It can sometimes be quite difficult to stand out from the crowd when it comes to black metal because there are so many bands all doing exactly the same thing, and the new self-titled offering from Riwen unfortunately falls victim to this.
There’s nothing that really strikes you as being individual about this three-track EP and sadly it would be all too easy to stick another band’s name on the release and nobody would be any the wiser because the tracks are very ‘standard’ sounding; Riwen would be better trying to search for their own sound rather than emulating other artists.
However, saying that, it is still a decent listen and what’s good about it is that it consists of three distinct tracks rather than them having three tracks all sounding identical to one-another. Opener Nature Calls Us Back is succinct and punchy, featuring some absolutely fantastic vocals, whilst following track Values is sludgy yet energetic, and closer Karlsgrundet is a bit more of a melodic number. It helps to keep your interest, despite the tracks not being anything musically new.
Provided you don’t go in expecting any surprises, Riwen is a decent enough listen. The band just needs to take a step back and put their own stamp on it.