Monday, February 27, 2017

Black Metal History Month- Rive : "Trist"

My favorite sub-genre of black metal is depressive or depressive suicidal as it was once called. There was even more feeling injected into this brand than that that of there more stalwart counterparts.There have been a couple releases so far, but in looking for something new to review as we wind down the month here, this was the only album I found. So it looks like 2016 might have been marginally more prolific here, but we are only a quarter into the year so it's too soon to say.  This project from Norway  opens their album with a somber piano piece. When it does kick in there is more of a straightforward aggression than what I typically think of as depressive black metal. The guitar holds most of the emoting in it's melody.  It is not until "Forsaken" that I notice the vocals going up into a more pained shrieked. The guitar seems to be the focus as the double bass is so stiff it might be programmed.

 "Heartless" is more dynamic in some sense, though the main riff of the song is pretty straight forward, the song's strongest moment is when it breaks down into a more melodic section and the vocals howl out of the normal gravelly register they are croaked in.  "Hviske" or whisper for Americans is darker, though displays the uneven production quality of the album. It sounds like everything is being played in another room. The synth more creates a cool atmosphere and I feel like song has more of what I want from this sub-genre of black metal.

What this band has going for them is the concise manner of songwriting, they do not sprawl out and kept things to under the six minute mark. They also give you are decent sampling of dynamics along the way to I think this speaks to their focus. This is not the best production you are going to hear from a black metal album and at some place it seems like that is the point. They are also not dependent on blast beats and you get more double bass, while the drumming is the weak spot, I think this speaks to having their own sound. All of this factors into why I will give this album and 8 out 10 .

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