It was roughly a year ago that Riwen first appeared on my radar, with their three-track self-titled EP that left a little to be desired – quite simply, it was an unadventurous offering that saw them blending into the background rather than making music that would leave an impression on you. Well, they’re back with their new album The Cold and it sees them take a bit more of an adventurous approach, which is great to witness.
The Cold certainly has more of a kick to it and sees Riwen draw influences from a few different genres such as thrash, death metal, black metal and even a bit of doom at times to create more of a unique identity for themselves and it has made for a more interesting listen to say the least.
Opener Crucifix grips your attention right away, starting at an almighty pace and it’s a relentless listen from start to finish, with the band barely taking any time to breathe as they embark on an all-out aural assault on your ears! Another great track is Stalking A Wounded Wolf, which has more of a melodic approach in parts and a stunningly emotive vocal performance – you can really hear the passion in the bellowed vocals.
At times, the album does sound a little bit stale but it’s certainly a step up from their previous release and shows a natural progression for the band, which can only be a good thing – Riwen is a band worth keeping an eye on.