In March 2023, Rivers of Nihil wrapped up a recording session that saw the now four-piece band birth a considerable amount of new music featuring their previous bassist/backup vocalist Adam Biggs as the new lead vocalist/bassist. This recording session also marked the first appearance of new guitarist Andy Thomas (ex-Black Crown Initiate), whose vocals also play prominently in the music, as a member of Rivers of Nihil. These new singles are the first to showcase the band’s new lineup in full-on collaboration, and demonstrates that while this is a new, brave sound with tons of potential, it also carries the band’s classic energy.
The second of these new singles, “Hellbirds“, is available today on all digital platforms. Check out the video for the new song, shot by David Brodsky & Allison Woest of My Good Eye Visuals
Vocalist and bassist Adam Biggs had this to say about the latest single:
“‘Hellbirds’ is a song that was actually largely written during the sessions for The Work. We couldn’t find a place for the song on that album, but we knew it would see the light of day sometime because it’s easily one of the heaviest songs we’ve ever written, and we’ve reworked it to display the raw power of the new lineup. The lyrics are written from the perspective of someone you might consider a ‘typical’ person in this day and age; worn out, drug addicted, nihilistic and living in the wake of so many things he can’t control. It’s an anthem for people who hail from dead end towns like us.”
• Music and Lyrics by Rivers of Nihil
• Engineering, Mixing and Mastering by Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland at Atrium Audio
• Additional engineering by Brody Uttley
Rivers of Nihil is:
Brody Uttley – guitars/keyboards
Adam Biggs – vocals/bass
Jared Klein – drums/vocals
Andy Thomas – guitar/vocals
About the band:
Pennsylvania progressive death metal band Rivers of Nihil has never fit neatly into a box, but with 2018’s Where Owls Know My Name, they transcended all labels applied to them. Returning in 2021 with The Work released on September 24 via Metal Blade Records, they’ve forged further into new territory, delivering an album that’s as cerebral as it is visceral, and that covers a staggering sonic range, definitively placing them in a category of their own. Inarguably a dense, heavy collection, The Work is far too dynamic to be considered a solely metal record and there is a genuine warmth that shows through, particularly tracks like “Wait” and the gorgeous “Maybe One Day.” Additionally, the band had incorporated far more clean vocals alongside the screaming that tears through many of the record’s heavier tracks. Courtesy of their friend Zach Strouse, saxophone once again adds extra layers of atmosphere to the collection, utilizing baritone, soprano, and alto saxes to great effect.
Towards the end of 2021, the Pennsylvania progressive death metalers Rivers of Nihil spent the majority of their time burning the candle at both ends with a frenzied tour schedule including headline runs of the U.S. and Europe and in support of The Contortionist in North America for a month in September/October of 2022, but once the latter tour wrapped up, they were short a band member.
For personal reasons, founding member and lead vocalist Jake Dieffenbach and the band went their separate ways. The split took place just three days after the recording of a live video and audio session for Audiotree‘s new ‘From Nothing‘ series, which was released on April 20, 2023. And while initially the band wasn’t sure how to approach the release with the departure of a founding member and lead singer – or whether to release it at all – they decided to move forward with it to honor Dieffenbach’s contributions to the group over the years and mark the beginning of a new chapter.
“Of their many accomplishments, Rivers Of Nihil’s most impressive feat is making listeners reconsider what death metal can be” – Kerrang!
“The Work is nothing less than a work of art. It’s by far the group’s most cohesive, ambitious, meditative, and varied effort, with greater uses of philosophical significance and transcendental respites.” – Metal Injection
“The Work flows beautifully… [it’s] the sound of a band in thrall to their own inspirational ideas, and with a refined grasp of the dynamics required to truly take listeners on, dare we say it, a journey.” – Blabbermouth
“With The Work, RIVERS OF NIHIL have crafted an album that is both indisputably them but also hits very differently to its predecessor, without sacrificing any quality or creativity… It’s a monument to their refusal to be pigeonholed… as well as to their relentless desire to push the envelope creatively, with the end result an album that is incredibly rewarding” – Distorted Sound