co-founded with Grant McFarland (Texas in July, Everclear) a decade ago.

Also reuniting with Rivers of Nihil once again is Dan Seagrave, the storied artist behind such celebrated album covers as Entombed's Left Hand Path and Suffocation's Effigy of the Forgotten. For Where Owls Know My Name, Seagrave has provided a characteristically stunning illustration. Painted entirely in rich earth tones, the cover anthropomorphizes our planet as a morose old man forever intertwined with a desolate landscape and imposing sky, the line between humanity and its home forever blurred. The existential angst of Seagrave's piece once again serves as a perfect mirror for Rivers of Nihil's music.

Where Owls Know My Name is Rivers of Nihil's most visceral, accomplished, and satisfying offering to-date. Few metal bands will ever create anything with such scope and ambition. Circle the date on your calendar: on March 16, Where Owls Know My Name becomes your new obsession.

So Hideous

Having formed in 2008 and with two EPs and a full-length under their belts, Brooklyn’s orchestral post-metal outfit, So Hideous, released their most ambitious offering to date with their seven song conceptual opus, Laurestine in early 2016.

Founded by Brandon Cruz (guitar), his intent was to score soundtracks to films that have yet to be made and sites Arvo Part, Ennio Morricone and Beethoven as his main influences. After many lineup changes, Brandon eventually enlisted his brother Chris (bass/vocals) and childhood friends Etienne Vazquez (guitar) and Danny Moncada (drums) to round out the group.

It’s safe to say that So Hideous write music a little differently than most bands of their genre. Each song starts off being written on piano with the orchestration built in next. The guitars, bass and drums fall into place only after the orchestral foundation is complete.

Black Crown Initiate

Black Crown Initiate is the sound of a sentient being at war with itself and everything else; an entity holding on for dear life as its inner and outer world dies.

Torrential Downpour

Line-up:
PrKr - Vocals/Sound Fx/Samples/Loops
Jason Volpe - Guitar/Piano/Samples/Loops
Matt Cece - 6 String Bass Guitar
Pete Costa - Drums/Percussion
You - The Listener

Torrential Downpour, an entity unto itself, dreams and reshapes its own existence to live vicariously through the musicians it harnesses. Structured by the imagery of man, Torrential creates its arms, legs and body through the percussive force of Peter Costa. Using guitar and piano, Jason Volpe transforms his energy of pure love manifesting the heart and stomach of this holographic being. The lungs and throat, sustained only by vocal manipulator Prkr, naturally regulates breathing and filters unwanted toxins and energy resonance. All of this falling apart without the apt sense and control of bass player Matt Cece as the brain and eyes. Together, using a battery of harsh and hauntingly beautiful soundscapes, a voice and language are given to Torrential Downpour. A voice that struggles for its place in the collective unconscious. But through all of this, the soul always remains the same. A beauty that is unthinkable and unstoppable. A version of love you have yet to discover. Torrential is everything you've heard or haven't. Everything that is or isn't. Torrential Downpour is a reflection of you...because in truth, you are everything.

$12.00

Off Sale

Upcoming Events
Saint Vitus