Shallow Rivers - _Nihil Euphoria_
(BadMoodMan Music, 2013)
by: Chaim Drishner (7.5 out of 10)
Two out of the Russian doom/death ensemble Revelation of Rain have joined forces and formed this atmospheric doom/death project by the name of Shallow Rivers.

_Nihil Euphoria_ adopts the same formula familiarized with the new wave of Russian doom/death recordings coming from the house of Solitude Production and the label's sub-divisions; that is to say romantic, bombastic and melodramatic doom-laden death metal of the melodic and quasi-melancholic type.

Although _Nihil Euphoria_ is not utterly different in that regard, the album offers powerful and super-engaging tunes, masterful playing, excellent production and highly aesthetic packaging. The artwork is ethereal and mysterious and the English-written lyrics are of high quality.

Alluding to the banal, and yet maintaining still a high musical value, the duo put their heart and soul into the compositions, and it shows; the grand melodies are heavy on punchy, sometimes even thrashing, distorted guitar and guttural vocals that sit perfectly with the harmonies, into that some sparse keyboards are introduced that keep a good balance between the metallic storm and the romantic, broken-hearted edge.

That mix is flawlessly executed on every level, pushing forward butter-smoothly and its intrinsic dichotomy works its magic on the listener with every breath one takes, making this album ear candy even for those who might think they have already heard everything in this school of Russian melodic (gothic?) doom/death metal, and are quite fed up with this sub-genre. This album will prove wrong any preconception or prejudice the sceptics out there may have, for it is virtually impossible to remain apathetic towards the tunes encapsulated within this little album.

As of now, Shallow Rivers are a better musical entity than Revelation of Rain, delivering a more interesting and highly developed brand of heavy metal, that even though is nowhere near innocent of genre clich├ęs, manages to transcend above and beyond these very pedestrian and familiar trodden roads and offer something grand and ethereal with such a strong impact that it will make you oblivious to the fact this album could have been a tad more original, as I'm sure these proficient musicians could have written a piece that is even more singular in its structure than this offering. _Nihil Euphoria_ is a massive, sweeping and majestically melodious recording of the highest order.


(article published 2/3/2014)

3/3/2015 C Drishner 8.5 Shallow Rivers - The Leaden Ghost
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