From what I can tell, River Black comprise of 3 members of the now defunct Burnt By The Sun, guitarist John Adubato, drummer David Witte and vocalist Mike Olender, along with Revocation bassist Brett Bamberger, making this début album River Black’s first release, but by a band of extremely experienced musicians. Something that is clearly apparent by the musicianship and song writing on this album.

Wasting very little time, as “Jaws” is such a short song, they just start the album at high pace and keep it there, even when slowing down slightly for a breakdown.

Being American, they are unable to spell “Honor”, but I think they may still show the same sentiment and deliver it with plenty of guitars flowing over intricate drum rolls and extremely angry vocals.

The sharp, chuggy but slow riff on “Low” has a great hardcore vibe, which the slightly less complex drum patterns help cement with the roars of rage.

“Shipwreck” is just plain balls to the wall speed from drums to guitars and the ultra-rapid spitting out of the lyrics drives it home even further until the step-down about halfway through, where the false harmonics litter the riffs for added effect.

“River Black” is a short violin piece that has the same melody immediately picked up by the guitars on “South by South”, where the tempo raises and drops to give the vocals additional emphasis to their raspy roars.

An opening scream turns into a roar on “Boat” before the tempo slows down for the guitars to chug through giving the vocal cadence the perfect rhythm to follow.

What at first sounds like a rather simple riff on “Move” actually becomes more and more complex as it’s layered with the clipped bass pops and syncopated drum patterns.

Very reminiscent of early 90’s thrash, where it was heavily influenced with hardcore bends and slides with choppy vocal rhythms, “Victim” punches in with no holds barred.

The first clean vocals on the album are on “Haunt” and funnily enough, they work really well on the song, rather than feeling like they were added as an afterthought.

The plentiful riffs on “Sink” are almost drowned out by the occasional blasting whereas on “Everywhere” there is no way the drums would be able to stifle the intense riffs where they bleed between every tom and cymbal bashing.

A good solid album that is easy to listen to, even if it’s meant to be fast and aggressive.

(7/10 Marco Gaminara)