Rivers of Nihil have unleashed their sophomore effort, Monarchy (Metal Blade), onto the metal world. What an impact it will make, noticed or not. Monarchy wastes no time and neither will I. This could be one of the best metal albums released this year. Rather than fifty minutes of a constant snare and uninspiring distorted low tuned guitars Rivers of Nihil have really focused on expanding like many death metal acts today. Adding more atmosphere and a dynamic to keep a hold of you. As you continue to listen to Monarchy it evolves and shows you all the cards in its hand.
Kicking off with ‘Heirless’ expectations are high when even the instrumental introduction is impressive. A menacing and brooding build-up that hurtles you into ‘Perpetual Growth Machine’. Strong death metal in the beginning with a steady evolution as you inch closer to the five minute mark. Background ambiance help give it a real atmosphere and more powerful vibe. Closer to the end things get a bit more melodic teasing you that this won‘t be your usual death metal album. Much like ‘Perpetual Growth Machine’, Monarchy as a whole expands its boundaries as you continue closer to the end.
The first several tracks are death metal but at times dabble more in melodic death metal. There are moments where it will even be a bit more jazzy similar to prog. Once you hit track number eight, ‘Terrestria II: Thrive’, the more melodic side of Rivers of Nihil gets into the driver’s seat. ‘Terrestria II: Thrive’ really showing off their talents with multiple genres.
Overall Monarchy is a very impressive record. After a couple listens I can safely say this album will make my top ten metal album releases this year. Rivers of Nihil should be much larger than they are. They deserve your attention.