RIVER OF SOULS - Usurper
So I was listening to this the other night while we here in the states are trying not to have anxiety attacks or depressive outbreaks during this fucking pandemic. I couldn't believe how calming or better yet, soothing this band's music made me feel. Hey it's sludge, death metal and a bunch more. I'm also the type of guy who blasts IMMORTAL during ice storms without worrying about trees crashing. But hey that's me.
So here we have RIVER OF SOULS, a five piece act from Holland. Sorry guys I'm of Dutch heritage and I use certain terms. So with that said this is the second full length by this band. They've been around for a few years and although I've never heard their debut, The Well of Urd, from 2017. I just love what they do on this one. Seriously what you have here is doom, sludge and some melodic moments of death metal.
I guess the definitive term to use for this band's overall sound and style is diversity. Yeah I know and let me slit my wrists out of spite. Even though RIVER OF SOULS use some varied song structures that feature the cold embrace of melancholy, the crushing fist of death and some damm good guitar soloing interludes. It's the vocal variety which speaks volumes. You've got some cleans, caustic stuff and total OPETH stuff.
Which brings me to the finale, RIVER OF SOULS are totally influenced by early OPETH. Is that cool? Well it depends on how much of an OPETH fan you are. I mean listen to "A Spirit's Weight" and tell me that this band didn't let their influence veil down a second. Or how about the eleven minute plus "The Tightening".
In the end it's an enjoyable release of doom stillness as well as some melodic passages and proggy, tech death interludes. A dutch version of OPETH yeah I'll go that way. Strangely enough I can't stand OPETH. I think they suck, they blow and are boring. I've got almost all of their releases and the used CD stores won't even buy them. But this release at this space in time is worthy. Nuff Said.