Released: 2015, Metal Blade Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Rivers of Nihil is a thrash band that comes from the United States, bringing punishing riffs and fast melodies. They come at us with their second album Metal Blade Records, entitled Monarchy.
Right off the get go, the album builds up with a sombre, instrumental intro. After that though, nothing feels sombre about the rest of the album as it gets right into business with Evil By Design. Right away, there is technical playing to be had here, making it stand out from the pack. The vocals also help, where they border on the edge of Death and Thrash metal vocals.
The album does continue along with the same pummelling thrash sound, but when it breaks from that I feel is when the band truly shines. Songs such as Sand Baptism have a Middle Eastern flair and actually has an interesting theme going with it. Dehydrate is another example where they have the bass come up front for parts of the song, giving it a different feel to the music as a whole. Even Terresria II, Thrive comes in as an instrumental track, which gives us something different from the album once again.
The final two tracks on the album, (Circles in the Sky and Suntold) are technically a two part track. Although seeing a 14 minute track can deter some people off if it’s not a band known for longer material. It does lead to a fake outro then a soothing, almost out of place piece for the final minute or so of the album.
One thing I found lacking on this album were the solos. Granted, they were there, but I felt that they were only used to build up the next part of the song, rather than have the song build up the solo itself. A bit odd, but not a huge complaint.
The album is not hard to get through either, as it clocks in at just over 49 minutes. The album itself goes by quickly and doesn’t overstay its welcome, making it easily accessible to someone wanting to listen to the music of Rivers of Nihil.