19 Feb 2019

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

River - Album Review: Silence Of The Tomb

27 May 2018 // A review by butch181

Comprised of only five tracks, and a run-time of just shy of 20 minutes, I would be more inclined to categorise Silence Of The Tomb as an EP rather than a fully-fledged album (generally an album should have 10+ tracks and/or have a run-time of over 40 minutes). This classification is, however, a trivial matter that has no bearing on the content of the album beyond the approximation of length. 

Silence Of The Tomb is River's fifth release and comes after an extended hiatus (the fourth album, Shadows, was released 8 years ago). River's style in Silence Of The Tomb falls into the gothic metal genre, flirting with the doom and black metal techniques.

With a simple succession of distorted notes on the guitar over some gradually increasing haze, the opening track We’re Still Falling has an almost operatic vocal style; full of reverb, giving the vibe of performing in a concert hall, or large cathedral. The mix feels a little bit off, with the drums disappearing during many parts of the track, barely noticeable during the verse, as the cymbals merge into a single sound rather than several distinct events.

The central tracks of the album Shades of the Sheol, Mountains Roar, and I Am Your Thrall, have a much heavier tone to them, with high-paced distorted, repeating guitar riffs, and deep, grunting vocals (the lyrics are near enough impossible to decipher as the vocals are quite noticeably modified with reverb and echo effects). More heavily influenced by the doom and black metal style. The guttural, meaty vocals are reminiscent of Max Cavalera's work with Sepultura (specifically the Roots era).

The vocal harmonies in opening moments of Mountains Roar is one of the more peculiar aspects of the release, with echoing and reverberating deep vocals contrasting vastly with delayed falsetto choir-style vocals. In fact, I would love to hear the vocals dialled back throughout the release, as the guitars and drums are hugely overpowered by the presence of the vocals, and there are some really good riffs and trills going on.

The release closes with There Goes My Love; a much cleaner, rock-esque song. A nice way to ease in and out of the album. I would love to hear more of the instrumental side in future works, with greater use of silence and breaks as the release does not let up, from start to finish. Silence Of The Tomb is a hard-hitting, high-paced, dark release, that transitions from melancholy to aggression and back again in the blink of an eye. 

Review written by Alex Moulton


About River

River is a multi instrumentalist and graphic designer. His debut solo album This Side Up and his second album Decipher were created for people thinking outside of the square.

River's third solo CD Earth Asunder incorporated poetry of dark beauty with gothic overtones and bard like progressions. River took a new musical direction on his fourth full-length album Shadows where he crafted songs of melodic intricacy with a heavier undercurrent. After a hiatus, River has released his fifth solo work entitled Silence Of The Tomb.

River incorporates a medley of various artistic styles into a cross-disciplinary musical expression. His sound is best described as alternative underground and does not lend itself easily to explanation or cross-reference.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for River


Silence Of The Tomb
Year: 2018
Type: EP
Year: 2010
Type: Album
Earth Asunder
Year: 2009
Type: Album
Year: 2008
Type: Album
This Side Up
Year: 2006
Type: Album

Other Reviews By butch181

Paper Cranes - Album Review: Voices
19 Dec 2018 // by butch181
Due for release January 18, 2019, Voices is the second full-length album from Indie Folk duo Paper Cranes. While comprised of ten tracks, the album has a short overall runtime of just over 35 minutes.
This Pale Fire - Single Review: Float Out
17 Dec 2018 // by butch181
Float Out is about the process of letting things go, moving forward, learning from your past experiences, growing as a result. As such, the track has an intrinsically emotional weight to it.
EP Review: Miller Yule Live
17 Dec 2018 // by butch181
Miller Yule Live is a good length EP, consisting of seven tracks with a total runtime of over 30 minutes. Performing a setlist that is mostly sourced from his 2016 EP Shoot Me In The Heart (reviewed here), Miller Yule has also added in his single Diamonds (released in November 2017 and reviewed here), a stripped down adaptation of Six60's Don't Give It Up, and a new track to spice it up further.
Mako Road - EP Review: Local Safari
10 Dec 2018 // by butch181
Local Safari is the latest release from Christchurch Indie group Mako Road The four-piece provide a very laid-back and relaxed (albeit short) EP as we enter the prime summer road tripping season.The EP begins with its titular track Local Safari, with some pleasant keys and a generally unhurried pace, controlled by a simple hi hat and snare drum combo.
Kerretta - Single Review: Chroma Queens
10 Dec 2018 // by butch181
Chroma Queens is the first single from upcoming LP release Exiscens (due for release on December 14), which is the first release from Auckland experimental rock act Kerretta for over four years. The band are comprised of bass player William Waters; drummer H.
Gig Review: Ghost Who Walks @ Anthology Lounge, Auckland - 30/11/2018
06 Dec 2018 // by butch181
Cheers and squeals are let out around Auckland’s Anthology Lounge as The Rubics take to the stage. The six-piece group have been working on making a name for themselves as the groove-makers of the Auckland scene, and from the sound of the audience, they know exactly what they are in for.
Gig Review: 2Cellos @The Civic, Auckland - 3/12/2018
04 Dec 2018 // by butch181
People were abuzz as they filed into The Civic to get to their seats. Many eyes were enjoying the venue itself as one of Auckland’s last remaining atmospheric theatres, with its soft-top design that floats above the auditorium, with stars and clouds that recreate the Southern Hemisphere sky-scape.
Lisa Crawley - Single/Video Review: Baby It's Fine
30 Nov 2018 // by butch181
Lisa Crawley’s latest single Baby It’s Fine is a delightfully unhurried and soulful pop track. Starting with a slow strum of the guitar and an almost acoustic vibe to the bass, there is a slow melancholic edge to the song.
View All Articles By butch181

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • 7 RINGS
    Ariana Grande
    Ariana Grande
    Billie Eilish
  • WOW.
    Post Malone
    Post Malone And Swae Lee
    Ariana Grande
    Ava Max
    Lady Gaga And Bradley Cooper
    Sam Smith And Normani
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem