Defend The Rhino
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Defend The Rhino

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2016

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Established on Jan, 2016
Solo Alternative Instrumental




"An Emotional Journey"

Defend The Rhino’s “There’s No Place Like Home” is a satisfying emotional journey. Reminiscent of Explosion in the Sky’s buildups towards cathartic releases, these are songs that soar. Everything simply works from the grandeur of the guitars to the steady driving rhythms. A wordless narrative emerges from the album and it is this insistence on thematic consistency that ties everything together. Perfectly balanced these are sounds that positively teem with life. 

A light rain introduces the opener “Milestone”. Regal piano comes into the fray as the song’s spaciousness resonates. Such a quiet introduction Defend The Rhino lets the song unfold slowly and gently before ending in a rush of vibrant color. Nicely following this is the expressive “Bucket List”. “Greener Grass” opts for a slight moodiness as the song’s vaguely dramatic underpinnings guide the piece forward, with the violin work feeling particularly apt. Introspection dominates the laid-back vibes of “Intertwined”. Almost nostalgic in tone “Intertwined” has a sense of loveliness to it. Strong rhythms and layers of sound define the ornate work of “Second Chance”. Giddiness prevails on the hopeful sound of “Fugitive” as the piece is quite spry in tone. Quite dreamy “Highlight” sprawls out majestically as the piece is a kaleidoscope of textures. Bringing the album to a close is the subdued “Afterthought”. 

By letting their songs nicely play and build off of each other Defend The Rhino creates a true Post-Rock masterpiece with “There’s No Place Like Home”. 

- Eric Baker (Beach Sloth) -

"Coerced Into Comfort"

Defend The Rhino Project with their album titled “There’s No Place Like Home” is full of rich sounds that coerced your mind through comfort places as you listen to each song. It is simply music that is fit for motion picture undertaking. You can envision the scenes of situations on the film with this type of music accompanying it.

Milestone - Very nice soothing music that glides you through the different personalities of a life situation imaged through watching movies. At first the person is contemplating how he is going to tackle the challenge, the music moves him into just jumping in and pursuing his goals and you see him excelling at what he does and feeling accomplished as the music edges him on to do so.

Bucket List - One can tell that that these songs are specifically made for movie dramatization. The music makes you feel like someone is doing something or you are watching something. It definitely takes your mind away from the present and places you somewhere else. You have to figure out where you are while listening to the song.

Greener Grass - Greener Grass sounds like walking music. I envision Charlie Brown walking on the cartoon grass with his head hanging low and that funny walk he does as he is in deep thought. This is thinking music.

Eternal Love - Each song on this album expresses experiences. “Eternal Love” adds to that concept by producing sounds of energy moving forward, excelling, plateauing, and coming to a halt. You can attach any storyline to this piece of music.

Intertwined – When you run-walk in the sand on the beach, then maneuver to a full scale run while your intertwined with your thoughts you just have to move with it. This song produces storyline movement.

Second Chance - Sounds like a marathon song to me. Maybe it’s called “Second Chance” because someone is offered a second chance at completing a marathon that they could not finish before. It’s a song about overcoming your triumphs.

Fugitive - The song fugitive reminds me of someone repeating something in their mind over and over again, trying to come up with a different answer or scenario to the same situation. The way the rhythms run in this song reminds me of circles - there is no beginning nor end.

Tokyo, Japan - Tokyo, Japan is a great sound bite for anime films. I can see cartoons in movement with this song.

Highlight - Is a delightful high energy song that I believe reflects the concept of “Defending the Rhino”. This song combines all the music sounds of the producer and brings it to a crescendo!

Afterthought - You can feel the end coming in this song. After all is said and done, the purpose is complete, and we are quieting down for the end. There’s no place like home.

- Patricia Brower (Brower Entertainment) -

"Beautiful Endeavour Into Instrumentalism"

As a critic within the independent music scene, I get just about everything across my desk. Hip hop, indie folk, funk... the works. It’s not often, however, that I get a fully instrumental act that seems to culminate half a dozen different genres into itself to create a rather fresh, exciting endeavour. That’s the case with Defend The Rhino and his new album, ‘There’s No Place Like Home.’ Let’s explore a selection of songs from the record.

