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The Riven: The Riven
The Riven 2019 Album Music Review

The Riven: The Riven

Melodic Heavy Blues Rock
3.5/5.0

Formed in London in 2016, The Riven hit the road running with their well-received five song debut EP, Blackbird. In 2018, the quartet, fronted by female vocalist Totta Ekebergh, ventured back to the studio at Madrid's Holy Cuervo Studios. The result is their debut full-length album, simply self-titled, for The Sign Records.

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The Riven

The Riven is something of a throwback band, drawing from early classic heavy blues rock, notable in the Seventies. Their songs are thick with bass groove and a steady heavy drum beat. The riffs are charged and vibrant, having a slight Seventies fuzzed out feeling and, after the notable blues vibe, also some psychedelic sense. You're likely to hear the psych feeling in some of the guitar solos. Ekebergh as a vocalist has a deep voice, inherently bluesy and a bit raspy, but also somewhat droning, at least to my ears. I tired of her quickly.

With the songs, The Riven can mix the pacing. With songs like Finnish Woods, Far Beyond, or I Remember, and Shadow Man the movement can seem solemn, sober, and desperate to the point of agony with Finnish Woods. Yet, with Far Beyond that melancholy can turn to liveliness with the psychedelic guitar solo in the latter third. That arrangement, slow to fast, is a common composition technique for The Riven. Alternatively, songs such as The Serpent, Edge Of Time, and Leap Of Faith enjoy some brisk pacing, giving you a more upbeat feeling from The Riven. In the end, I probably preferred those latter songs over the slower ones. After this, I was also pleasantly surprised by depth and skill of Arnau Diaz's guitar work throughout the album. Nevertheless, even with these finer and notable points, I can honestly say that I'm ambivalent about The Riven and their debut album. But if you like the recent revival of retro classic heavy blues rock, you will probably enjoy The Riven.



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The Bottom Line

I can honestly say that I'm ambivalent about The Riven and their debut album. But if you like the recent revival of retro classic heavy blues rock, you will probably enjoy The Riven.

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