Riviẽre – Heal (Review)

RiviereRiviẽre are a progressive metal band from France and this is their debut album.

This is an intriguing blend of styles that uses progressive metal as a base to launch forays into post-rock, post-hardcore and alternative metal.

As you may be able to ascertain from the previous sentence, this is not a band that likes to be constrained in what they do. I like that they essentially please themselves, as this is what all bands should ultimately be doing. There’s even some saxophone, which is increasingly a thing I like to hear with my metal.

Riviẽre’s music is complex and involved, with twisting bass, sparkling guitars and weighty drums contorting and warping into all manner of different forms and shapes.

Their sound is a mix of bands like Deftones, Tool, Russian Circles, Karnivool, Latitudes, Far, Periphery, Tesseract and a host of others, all mixed together to create 52 minutes of fiercely modern progressive metal.

For all of the rampant technical ability that’s displayed across these seven tracks, it’s great that the band don’t sacrifice the emotive edge of the songs in the name of showy musicianship. There’s a real heart to the band, one that coalesces around the beautiful singing voice of their talented singer. His voice is leagues above the plastic sounding crap that infests the delivery of a lot of ostensibly similar bands as this, and instead his impressive singing soars and croons through the music like a silken delicacy. His performance is sometimes plaintive, sometimes reflective, sometimes powerful, sometimes melancholic, sometimes uplifting, always effective.

These songs are hideously good. The album flows and weaves through the playing time with guilty ease, and the entire thing is a pleasure to listen to; again and again and again.

The production of the album parades the modern sheen of their progressive music like a peacock’s tail for all to see. And why not? Heal sounds great, but importantly it has enough depth and content to back up how flashy and polished it is.

Heal combines obvious charms with more subtle allures. It’s an album to explore and gradually get to know. There’s enough to captivate on first listen, but it’s only after repeated spins that it really gives up its secrets. Even then, you suspect that there’s still more to be had, lurking beneath the multifaceted surface. Okay, just one more listen, and we’ll see what we can unearth this time…

Very, very impressive and as equally enjoyable.

Highly recommended.

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