Rivers of Nihil is an American progressive death metal band. Known for their eclectic sound that folds in the assorted influences of all of its members, they have become a fast-rising star in the death metal world and are poised to take it by storm.
Formed in Reading, Pennsylvania in 2009 by Jake Dieffenbach (vocals), Jonathan Kunz and Brody Uttley (guitars), Adam Biggs (bass, vocals) and Ron Nelson, the band quickly built up a live reputation that helped make Hierarchy
, their debut EP, an underground hit in 2010. Shows throughout the Northeast helped continue the momentum, as did their second EP, Temporality Unbound
, which came out in late 2011. It was sometime around this period that Erik Rutan
discovered them on MySpace and left them a message praising them and informing them of his desire to work with them someday. This, along with a successful tour with their buddies in Kamikabe, only served to further embolden them; when offered a deal with Metal Blade Records in 2012, it became apparent that their hard work had paid off. Recording for their full-length began in March of 2013; come that October, The Conscious Seed of Light
was released and met with much fanfare and critical acclaim. Various tours followed; additionally, 2014 brought the band's first hiccup, as Ron Nelson decided to leave and was replaced by Alan Balamut. Additionally, their first major tour of that year with Oceano, Broken Hope, Fallujah, and Kublai Khan ended early due to a string of ill fortune that struck every band on the bill except them and resulted in the cancellation of the tour; thankfully, another tour with Whitechapel and DevilDriver is just around the corner, so it's likely that that was just a bump in the road.
- Hierarchy (2010) - EP
- Temporality Unbound (2011) - EP
- The Conscious Seed of Light (2013)
The band contains examples of the following tropes:
- Album Title Drop:
"I return my psyche to the origin of self!
Through this plane of space and time!
The conscious seed of light!"
- The Alleged Car: Even by metal standards, their van is a piece of shit and they'll happily admit it. Adam even walked one interviewer through all the bizarre and frustrating quirks of it.
- Apocalypse How: "Mechanical Trees" features a Class 1 that is fast on its way to Class 2; civilization still exists, but the atmosphere is so thoroughly polluted that breathable air has to be created by the titular devices.
- Badass Beard: Jake
- Concept Album: The Conscious Seed of Light, kinda. It's not a true concept album, but it's thematically based around spring and structured in a way that reflects this.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: Hierarchy was way more straightforward and less adventurous than the releases that followed and was generally pretty clear-cut Morbid Angel worship.
- Lead Bassist: Adam is equal parts Type A, B, and D, as his basslines factor heavily into their sound.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Moderate 10.
- New-Age Retro Hippie: Jake is something of this; while not overly hippie-ish in appearance, he is heavily into a lot of New Age philosophies, the likes of which tend to shape their lyrics.
- Ode to Intoxication: "Place of Serpents", in this case ayahuasca.
- Progressive Metal
- Religion of Evil: "A Fertile Altar", which is about a sex cult; while no names are mentioned, it has been confirmed that it was inspired by multiple high-profile incidents.
- Signature Style: Lots of odd-timed riffs, atmospheric tremolo riffing, quiet, post-rock-influenced sections, the occasional full-speed blasting portion, and darkly melodic soloing. Best described as an intersection of Morbid Angel, Gojira, Krallice, and Sigur Ros.
- Singing Voice Dissonance: Jake's surprisingly clear and intelligible mid-ranged roar stands in stark contrast to his heavily lisped speaking voice.
- Soprano and Gravel: Sorta. Jake has a mid-ranged roar akin to David Vincent, while Adam has a much higher rasp.
- Technical Death Metal