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Rivers of Nihil - Where Owls Know my Name CD (album) cover

WHERE OWLS KNOW MY NAME

Rivers of Nihil

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.68 | 26 ratings

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ssmarcus
4 stars Where Owls Know My Name is the prog rock fan's death metal record. In fact, lead guitarist and founding member Brody Utley has stated that this record was an attempt to pay tribute to the prog tradition his father had imparted to him growing up. No, the album's prog elements are not some cheap gimmick. And neither are they jarring stylistic detours in the vein of Between the Buried and Me. Rather, Rivers of Nihil have expertly threaded wind instruments, synths, and mellotron generated ambiance into uncompromisingly heavy death metal compositions.

Rivers of Nihil have noticeably simplified their riffs on this record. But by doing so, the band has, perhaps paradoxically, made room for more complexity through layering and interesting arrangements. Unfortunately, the mixing on the album is very dense and some of those interesting layers get lost as a result.

Emotionally, this album has the same effect as a cathartic nightmare: disturbing but with a purpose that leaves the listener/dreamer in a better position to handle life's uncertainty.

ssmarcus | 4/5 |

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