In terms of quality, The Riven’s self-titled record from 2019 was streets ahead of their debut EP. Although both releases are solid in terms of playing and song writing, the album vastly outshone the EP in terms of production values and vocal performances. This suggested The Riven’s third release had the potential for a few incendiary riffs. Although that third release turned out to be a two song stop-gap, in terms of old style sounds, both ‘Windbreaker’ and ‘Moving On’ (issued on a strictly limited vinyl in August 2020) really doesn’t disappoint.
On their debut EP ‘Blackbird’, The Riven showed a lot of promise. With a fusion of hard rock and blues, the EP presented five songs with an old fashioned spirit and some great vocals, but was rather let down by its recording budget. Sadly, tunes that deserved a huge crunch were all too often left feeling a little muddy.
A lot happened over the next couple of years. The band relocated from London to Sweden, played live shows, gained a recording deal with The Sign Records [home to Wheel In The Sky, Highrider and Grande Royale] and then decamped to Spain to record a full length album.
Swedish retro rockers The Riven are set to return on March 1st with their new self-titled opus. ‘The Riven’ follows 2017’s ‘Blackbird’ EP and is better in almost every respect.
Fans of the EP can expect similar 70s influenced sounds on the upcoming full-length, only this time, the great riffs are complimented with better songwriting and much better production values. The album is a hard rock highlight of 2019’s first quarter.
A lot of blues rock bands have surfaced in the five years between 2012 and 2017. Classic Rock magazine’s constant championing of bands like Rival Sons and Blues Pills have obviously helped fuel the fire, but it has to be said, there has always been a core of rock fans clamouring for such old fashioned sounds. London based band The Riven wade into a somewhat saturated market with their debut EP ‘Blackbird’, but do they have anything to make them stand out from the crowd?