Shockingly, we’ve not given this band any time on Heavy Blog as of yet. Strike that up to us being super busy creating stellar content for you, so much so that, yeah, we miss one now and again! Riwen is the brainchild of Cult Of Luna main man Johannes Persson, but they are associated by reputation only. This project has Persson digging right into his roots as a “vegan straight edge punk kid” and it comes with all of the ferocity and unchecked vitriol of those angry teenage years. Stick The Cold on if you fancy hearing where the gigantic soundscapes and musical canvases of post-metal really spawned from. Or, if you just want some spit soaked hardcore to soundtrack the rest of your week.
It can be said that there are still some elements of Persson’s main role that lie waiting in the gaps between gang chants and d-beats. Some protracted, slower songs and passages in faster ones are soaked with post elements, giving these tracks room to breathe and expand without ever sacrificing the impression that these are all still very angry tunes. The sonic elements of Riwen owe a lot to his work with Cult Of Luna too. Wavering, dissonant guitar chords are picked slowly and surreptitiously, birds chirping and whistling before thunderous percussion and bass burst through the barn door. “Stalking A Wounded Wolf” and “The Curlew” threaten to become Luna tracks but give up this ghost for the chance to get sticky with grooves, leads and riffs. One more thing, any bass player or fan of the instrument will be rejoice in the gnarled, punchy low end that growls through old school hardcore riffs and mosh melodies. Who doesn’t like a big, rusty bass tone?
Riwen might be written off as nothing more than a passion project by some, but these people are fucked and have no business putting pen to paper; more likely fingers to keys but whatever. This is a stellar record that combines the vicious, anthemic hardcore of yesterday with the nous of expansive and progressive post metal. Persson and co. refuse to sacrifice attitude for plaudits and they deserve all the appreciation they can get. Have they just reinvented post-hardcore (emphasis on the hardcore)? Maybe. Let the two stepping commence.
Riwen have no official music from The Cold on YouTube or Bandcamp. Check their official page at Indie Recordings to find what Matt MacLennan is calling, “an album you need to hear otherwise I’ll come over and kick your waste face in”.