The Conscious Seed Of Light

Rivers Of Nihil

It's always refreshing to hear Death Metal that is intelligently composed, and not just an […]
By Daniel Fox
October 10, 2013
Rivers Of Nihil - The Conscious Seed Of Light album cover

It's always refreshing to hear Death Metal that is intelligently composed, and not just an intrusive, mathematical wall of sound. That is what happens when one combines the progressive with the deadly; the result is a band like the US Prog-tech-Death machine, RIVERS OF NIHIL. Formed in 2009, "The Conscious Seed of Light" will be their first, full-length release, signed to esteemed purveyors of heavy and Metal, Metal Blade Records. Apt, considering the band slices through blankets conveyed by simple genre labels.

It is evident that each member of this band is extremely talented at their instrument, with the bassist sharing lead duties with the guitarists. The intro track is a pounding, methodical piece that leads directly into the disorienting-heavy, "Rain Eater", with obvious notes borrowed out of MESHUGGAH's book, but intelligently so, not overused, completed by deliciously technical bass fills. "Birth of the Omnisavior" contains an interesting mix of thrash-like riffage, infectious Melodic Death leads, and ever-changing syncopation that makes the music progress through apparent genre boundaries. Pleasantly, the song is interrupted by a disturbing calm passage, overlaid with a delicious solo - yet the chains of nihil yank us back under ground with some heavy, doom-like chugs. "Soil and Seed" features some of the fastest double-bass drumming I've ever heard; strange, since the song's overall tempo is generally slow, and contains glorious homages to BEHEMOTH. This song especially, demonstrates Jake's and Adam's  ability to utter forth soul-rending growls and screams, yet leaving the lyrics intelligible; a talent lost amongst many Death Metal acts. "Central Atheneum" never slows down; either the guitars are fast or the drums are fast, and throughout, is furiously heavy and unrelenting.

"Mechanical Trees" is probably my favorite track here, as it combines the light-speed kicks that Ron is all-too-capable of dishing out, with intelligent, groove-like riffage, held together by an excellent bass line that seems capable of mimicking any lead the guitars throw out at double the tempo. "Place of Serpents", "Human Adaption" and "A Fertile Altar", while no doubt are individually solid tracks made with marksman musicianship, appear to be carrying a trend for a few songs too long for my liking, started by "Mechanical Trees", and I had at first begun to think, unfortunately, that the band was running out of ideas. Just in time, however, I was corrected immediately upon listening to "Airless" which follows an almost completely different style of music that carries an air of atmosphere and melancholy, much prevalent on BEHEMOTH's "Evangelion" that crowns a relatively simple series of riffs that flow effortlessly. As the song grows, one hears melodious leads verging on the emotive - a talent many Gothenburg Metal bands are known for, and as it ends, we are drowned in layers upon layers of chug-pounding, that suddenly end, reminding us of the ever flowing stream of nihility.

It's always wonderful to hear a new band put out music that boasts enormous talent and excellent mixing on their debut. While it may be evident that, towards the end of the piece, the power plant of creative ideas wanes a little, there is no doubt that, already exceptional musicians, RIVERS OF NIHIL will eventually find their way and discover more creative muses to add to their repertoire.

8 / 10


"The Conscious Seed Of Light" Track-listing:

1. Terrestria I: Thaw
2. Rain Eater
3. Birth of the Omnisavior
4. Soil & Seed
5. Central Atheneum
6. Mechanical Trees
7. Place of Serpents
8. Human Adaptation
9. A Fertile Altar
10. Airless

Rivers Of Nihil Lineup:

Jake Dieffenbach - Vocals
Brody Uttley - Guitars
Jon Kunz - Guitars
Adam Biggs - Bass/vocals
Ron Nelson - Drums

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