Rivers Of Nihil: Monarchy

Pennsylvanian tech-death crew impress again

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It’s been a couple of years since technical death metallers Rivers Of Nihil released their much-lauded debut full-length, The Conscious Seed Of Light.

With its impressive mix of full-on modern brutality and technical sensibilities, it was a record that not only brought the Pennsylvanians to the attention of many, but has also seen them sharing stages with big-hitters.

Follow-up album Monarchy finds an increasingly honed five-piece continuing to impress. While the high-tempo aggression, slower grinding moments and technical flourishes that fans have come to love are all smashed out in style across these 10 tracks, there’s also an increased maturity to the songwriting that sees the band pushing further into more atmospheric and musically diverse territories than we’ve heard from them previously.

Tracks such as Ancestral, I, Sand Baptism and instrumental Terrestria II: Thrive swerve from blazing attacks into melodic, jazz-like interludes and back again, all to great effect. Heavy, but with depth, Monarchy only improves on repeated spins.