10. Rivers Of Nihil – Where Owls Know My Name
Where Owls My Name is an amalgamation of all of progressive metal’s greatest aspects. On their third album, Pennsylvania’s Rivers of Nihil create a visceral hour driven by the grunts and guitar tones of Enslaved, the drumming of Gojira, the instrumental diversity of pre-Animal Shining and the compositions of latter-day Death.
As a whole, it adds every permutation possible to the death metal subgenre. Songs like “Old Nothing” and “Hollow” are pure, fast-paced extreme metal, all laced with pounding rhythms and guttural vocals from frontman Jake Dieffenbach. These represent Where Owls Know My Name’s most straight-shooting moments; other tracks “Subtle Change (Including the Forest of Illusion)”, “The Silent Life” and “Capricorn/Agoratopia” integrate a slew of more atmospheric interludes through their clean guitars and reduced tempos, often capped off by a saxophone solo for good measure.
Where Owls Know My Name is easily Rivers of Nihil’s masterpiece, culminating the increasingly progressive journey that they first embarked upon with their debut album in 2013. The overall effect that it will have on these Americans’ career remains to be seen, but the album itself deserves to enjoy the same reputation as works by Between the Buried and Me and even Opeth.