Rivers Of Nihil at Old National Centre, Indianapolis, October 15, 2022

Rivers of Nihil finished off their fall tour with an unusual show in Indianapolis.

Rivers of Nihil finished their Fall tour with The Contortionist last Saturday at the Old National Centre in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was a concept tour in a way. Not only did The Contortionist play two of their albums in their entirety, but Rivers of Nihil also played an album straight through. That is something I had never seen before.

The Old National Centre was known to me for most of my life as the Murat Theatre, the oldest (extant) stage house in Indianapolis. It is a beautiful place with many performance areas including the main theater, The Egyptian Room, and a number of other halls and lobbies. The Rivers of Nihil show was in one of the lower levels in a small hall at the back. It is nicer than I am making it sound – imagine a decent-sized room where a wedding reception might be held with a stage on one side.

The evening got off to a peculiar start when Rivers of Nihil took the stage. The bassist, Adam Biggs, announced that the lead singer, Jake Dieffenbach, would not be performing due to “personal issues.” However, if it was OK with the crowd, the rest of the band would play anyway. The crowd agreed (what else could they do?) and the show went on with Biggs handling the vocal duties. At one point someone did jump on stage to sing for part of a song and I am pretty sure it was Dieffenbach, but in the darkness it was hard to tell.

Rivers of Nihil played their most recent album, The Work (Metal Blade Records 2021) straight through. This album has received a lot of good press (including from me) for its depth of expression. In many ways, Rivers of Nihil have a strong Pink Floyd component going with these songs, particularly in their exploratory nature. There is an extended lyrical presence in the work, and the generous use of saxophones during the live performance greatly enhanced the experience. The lighting was particularly dim and deeply colored, with the liberal use of strobe effects to drive the etherealness home. Even without their usual lead singer, the show they put on ran for an hour and was fantastic.

That’s it for the Fall tour, but Rivers of Nihil are back out on the road in Europe starting in November on the Faces of Death Tour. They will be in the northeast in December for three shows with Killswitch Engage as well, so there are a lot of opportunities remaining to see them this year. Get out there and do it.

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

This post is condensed / rewritten from the Ghost Cult Magazine article which is linked below.


Ghost Cult Magazine article on the show, https://www.ghostcultmag.com/concert-review-the-contortionist-rivers-of-nihil-live-at-old-national-centre-indianapolis/

Rivers Of Nihil, https://www.riversofnihil.com/

Metal Blade Records, https://www.metalblade.com/us/artists/rivers-of-nihil/

The Contortionist, https://www.thecontortionist.net/

© Wayne Edwards

Rivers Of Nihil at Old National Centre, Indianapolis, October 15, 2022

Monolord and Firebreather at Black Circle Brewing, March 19, 2022

Two bands from Gothenburg, Sweden rolled in to Indianapolis on Saturday night and laid down the doom.

Black Circle Brewing is a restaurant and bar in Indianapolis that attracts an impressive roster of heavy music acts throughout the year. On Saturday night, it was Monolord and Firebreather who took the stage. Both stoner / doom bands from Sweden are touring on new albums. The local opener was Ancient Days, and they have new music out, too.

Ancient Days is a five-piece doom outfit with a mysterious, bewitching vibe. I arrived at Black Circle just as they started to play, so I head their sonic emanations spilling out into the neighborhood as darkness was folding over the city. It was an amazing way for the show to begin. Check out their music at Bandcamp – their latest album is Sign of the Times.

Firebreather is playing every stop on the tour, and they have a titanic rumble about them. Their latest album is Dwell In The Fog, and once you hear it, you won’t be able to stop listening. The music is a rambling groove of rushing heavy, and their live performance is a nonstop push that probes your cerebellum and gets your head swinging.

Monolord is a band I have been following for years and years. Your Time To Shine is their latest album, and I have been on the bandwagon since Empress Rising. I don’t know how it is possible, but this is the first time I had ever seen them live. I have heard every song they have released and I’ve seen recordings of their performances, but being there is a whole different experience. That’s why we go to shows, right.

Black Circle Brewing is a small, intimate place. There is no pit, so you can stand right up by the stage, which rises only a couple feet so it feels like the band is in the same space you are. The show was sold out and the crowd was a solid sea of doom fans. We got everything we were looking for and more. Unsurprisingly, this performance made me want to see Monolord again even more, if that is possible. Then again, how could it go any other way? I know for sure I’ll catch them at Psycho Las Vegas at the end of the summer – get those tickets while you still can because that event is going to legendary.

Monolord and Firebreather have several more dates in March in Texas, Arizona, and southern California. Check out the tour poster below and see if they are coming your way.

All photos by Wayne Edwards.


Monolord, https://monolord.bandcamp.com/

Firebreather, https://firebreatherdoom.bandcamp.com/

Ancient Days, https://ancientdays.bandcamp.com/

Black Circle Brewing, https://www.blackcirclebrewing.com/black-circle

© Wayne Edwards.

Monolord and Firebreather at Black Circle Brewing, March 19, 2022