By Matty Hume
Rivers of Nihil inject life into Calgary’s death metal horde Rivers of Nihil with Alterbeast and Inferi at Dickens Pub
July 11, 2018
CALGARY — When it comes to technical and melodic death metal, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who’s on the fence about their opinion of the genres. Either you wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole, or you’d bleed through long hair and sweat in the circle-pit for it. Frankly, the former can pound sand, because at Dickens Pub on July 11 three of the best tech-death bands in the business screeched their hearts out for a crowd that was willing to headbang until the rapture!
9 p.m. sharp, Nashville, Tennessee’s Inferi woke the black-clad basement of metal fans from a Stampede stupor with a winning combination of relentless shredding, double-kick drum galore and the guttural howls of their resident banshee, Sam Schneider. Tracks from their latest soundscape of annihilation, Revenant (The Artisan Era 2018), took up the better half of their set. Still, there was a long night of mosh-stomping ahead.
Inferi gloriously set the tone for Sacramento, California’s Alterbeast to blast sonic pentagrams through every skull in the place. Alterbeast’s symphonic thrash was unabating; moving through mind-bogglingly complex melodies with deadly precision as their lead-screecher kept the energy high — goading the messy moshers into smashing each other until they became Dante’s mashed potatoes. It’s a miracle any soul in the room had enough energy left to dance for the headliner.
Yet the bodies and hair continued to fly as Reading, Pennsylvania’s Rivers of Nihil cast the darkest spell of the night. Despite the bone-shaking volume of the speed wizards before them, the five-piece dug deep to mine more morsels from the depths of Beelzebub’s beer fridge, Rivers of Nihil commanded both the audience and their melodic weapons of eardrum destruction with a sense of ease that was humbling to behold. Combining brutal death metal while finessing jazz-influenced movements and instrumentation they pulled the entire venue into their vortex.
When they finally decided Dickens had enough, the decibel-dealing quintet hit a button on their laptop, and walked off the stage to the Space Jam theme song. Come on and slam, y’all!Alterbeast, death metal, Dickens Pub, Inferi, live review, Rivers of Nihil