Featuring a member 40 Watt Sun/ex-member of Warning, The River play traditional doom metal bolstered by a skilful interpretation of the style.
A fitting, (and lazy), comparison would be a band like 40 Watt Sun/Warning, only with female vocals. I don’t think this simplistic description does The River a disservice either, as the music on Vessels into White Tides is strong enough to survive on its own terms. There’s more here than just that too, with the music also benefiting from post-metal, drone, and shoegaze elements.
Full of melancholy and rich, bleak emotion, this is a slow-paced album that gradually unfolds with confidence and gloomy character. Melodically rich, while also having a grasp of the darker tools of rhythm and distortion, these sometimes-lengthy songs are well-crafted and well-structured hymns to sorrow. The band rely on mood and atmosphere more than hook-driven riffs or instant gratification, and they use these tools well to create songs that are memorable and satisfying.
The vocals are fragile and ethereal, striking the right balance between beauty and grace. Sometimes the singer’s voice almost seems like it’s going to break over the back of the guitars, but her skill is such that her performance is just resilient enough to stay in one piece.
Vessels into White Tides is an immersive, atmospheric doom album, one which I urge you to check out if you have a taste for this sort of thing.
Very highly recommended.