Making their debut with a furious three track self-titled EP, Riwen is the new hardcore fuelled project of Cult Of Luna guitarist/vocalist Johannes Persson. It is an encounter which prowls a whole new landscape for the musician but on the evidence of the band’s first release, one as passionately driven and explored as anything you would expect from his creative mind and craft. It is intensive and brutally imposing, and whilst the release is not breaking dramatic new ground for hardcore, its ferociously dark and heavy presence veined with sonic and melodic tenacity, makes it potently stand out.
Alongside Persson, Riwen’s line-up is completed by Totalt Jävla Mörker current and former members in respectively Christian Augustin and Fredrik Lindkvist. The band emerged from songs which Persson wrote last year, a clutch of tracks inspired by in his words, “the vein of music that I grew up to and was the influence when I learned to write music about 20 years ago. Think early 90’s hardcore like Integrity, Judge, Damnation AD, Battery, Amce and onward in that fashion.” The result is a presence and sound to the band which takes no prisoners and is ill-tempered in breath and touch but also emotionally transfixing and melancholically hostile.
The EP opens with Nature Calls Us Back, a sonic resonance the spring board for a colossal avalanche of beats and grievous predatory riffs. That wall of sound is soon into a heavily imposing stride blistered with an intermittent sonic enterprise. It is an uncompromising and intensive examination yet deceptively contagious, raw grooves and barbed hooks littering the tsunami of passion and intensity guided by coarse vocal squalls. It may not blow the senses from their safety but the track permeates and grows in strength and corrosive rabidity over time to linger and mark an impressive first attack from the band.
The following Values similarly flies at ears though it gets down to business with a quicker and more voracious viciousness from its opening breath. An acidic groove even in its short intrusions makes compelling bait within the sonic and impassioned fury raging around it, before making a longer and spicier impact as the brawl of vocals and rhythms spread their venom with energy and spite to match the rage of guitars. It is a relentless torrent of noise and anger which again grips the imagination with ease before making way for the closing track, Karlsgrundet.
Initially a slower, more lumbering protagonist but with a keen canter to its hungry predation, the song builds up its intimidating climate and intensity until it breaks and careers into a furnace of fleet footed rhythmic animosity and sonic savagery. There is still some rein on it all though which allows an adventurous tempest of enterprise from drums and guitars as the bass prowls with bestial purpose. Though the release is not exactly a ground-breaking exercise within hardcore, the track explores a blackened and heavily unleashed violation which certainly adds new flavoursome twists and endeavour to anything from the genre in 2014.
Ending with a shadowed stringed coaxing which still holds a portentous threat, the song is a drama drenched investigation of ears and emotions which, added to the first pair, provides something as riveting as it is imposing. Riwen, band and EP, leaves appetite and anticipation healthy and eager for more from the project ahead, whilst expectations are now high and greedier thanks to this impressive first offering.
Riwen has now added bassist Christoffer Röstlund Jonsson and guitarist Marita Jonsson Mätlik to the line-up.
The Riwen EP is available on CD and 10″ vinyl from October 13th on Indie Recordings @ http://www.omerch.eu/shop/indierecordings/search.php?pg=1&stext=Riwen&scat=2302&nobox=true
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from