Sunday, 20 August 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: River Black - "River Black"

By: Mark Tremblay

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 17/07/2017
Label: Season of Mist


River Black’s self-titled release picks up right where Burnt by the Sun’s “Heart of Darkness” left off, the riffs and instrumentation are crushing, as well as vocalist Mike Olender being the best he has ever been, For anyone who enjoys Metal and hardcore at its finest will find this record to be of their choosing.


“River Black” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Jaws
2. Honor
3. Low
4. Shipwreck
5. River Black
6. South x South
7. Boat
8. Move
9. #Victim
10. Haunt
11. Sink
12. Everywhere
The Review:

River Black’s self-titled release picks up right where Burnt by the Sun’s “Heart of Darkness” left off in ways that are both impressive and terrifying. The positives are that the riffs and instrumentation are crushing, as well as vocalist Mike Olender being the best he has ever been. The terrifying element is that the lyrical continuity between “Heart of Darkness” and “River Black” indicates the human condition has only grown worse in the band’s absence. Fans of Burnt by the Sun will not only welcome this new record, but also be blown away by the progression of River Black’s sound.  

The album gets off to a pummelling start from the get-go with “Jaws” and “Low” are riff-oriented tracks very reminiscent of the “Soundtrack to the Personal Evolution” era of Burnt by the Sun. The album takes a turn in the middle with the self titled track and “South x South”. These songs show a more matured band exercising restraint and understanding the best qualities of their sound. It is the little things that make such an impact; particularly with the double kick pattern and the string arrangements on “South x South”, you see the growth still capable within this band. As mentioned previously, Mike Olender’s vocals are nothing short of spectacular. With “River Black”, the listener really gets the sense of a man who has had many life experiences between his studio albums. Particularly with songs like “Haunt” and “#Victim”, you get the sense Mike is not only a seasoned lyricist, but has completely mastered his craft as a metal vocalist.

For anyone who enjoys Metal and hardcore at its finest will find this record to be of their choosing.


“River Black” is available here


Band info: bandcamp || facebook

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