Rivers of Nihil, Fallujah, Alluvial, Warforged @ The Brooklyn Monarch
May 06, 2022
Between a day of heavy rain and the closure of the nearby L train station after 10:30pm for construction, this particular Friday was prime for a night of takeout and Netflix among many households. Yet, huddled under a handful of umbrellas and increasingly soaked hoodies were a group of concertgoers who were not about to let a storm get in the way of evening's festivities.
"I guess it would be nice to stay home," said one fan in line as he inspected the rain damage to his patch vest, "but this is a show I couldn't miss; you don't get this kind of bill in Brooklyn too often!" The bill in question was a stacked one indeed - the first show of the Terrestria World Tour headlined by River of Nihil with support from Fallujah, Alluvial, and Warforged.
Blending progressive riffs with blackened death metal tones, Chicago's Warforged welcomed the ever growing crowd in from the rainy streets. Having released their debut album, I:Voice, in 2019, the band had already made their mark among New York metalheads, many of whom were in the crowd eager to hear their favorite songs live.
Drawing influences from bands such as The Zenith Passage, Winterfylleth, and Enfold Darkness, there will be no shortage of tours for Warforged to join in the coming years. The resounding "No!" among the crowd when announcing their final song for the evening confirms with certainty that there are high hopes for a quick return to the Big Apple.
Comprised of members who are either current of former members of bands such as Glass Casket, The Merciless Concept, The Zenith Passage, Aegaeon, and Entheos to name a few, few bands can boast a lineup quite like Alluvial. Through the collected talents of each member, Alluvial is a powerhouse of atmospheric death metal excellence that had the crowd moving over the course of their performance.
Having released their second album, Sarcoma, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the record's best songs were long overdue for a live performance. By the end of the set, it was clear that everyone in the room would be looking forward to the next time Alluvial comes to town.
Having evolved over the past fifteen years from deathcore roots to a blend of progressive and technical death metal, Fallujah has been a familiar name in the extreme music scene for quite some time. Following the recent addition of vocalist Kyle Schaefer and the announcement of their fifth full length album, Empyrean (releasing Sept. 2022), the San Francisco quintet took the stage with high expectations from the audience.
With a decade and a half of songs to choose from, Fallujah brought with them a stellar setlist of fan favorites along with new material from the upcoming album. While making a mark among fans through performances of songs from Empyrean, many in the audience agreed after the set that Schaefer was an excellent choice to take up the mic. "Anyone can do solid growls," noted one fan, "but he killed it with the clean parts, that was great!"
While extreme metal isn’t know for having sing-along songs like other genres of music, fans leapt over one another to get close to the mic for Rivers of Nihil. Singing fists raised, the crowd knew every word to “A Home” like they wrote it themselves.
Churning out an incredible setlist of tracks from 2018’s Where Owls Know My Name and last year’s The Work, there was no shortage of heavy hitting songs. If it wasn’t a fist that hit you in the pit, it was certainly the music, as one fan shouted “Oh here come the feels!” as saxophonist Zach Strouse took the stage for his solo in The Silent Life.
In addition to their technical skills, the band brings immense emotion to the stage.
From those singing the melodies of guitarist Brody Uttley’s guitar solos, to the couple at the back of the room holding each other close during the sax portion of Subtle Change, Rivers of Nihil goes beyond metal to reach one’s soul.
It was this writer's opinion that, after seeing Rivers of Nihil at Summer Slaughter 2019, the band would without a doubt become extreme music's next sensation. From the cheers and applause in the room, it is clear that many metal fans share that sentiment.
Press and photo pass courtesy of Earsplit PR/Earsplit Compound