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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: The Hills Mover
Album: Dead Notes [EP]
Release date: 11 May 2015
Label: Self-released

Dead Notes delivers an emotional journey through six songs, relying on a very minimalistic song structure, shifting from aerial tranquillity to poetic obscurity. The beauty of it lies in a passionate portrayal of a kaleidoscope of feelings, which emit sentimental romanticism, distortion of mind and the dense darkness in a very personal and narrative way. Building on simplistic acoustic guitar arrangements and playing with his vocal chords, Grégoire Fray eloquently poured his personal prints and impressions through his alter-ago, The Hills Mover, in beauteous soundscapes, which deliver a pastiche of colours and shades, from bright and colourful to stygian and murky. An astounding, dynamic flow of ambiances, which - in their simplicity of sound - hide incredibly strong and profound personal stories.

Read a full review HERE