“The Conscious Seed of Light” 

by Thor

Reading, PA’s Rivers of Nihil is a progressive death metal band whose Metal Blade debut “The Conscious Seed of Light” is out now.

Recorded and produced by Erik Rutan at Mana Recording Studios, “The Conscious Seed of Light” is an ambitious offering that blends tropes from almost all extreme metal subgenres into a uniform sound that’s typified by Jake Dieffenbach’s aggressive, articulate vocal shredding.  Musically, the band borrows the moody reprieves of melodic death metal, the hyper-aggressive and precise speed from tech-death, as well as ill-sounding low-tuned slams to break up the tempo and provide the muscle.  There are even passages pulled from the pages of Classic Thrash 101.  The result is a dynamic and interesting volume of technically proficient death metal.

The area in which Rivers of Nihil’s “The Conscious Seed of Light” stands apart from its peers is its subject matter.  This project should loosely be considered a concept album representing the dawn of life on earth and its evolution with and without human beings.  Songs such as “Terrestria I: Thaw”, “Rain Eater”, “Soil & Seed”, “Human Adaptation”, “A Fertile Altar”, and “Airless” bear this out.  Listening through the album and experiencing how the music represents aurally what the words do conceptually is almost a narrative, poetic experience.

These guys pull out all the stops to provide metal fans with something more than merely a typical collection of heavy tunes.  However, while the album is theatrical, it’s not ostentatious.  It does retain a concise musical through-line that will please those of you who aren’t looking to study musical opulence, but just want to jam some of those aforementioned heavy tunes.  Rest assured, there are riffs here (on “Soil & Seed” for example) that will endanger all inanimate objects within your reach.

Rivers of Nihil’s “The Conscious Seed of Light” is along the lines of music by bands such as Morbid Angel, Spawn of Possesion, and mid-era Cryptopsy.  Unless you’re a gutter purist that needs your death metal to be grimy and punk, Rivers of Nihil should be on your shortlist of bands to check out.  It’s safe to say these guys will be around for a while, so you might as well jump onboard now and score cool-points, Wormsters.