Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, July 8, 2017

River Black - S/T

River Black is one of those insane death metal bands who you tell yourself can't possibly be good, largely in order to protect yourself from the fact that these sorts of bands are almost always huge disappointments. Fortunately we've been blessed with River Black, a band who break that trope with some of the most intense and promising heavy metal I've heard in a good long time. There is a certain intense majesty to their self titled debut, and it leaves me hungry for more from these death metal titans in the making. 

When it comes down to it, not only are River Black extreme, but they are also willing to embrace diversity. The slow moving crush of this record, with its monolithic stomp, tasteful compositions and bone crunching rhythms reminds me time and time again of the pedigree of the people involved. Though River Black have no problem borrowing from their influences and musical peers, they also seem to revel in pushing the envelope in weird ways, with unique songwriting quirks, fresh tones and a vocal attack that is very nearly singular. Above all though is the almighty groove. The way that you can fall into what this band do is delicious and makes you want to dig in deep.

This is a band who can fuse Lamb Of God style riffing with moments of avant metal weirdness and make it work. They break your skull open with devastating riffs, and then scale back and force you to look at the more bizarre sides of metal. In a weird way you hear all of the composite parts coming together for this band and then pushing it into something even more bizarre. River Black is a modern day extreme metal masterpiece, hinting at a variety of genres yet refusing to conform, making for metal magic.

Find them on Facebook! 

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