Riwen EP

Written by: AP on 13/10/2014 13:56:30

Formed as recently as July this year, Riwen is a side project of Johannes Persson, whom many will recognise from his day job, handling guitar and vocal duties in Swedish post-metal behemoth Cult of Luna; with Persson himself describing the venture as a personal outlet for the vein of music that he grew up to listening, and was influenced by in the 90’s. But while bands such as Integrity, Judge and Damnation A.D. are certainly complicit as muses here, so, too, have the atmospheric touches of his present day crept onto the palette from whence the three songs that constitute this 10” debut EP have been distilled.

Persson’s harrowing screams have aways lent Cult of Luna a lingering sense of dread, yet here, on the crest of faster rhythms and more measured instrumentation, their intensity is searing, with no small resemblance to Jacob Bannon of Converge fame. The music itself is reminiscent of the towering darkness found on Tragedy’s 2012 LP “Darker Days Ahead” though at least in the case of “Nature Calls Us Back” and “Values”, with a greater emphasis on punk than metal - an inevitable byproduct, perhaps, of the involvement of Fredrik Linkvist (former drummer/vocalist of hardcore punk outfit Total Jävla Mörker) and Christian Augustin (the current drummer of that band) as the two other members of Riwen. It’s pitch black stuff, the former mixing a basic, but distressing power chord arrangement with the sort of wailing leads fans of Converge will immediately find comfort in; the latter unrolling an absolutely menacing salvo of crusty metallic hardcore à la Integrity. These stand in stark contrast with the EP’s concluding piece, the standout “Karlsgrundet”, which balances morose ringing ambiance, Swedish spoken word, violin, and the sort of imposing metallic pummel into which Cult of Luna, too, tend to lapse.

But given its brevity, “Riwen” plays like an omen for what is to come, a brief exposition of the stylistic course this now-five person group have selected. It bodes well - not least in terms of diversity given the distinct approach taken in each of the three songs - but sorely lacks that elusive it to truly mark the sound as Riwen’s own. Persson purports to have a minimum of 14 songs written for an eventual album (which may or may not include these three), so no doubt it will be intriguing to witness the full extent of his ideas when they do unfold.

Download: Values, Karlsgrundet
For the fans of: Integrity, Martyrdöd, Tragedy
Listen: Facebook

Release date 13.10.2014
Indie Recordings

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