Post-progressive is certainly making the rounds in the twilight years of the 2010s. There have been moments of sheer musical bliss that cannot even compare with its ethereal majesty at times. It is both a beautiful siren from the metal gods, but unfortunately has also fallen under the spell of its own curse. There have only been a handful of champions in the genre, but the tide might begin to turn in 2017.
Though it is still early days, this year has seen some belters come to fruition from all manners of the heavy spectrum. However, one band might stand out beyond all others. RIVIẼRE have been a hot topic in recent days, which makes it all the more impressive seeing as they have only just released their debut album Heal this month.
It’s been a long time coming, but French metal is most certainly on the rise. With the powerhouse of Gojira lighting the way for new bands, the first French revolution of the twentieth century has begun. Originating from Toulouse, this four-piece have the artistic integrity and the right metal mind-set to go on to big things. As far as debut albums goes, this is beyond a simple introduction that has left the brain of this reviewer curdling on the carpet. As it stands some of the decades’ strongest albums have been debuts (read my top ten albums/EPs of 2016 and see for yourselves) and this is no exception.
Anyone who wants to be challenged with new music while being sent on a journey deep into your very psyche should look no further than RIVIẼRE. Heal begins with the mind spinning eight-and-a-half-minute 'New Cancer'. Immediately this record has gone and buried the days of djent and has pushed the melancholy factor up to eleven. The best way to describe RIVIẼRE would be a mash-up of both Deftones and TesseracT, a very potent mix that makes you think, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
There is a plentiful supply of oddly timed grooves that help pillar this record. Where some post-prog bands may lack colour in their arrangements, RIVIẼRE deliver in spades. Third track 'Symbol' ticks this box as it sends you into a sonic plain that wouldn’t be out of place at a day spa. After the verse smacks you right in the ear hole, it’s the smooth sax solo that comes out of nowhere that catches you mid-air just as you think the intensity cannot strain you any longer. These moments are scattered throughout the album and one listen will not do it any justice. After the first five ear bashings will things start to become clear and by the time you’ve reached the closing track 'Yosemite', it will only raise more questions than it answers. Heal is only scratching the service of what this band is capable of. For our money, the best is only yet to come.
Complex enough to keep your interest, digestible enough to come back for more, this is one band that won’t be hiding in the shadows for too long. If you fancy spoiling yourself after a hard week at your nine to five grind, treat yourself to this album, your mind, body and soul will thank you.
Heal is out now via Basik