Defend The Rhino is the moniker of Nathaniel Sutton, a trained multi instrumentalist with a penchant for film scores. Thus, ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ often feels like it could be orchestrating a film. The album utilizes a pretty hefty sonic palette. There’s hints of classical influence, alternative rock, drone, atmosphere, and indie rock scattered throughout Sutton’s musings. In some ways, this is epitomized by the opener, ‘Milestone.’

‘Milestone’ introduces you to Defend The Rhino with a complex sonic landscape. The opening of the song builds, again, as if it’s scoring the emotional intensity of a film scene. Shortly after the two minute mark, the synthesizers, stark piano rhythm, and electric guitar all amplify into an excellent jam. It’s smooth and constant, and thus, might make it on my running playlist.

Sutton’s distinct flair becomes more recognizable as the album continues and you notice his talent for layering sounds. ‘Bucket List’ has a soft, melodic guitar riff propelling it forward as driving percussion makes room for ambient synthesizers and surreal sound effects. The cacophony of distortion toward the end is magnificently elegant.

As you move forward to ‘Fugitive’ later on the record, you’re met with one of Defend The Rhino’s best songs followed by ‘Tokyo, Japan.

As I close my experience with Defend The Rhino with the soft, dreamlike ‘Highlight,’ I was met with my conclusion. The compositions are beautiful and a solid indie endeavour into instrumentalism.

- Brett David Stewart (Strike Magazine) -


Still working on that hot first release.



Defend The Rhino is a cinematic instrumental music project conceived by singer-songwriter / composer / audio engineer, Nathaniel Sutton. A multi-instrumentalist with a flair for musical drama, he first studied guitar and drums, adding bass and piano to his repertoire as time went by. Always inspired by the depth of film music, he knows first hand how the turn of a musical phrase can completely change the tone of a moment, and to that end, has been chasing his muse through darkened hallways and empty rooms, filling the space between their walls with a sound that is in turns ethereal, romantic and hypnotic. 

The question: what would a movie be without music? 

The answer: unfinished business. 

Sutton’s lifelong passion for music and music production began in high school, after which he pursued a degree in audio engineering, developing a deft touch for exploiting emotion through sonic texture and expansive soundscapes. He went on to compose the soundtracks for several independent films, and came up with the concept for Defend The Rhino along the way. He imagines Defend The Rhino as a musical entity, in which the music itself is as much a part of the visual interpretation as what’s on screen. With deep, dark tonalities that constantly sidestep the line between ambient electronica and post punk gloom, he has conspired elegantly with the dark side of a grand piano, plumbing the depths to uncover a living thing, complete with a pulsing heartbeat all its own. In Sutton’s world, reverb is an instrument, delivering a shimmering wall of half-lidded dream states that hint at what could be, and what lies beyond the veil. 

The Edmonton native is by no means a newcomer to the music scene. He spent several years playing in touring bands while he honed his recording and production chops on the side. His original song “Far More” received exclusive release on Deep Elm Records in 2010 as part of a popular compilation series called The Emo Diaries. His self-titled album was released on UK based Engineer Records in 2012, and he continues to create deeply personal music with a high production value, some with vocals and some without. You might say that what Nathaniel does is akin to sonic poetry, as it has the kind of cadence usually reserved for prose, but not often spoken aloud. As comfortable being the source of all sound on his albums as he is working with an eclectic array of instrumentation, he doesn’t discount the possibility of introducing orchestral instruments as the visuals require. From the lone violin at fade-in to the crunching guitars during the chase scene, or a single note coaxed from the lower register of a piano, these are the elements at play. Powerful in their scarcity, yet deeply textured and always tugging at your most visceral memories, each note is a story unto itself, like an old but familiar, hauntingly lucid dream. 

Defend The Rhino cites influence from instrumental artists such as Mogwai, Explosions In the Sky and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. 

Band Members