Pennsylvania’s technical death metal outfitters Rivers Of Nihil has been getting some popularity three years ago after releasing 2015’s Monarchy which captured the most modernized approach for the genre and this time, Where Owls Know My Name is the third full-length where Monarchy left off. From the trendy progressive structures, strong atmospheres and songwriting improvements, these musicians took their finest craft to the next level where the music is extremely flawless and polished to absolute perfection. The songs are not overly technical to a degree but instead the lyricism, production, and the talented craftsmanship is just what you expect from a Rivers Of Nihil album.
Rivers of Nihil are what could be considered 3rd generation death metal, directly influenced by the lot of bands in the early 2000s that took technical and brutal music to monotonous extremes with a lack of real memorability where they know exactly how to write these tracks to become well executed and have balanced between technicality and their actual skills for playing this style of music is simply astonishing.
The focus is on the songwriting of the album in it’s entirety with plenty of softer moments that allow the death metal sections to really shine which is where the latter half of Where Owls Know My Name begins to become a memorable standout for metal albums for 2018. Musically speaking, the instrumentals are extremely impressive whether it’s the guitars are well complimented by some really groovy, pounding bass lines that do an excellent job navigating through the bizarre song structures found on this album and additionally speaking the drums have improved significantly prior to the last Rivers Of Nihil album. Especially songs like The Silent Life and Subtle Change (Including the Forest of Transition and Dissatisfaction Dance) feature some jazz signatures which makes the album authentically experimented to a whole new level of extreme metal. Overall, I’m extremely impressed by this album and considered they’ve been around for almost a decade now it’s amazing how far they’ve came as a band to create the most matured, experimented and groundbreaking albums to date.
Overall Score: 9.0/10
Review by Jake Butler