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Rivers of Nihil Release Epic New Single + Video, “Focus”

  • Axl Rosenberg

Rivers of Nihil’s new album, The Work, is every bit as good as, if not better than, their last album, Where Owls Know My Name. That’s a big deal, because even the Metal Internet couldn’t find any reason to complain about Owls. Rivers of Nihil have always been great, but now they’ve pulled off the rare feat of producing two back-to-back masterpieces, propelling themselves (assuming there’s any justice in the world) to the next level of Heavy Metal Glory.

Doubt me? Just check out RoN’s new Work single, “Focus.” If you put a gun to my head and asked me which song was better, this or the first Work single, “Clean,” you would probably end up shooting me in the head and scooping my dead body into a shallow grave, because they’re both just so fucking epic.

Which is not say “Focus” is boilerplate Rivers of Nihil. The Work finds the band continuing to experiment and expand their sound, and while “Clean” was a somewhat more “traditional” RoN song, “Focus” might be their most melodic track to date. Which is not to say it’s soft — non-metalheads would surely think me a lunatic for daring to suggest this song has melody — but it’s not just the blunt clobbering we so often seek out in death metal. As a wise man once put it, “There are textures.”

Not only that, but the video is friggin’ awesome; not only is it chock full of striking imagery (those match cuts!), but it has something on its mind, too. Guitarist/keyboardist Brody Uttley explains: 

“For the ‘Focus’ video, we once again recruited Mr. David Brodsky, Allie Woest and the team at MyGoodEye. This video tells the story of an individual in a fractured state of mind confronting the darkest parts of his inner self and battling with a physical manifestation of his deepest fears and concerns; the worst parts of himself. This manifestation represents the presence in all of our heads that tries to pull us down into the throes of self-destructive behavior and patterns of thinking. The creature that he is interacting with becomes more apparent as the video progresses (with the main character slipping deeper into psychosis) until the end when he loses his battle and is plunged down into the blackness once and for all; existing permanently in the prison that his delusions have constructed for him…Perhaps finally at peace, or just as likely: never again at peace.”

Watch the video for “Focus” below.

The Work will be released on September 24 via Metal Blade. Pre-order it here!!! The band has previously hinted that this latest release will be the “winter” (and final) album in their four-part season quadrilogy. The incredible album art, by the great Dan Seagrave, is also below.

Rivers of Nihil begin a tour with The Black Dahlia Murder, After the Burial, Carnifex, and Undeath in September. Here are the dates:

3-Sep Chicago, IL Concord Music Hall [tickets]
4-Sep Minneapolis, MN The Fillmore [tickets]
5-Sep Milwaukee, WI The Rave [tickets]
7-Sep Grand Rapids, MI Intersection [tickets]
8-Sep Fort Wayne, IN Piere’s [tickets]
9-Sep Sauget, IL Pops [tickets]
10-Sep Lawrence, KS Granada Theater [tickets]
11-Sep Denver, CO Summit Music Hall [tickets]
12-Sep Salt Lake City, UT The Complex [tickets]
14-Sep Seattle, WA El Corazon [tickets]
15-Sep Portland, OR Bossanova Ballroom [tickets]
17-Sep Berkeley, CA UC Theater [tickets]
18-Sep Los Angeles, CA The Belasco [tickets]
19-Sep San Diego, CA House of Blues [tickets]
21-Sep Las Vegas, NV House of Blues [tickets]
22-Sep Mesa, AZ Nile Theater [tickets]
24-Sep Dallas, TX GMBG [tickets]
25-Sep Austin, TX Come and Take It Live [tickets]
26-Sep Houston, TX Warehouse Live [tickets]
28-Sep Atlanta, GA Center Stage [tickets]
29-Sep Greensboro, NC Arizona Petes [tickets]
30-Sep Baltimore, MD Baltimore Soundstage [tickets]
1-Oct Columbus, OH King of Clubs [tickets]
2-Oct Pittsburgh, PA Roxian Theater [tickets]
3-Oct Cleveland, OH House of Blues [tickets]
5-Oct Detroit, MI St Andrews Hall [tickets]
6-Oct Toronto, ON Phoenix Concert Theater [tickets]
7-Oct Montreal, QC Club Soda [tickets]
8-Oct Worcester, MA The Palladium [tickets]
9-Oct Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom [tickets]
10-Oct New York, NY Irving Paza [tickets]

Rivers of Nihil Release Epic New Single + Video, “Focus”
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