The songs are very philosophical, apocalyptic, thoughtful, cerebral," says Brett Campaigne, vocalist of Halifax heavy metal band River Nihil. For the last two years, River Nihil has been crafting songs for its debut five-track album, and you can pick one up at Gus' Pub on Friday.
With Christian Oulette (guitar), brothers Dan Dorran (guitar) and Dave Dorran (drums) and Nathan Miller (guitar), River Nihil started working with Gabe Beale last spring at Paul's Hall. Recording was a long time coming, so they were efficient and simplistic in the studio.
"Before River Nihil, we had a band with people who were self-conscious about getting things perfect before it got out, which meant that nothing came out," Campaigne says, laughing. "So it's nice to be in a band where you can do things a bit more aggressively and still put out quality."
After the studio, "We just had a huge flurry of creativity because we had the optimism of finally getting something on the go," he says. The band is already working on another release.
Joining River Nihil is brand new band Versifist, with members from Hellacaust and Terratomb that Campaigne describes as a "powerful black metal three-piece, and we're stoked to play with them." Also on the bill: heavy and dark Barlow and doom-gloom metal lords, PITH.
When it comes to lyricism, Campaigne says he's always really loved poetry and he reads a lot, which helps to temper the bleak sonic heaviness in a positive light. "I like to tap into the collective unconscious when I'm coming up with music, even if it seems cryptic and wordy," he says, "I feel like I can reach people with what I'm saying. Simple but deep, that's my intent."
River Nihil w/Verisfist, PITH, Barlow
Friday, November 22 at 10pm, $5
Gus’ Pub, 2605 Agricola Street