Album Reviews

The Riven – The Riven Review

Released by: The Sign Records

Release Date: March 1st, 2019

Genre: Rock


Line Up:

Totta Ekebergh – Vocals
Arnau Diaz – Guitar
Max Ternebring – Bass Guitar
Olof Axegärd – Drums


The Serpent
Far Beyond
Edge of Time
Shadow Man
Finnish Woods
Fortune Teller
I Remember
Leap of Faith
Sweet Child


Even though I am typically drawn more towards the guitar as the instrument of focus, there’s nothing I love more than hearing a vocalist that has a voice that can’t be touched. If a band has a great singer and cool songs, the band itself doesn’t even really have to be all that (though if they are, it adds more to love.) And though I do tend to have a “type” of voice I love, I don’t pigeonhole myself into just listening to that one style of a singer (much like I run the gamut of genres of music I enjoy in general.) As I was going through albums for potential review I stumbled across one that at first I didn’t have a feeling one way or another towards. The band name was unassuming and didn’t really nail down a sound per se, but as soon as I started listening to The Riven’s s/t debut full length I was instantly hooked.

The hook was mostly in the form of singer Totta Ekebergh. Though the opening track, “The Serpent,” has a catchy riff that’s somewhere between throwback 70’s rock to Stoner, it wasn’t until she started singing that my ears perked up. She has a very old world voice, soulful and bluesy without necessarily running riffs and getting “dirty” but also has a sweet delivery wherein the sweet and soul coil around each other to create this beautiful and powerful sound. I was captivated through each track waiting to hear what else she was capable of doing with this massive instrument. I mean absolutely no disrespect to the band (guitarist Amau Diaz, bassist Max Ternebring, and Olof Axegärd on the drums) as they are greatly skilled on their instruments, but if they had any other singer they would simply be a good band. Ekebergh takes their sound to the next level. And honestly tracks like “Shadow Man,” “Sweet Child,” “Finnish Woods,” and the aforementioned “The Serpent” sound as if they were structured to showcase her voice. No one really steps out into the forefront musically and overshadows her- the music simply compliments her voice.

Not for nothing, but The Riven’s s/t album is a brilliant introduction to this superb band. That stunning voice and these straight forward hard driving songs combine to make for a surprise addition to my favorite list. I never know what to expect when I spin a band for the first time, but The Riven do not disappoint. Driving riffage and groovy solos and that fantastic voice totally blew me away. Can’t wait to see what’s next for them

Written by: Chris Martin

Ratings: 9/10

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