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3.5 out of 5 skulls
February 19, 2014 | ,

Rivers of Nihil The Conscious Seed of Light

The Conscious Seed of Light is the debut full-length effort from Reading, PA quintet Rivers of Nihil. It’s an album of technical beauty and proficient musicianship as each member showcases their abilities to the utmost. That said, it’s an album from a young band that still has some maturing to do.

The cold, blackened vibe of album opener “Terrestria 1: Thaw” hints at a sound that is chilling, swelling to a crescendo as the heavy drumming come in, but it’s just a tease as we don’t really cross paths again. Instead, for the next nine songs we are happily bombarded with a blend of technical death metal, Meshuggah inspired tempo shifts, cold melodies and progressive influences from the likes of Gojira and maybe a little Goreguts.

And this is where the band’s youth comes in to play. The Conscious Seed of Light is chock full of tasty licks, blasting rhythms and energetic leaps of technical prowess, but it’s a sound that we’ve heard a few times before. Now, that’s not to say the music here isn’t good. It actually is. Each track is performed quite well and infectious in their own right. Rivers of Nihil is a young band with an eagerness to deliver their music. And much like a good wine or high-alcohol brew, sometimes things just need time to develop. And that’s just what the music here needs — a little maturing.

As for the music on the band’s debut, it’s pretty damn catchy. An overall chilly tone covers each note as songs like “Rain Eater” deliver a vicious aural attack that is further amplified by Hate Eternal mastermind Erik Rutan’s production. The track commands your attention, but doesn’t overwhelm the senses with too much technicality in a show of wankery. It’s a solid song with a rumbling groove and enough dynamic shifts to keep you on edge with a decent balance between technical and brutal elements.

This is an album that also takes a few listens to fully develop and draw you in. If you’re willing to devote the time, songs like the melancholic “Mechanical Trees,” the slow burning “Soil & Seed,” the rapid fire “Place of Serpents” and the frantic “Human Adaptation” are a few that you should check out.

When all is said and done, Rivers of Nihil have a solid effort with The Conscious Seed of Light. The combination of a great production and excellent musicianship hints at a bright future These guys just need a little more time to mature and develop their own sound.

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