Shadecrown – Riven (Inverse)Friday, 1st November 2019
Melodic death metal with a touch of doom is something that DR always craves for, and Shadecrown did it quite well on their full-length debut Agonia. Over the course of the last three years, they’ve come up with their second melancholic attack on Riven. An album that further enhances their particular style while keeping the basics of the genre in mind.
If there’s anything to be said for the alterations between Agonia and Riven, it’s that of an increase in the doomier side of the equation. There’s still quite a bit of the energetic, melodeath riffing (and a bit of that Finnish gloom), as “Not Until the End” quickly showcases – with even a little bit of later Sentenced-gothic rock mixed in to brilliant effect. “The Ghost I Mourn” displays that side of crunchy guitarwork that the band has had since the demo days with glee, and it’s still a distinguishing factor when making comparisons to others in the melodeath/doom realm. The album’s second half is where they tend to steer further into doomier atmospheres, and it’s a fitting alteration. They ramp up the atmosphere with a little more keys on the last two tracks, “Divided” and “Traces,” and it results in a slightly more epic sound to end things on. There’s some solid potential to be had, particularly with the combination of atmosphere and melodies on “Traces” that really jumps out at the listener.
Riven continues to showcase Shadecrown as one of the stronger, younger acts that are pulling in the melodic death/doom direction as of late. It seems like they are intent on progressing their sound in directions that will help them stand apart from the crowd, which is bound to pay off for them in the long run. A solid pick-up for genre fans.