Rivers of Nihil is easily one of the best and brightest up and coming modern metal bands in the industry right now. Following up their incredible first full length album The Conscious Seed of Light, the band manages to do what every band strives for. Monarchy is the perfect blend of the band’s signature dissonant and twisted sound with new tracks that keep your interest throughout the entire record. Its become increasingly more difficult to find bands that can maintain a unique sound without drying up and regurgitating the same riffs over and over again.
Monarchy starts with a slow, discordant, eerie intro called “Heirless” that slowly builds and builds into a soft crescendo before hurling straight into a chaotic storm of blast beats and tremolo picking. Jake’s vocals accentuate the discordant riff work perfectly, adding the extra layer of dark and twisted that really sets this band apart from the rest of the pack. “Sand Baptism” starts off with a much slower and dissonant tempo, with soft bass lines cutting through every few measures. One of my favorite things about this band is how intense they can make the tracks sound by utilizing pounding drum beats on top of soft and slow guitar lines. It cuts back about halfway through the track into a slow paced riff with chanting vocals filling the space left by the guitars.
“Dehydrate” is another standout track; opening with a soft acoustic lick which snaps and turns into one of the hardest hitting, most aggressive riffs on the entire album. The track doesn’t let up even once, transitioning from brutal riff to even more brutal riff. The track “Monarchy” leads in with a heavier bass presence in the mix which moves everything into an incredible solo section. Its melodic and measured, with a chaotic sense of harmony. Later in the track, another solo section brings in even more soft melodic movements with an aggressive aftertaste.
This album is truly incredible and is easily one of my favorite from this year. This is one of those records that you can leave in your car stereo for months on end and never get tired of listening to. The band did a fantastic job of maintaining their sound while still creating something new and interesting to listen to, Monarchy is easily one of the best records of the year.
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