Technical death-metal band Rivers of Nihil present a full-album set of their mesmerizing conceptual Where Owls Know My Name | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Technical death-metal band Rivers of Nihil present a full-album set of their mesmerizing conceptual Where Owls Know My Name 

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click to enlarge Rivers of Nihil

Rivers of Nihil

Logan Tilley

On their current tour, Pennsylvania’s fast-rising technical death-metal stars Rivers of Nihil are trying their hand at the full-album- set format, focusing on last spring’s mesmerizing Where Owls Know My Name (Metal Blade). The traditional surprise-set-list show has its advantages for sure, but it’s good to see this format getting so much traction for new releases as well as old classics. Rivers of Nihil’s third full-length is a fantastic candidate for this treatment: it’s a loose concept album about the last human on earth, who’s made immortal to bear witness to the death of the planet itself. They’ve paced the story brilliantly: savage beats and shredding evoke the desperate desire to hang on to life; guest appearances from horn and string players add poignant, emotional elements. The live experience won’t be exactly like the studio version, of course, but it should get close. Patrick Corona of Cyborg Octopus will fill in on sax for Zach Sprouse, a friend of the band who often plays on their records.   v

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