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Riverland - Riverland (2013) - Review

Band: Riverland
Album title: Riverland
Release date: 8 February 2013
Label: Secret Entertainment

Tracklisting:
01. Hope In The Air
02. Help!
03. Sounds
04. Pictures
05. 2001 (Love)
06. Clear Water
07. Riverland

This self-titled album is the debut of Finnish duo Riverland, although I don't know if it's appropriate to call it full-lenght album as it contains only twenty minutes of music. Nevertheless, the two, vocalist Mikko Heino (better known from Minutian and Montage) and guitarist Roni Seppänen (also in Montage), crowned their five years long path with this record. We can't forget Aki Väkevä who helped them with programming and made the final mix of the album. The music served by Riverland is nature inspired acoustic progressive rock with huge impact of folk music and some modern pop.

Each track on this album is a tale inspired by the imaginary land of Riverland, where people have learned how to live in harmony and love. It's a concept album with main themes like helping and taking care of each other, love and similar sweet things. Music has a nice flow, mainly based on acoustic guitar and tender, but still somehow cold vocals. There are some electronics, piano touches, deep bass lines and careful, yet gentle percussions, that give more depth and atmosphere, as otherwise everything could remain too bland. Mikko's vocals in some parts remind to some 70s rock ballad singers, but he has the ability to guide the listener through this sweet and very emotional album with elegance and charm. Vocal performance reaches its peak with captivating duet between Mikko and guest female singer Satu Heino in "2001 (Love)". Guitar lines are played very good, though don't expect any technical excesses, but a lot of catchy melodies and atmospheric passages, even some guitar solos are present and played well, like in "Sounds". A lot of melliflous pop elements and typical folkloristic insertions make this music more dynamic as it will be otherwise.

Yeah, I know, Riverlands music is not for those who like dark music or harsher rhytms, but it's a nice time-out between some more demanding music. It offers some relaxing music that can chill you out, especially in those hot summer days. Those who like bands like Leafblade, Gazpacho, Tirill Mohn, acoustic side of Anathema, Rush, Marillion, Pink Floyd, Neil Young, Tom Petty and similar should go for it. It's well produced and after all I must say that it's good that it's so short, because otherwise it could be too strenuos to get some more sweetness.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 7,5/10

Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Enmarta
Album title: Sea Of Black
Release date: 30 June 2015
Label: Cryo Chamber

Sea Of Black is the debut album for Enmarta and is a result of Siegfrid's four years long work, it's an exceptional dark ambient release and not only, once those elongated melacholic soundscapes start to penetrate your mind the whole new imagery of cinematic music opens up. Sea Of Black is a multifaceted album, it is composed with many layers of different elements that are well combined together into a flowing mass of sound based on dark ambient foundation, and Siegfrid's training and service in classical music leaves a deep mark on Enmarta's sound with. The fluent soundsapes are cohesively painting pictures of isolated castles and dark towers, but still the whole album is in contrast to some of the latest post-apocalyptic dark ambient releases as it offers a bit more gothic and sentimental toned sound. The melancholic and in a way depressive feeling of isolation is present all over, yet in this starkly cinematic atmosphere there are many parts where some soft and almost tender passages bring a bit of brightness and serve with gentle caresses. Enmarta's Sea Of Black enthuses with its diversity, bold insertions, well composed soundscapes, interesting ideas and most of all with its fluent deeply melancholic cinematic vibe. It offers a well flowing sonic journey that every fan of dark ambient should perceive.

Read a full review HERE