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Rivers of Nihil part ways with longtime rhythm guitarist Jonathan Topore

Jonathan Topore
(Image credit: Jason Carlson Photography)

Pennsylvania tech death metallers Rivers of Nihil have announced the departure of their longtime rhythm guitarist, Jonathan Topore.

In a new social media statement, the band hint at the amicable nature of the split, calling Topore “a great friend to all of us”.

“After nearly eight years of working together, Rivers of Nihil [have] decided to part ways with guitarist Jonathan Topore,” the statement reads. “Like any relationship, sometimes it becomes clear that it is simply time for a change that will be in the best interest of everyone involved.”

The band go on to reveal that Andy Thomas – of fellow Pennsylvania metal outfit Black Crown Initiate – will step in for their upcoming US tour dates with Fallujah, Alluvial and Warforged.

“As a fellow Reading, PA area native, Andy has been passively and actively involved with Rivers of Nihil since our inception and there is no other person that we trust more than him to take on this position.”

Jonathan Topore joined Rivers of Nihil in 2014, replacing founding rhythm guitarist Jon Kunz. He has appeared on three of the band’s four studio albums: Monarchy (2015), Where Owls Know My Name (2018) and most recently The Work, which arrived last year.

As the band explain in their statement, newcomer Andy Thomas offered guest vocals on the title track to Where Owls Know My Name.

Prior to the release of The Work on September 4 last year, guitarist Brody Uttley spoke with Guitar World about his approach to crafting his leads for the album.

“My advice to anyone building a solo would be to really consider the material you are playing over,” he said. “Because with a lot of my solos, what I’m playing over is just as important as what I’m playing.

“Maybe on past records of ours I’ve overplayed a bit. I might have learned a new technique or lick or whatever. This time I wanted to treat our solos as songs within the song.”

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Sam is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.